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Is metal detection necessary for SQF Certification?


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#1 Chippy

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 05:08 PM

Good Afternoon,

 

We are working with a consultant to prepare for our first SQF audit - level 2. I am the SQF Practitioner, Also I am FSMA certified.

 

My question is this... We are being told that metal detection is mandatory for SQF but the same company (as our consultant) certified us for FSMA and said that we could use pre-requisite forms and machine inspections for verification that there is not any metal in our products ie: no broken machinery parts. We have a supplier approval program and the suppliers are testing for metals in the products.

The only thing we have had complaints from customers is 1 pecan shell, 1 cherry pit, and a small piece of a flour bag. We have 1 metal detector and it has not found anything in the products since we installed 6 months ago. The bosses above are wondering if we really need to have metal detectors.

 I guess I am just looking to see what others opinions are before my consultant comes back next time.

 

Thank you!

 



#2 Parkz58

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 05:41 PM

I'm curious - who told you that metal detection is required for SQF?  What did they reference for that requirement?



#3 Chippy

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 06:00 PM

Our consultant has told us that the metal detection is mandatory.



#4 Parkz58

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 06:23 PM

I'm sorry, but I just re-read the current Module 11 Guidance Document, and I don't find verbiage there that indicates metal detection is necessary. 

 

On what basis does your consultant believe that it is necessary?



#5 Parkz58

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 06:25 PM

Perhaps a more helpful follow-up question to that:  What other foreign material control measures do you currently have in place, and how well are they functioning?



#6 Parkz58

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 06:31 PM

Just an FYI - I found this comparison of the four major GFSI schemes, and as you'll see, metal detection is NOT required by SQF (though HIGHLY recommended):

 

https://www.linkedin...-safety-quality



#7 Chippy

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 08:57 PM

Thank you for the link. :)



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#8 Parkz58

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 09:03 PM

No problem - glad to help.

 

I'm in no way saying you shouldn't have a metal detector, just to be clear...that's a decision you and your company need to make, based upon your risk and hazard analysis.  However, I hate when people claim that something is required when it is not...so, I just wanted you to be aware. 

 

You should also be aware that, if you choose not to have a metal detector, you will likely need to have some very good, well thought-out and concrete written evidence and reasoning for it...or you may find yourself having a hard time convincing an auditor.



#9 Tony-C

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:22 AM

Hi Lisa,

 

I think your consultant is mixing SQF up with BRC as they specifically require justification for not having a metal detector or similar detection equipment.

 

BRC Global Standard for Food:
4.10.3.1 Metal detection equipment shall be in place unless risk assessment demonstrates that this does not improve the protection of final products from metal contamination. Where metal detectors are not used justification shall be documented. 
The absence of metal detection would only normally be based on the use of an alternative, more effective method of protection (e.g. use of X-ray, fine sieves or filtration of products).
 
I don't believe the link posted above is correct regarding IFS Food V6:
4.12 Risk of foreign material, metal, broken glass and wood
4.12.1 KO N° 6: Based on hazard analysis and assessment of associated risks, procedures shall be in place to avoid contamination with foreign material. Contaminated products shall be treated as non-conforming products.
 
SQF Code and Guidance Requirements:
11.7.6 Detection of Foreign Objects
11.7.6.1 The responsibility, methods and frequency for monitoring, maintaining, calibrating and using screens, sieves, filters or other technologies to remove or detect foreign matter shall be documented and implemented.
11.7.6.2 Metal detectors or other physical contaminant detection technologies shall be routinely monitored, validated and verified for operational effectiveness. The equipment shall be designed to isolate defective product and indicate when it is rejected.
11.7.6.3 Records shall be maintained of the inspection by foreign object detection devices, and their verification.
11.7.6 Implementation Guidance
What does it mean?
Foreign matter detectors can include metal detectors, x-ray, color sorters, screens, sieves and filters. They must be designed and installed to detect and/or trap foreign objects that have been identified in a detailed risk assessment. Their management, control, and calibration must be documented in procedures and work instructions which include responsibility and frequency.
 
As Parkz58 has posted you will be expected to have carried out appropriate risk assessment which demonstrates your controls are sufficient without the need for metal detection. If you do have a metal detector then it should be adequately controlled, calibrated, validated and verified.
 
Kind regards,
 
Tony
 


#10 SQFconsultant

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 12:59 AM

There is nothing in the SQF code that says you must have a metal detector.  Better start fact checking your consultant.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants 
 
In a nutshell we help small to large businesses to get their act together (as needed), help them to co-develop
entire SQF documentation systems, make recommendations as to installations and repairs in order
to get certified and continue with on-going support thru our popular eConsultant program and we do
all in about 30 days so your staff can implement with our assistance to retain and get new business!
 
Serving the new Republic of the United States of America & Alliance Countries

http://www.GlennOster.com


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#11 Chippy

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 03:54 PM

Thank you for your help. The consultant was here last week and she said "Publix just had a recall of coffee cakes for metal slivers, THAT is why you HAVE to have a metal detector." The initial must have was long before the recall...



#12 Guitardr85

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 12:48 PM

From my experience with SQF certification, I have in the past had processing lines that do not have in-line metal detection as it was a low risk product with no history of metal contamination or complaint over many many years (this was also a co-pack scenario where the customer did not require it).

 

Having a metal detector is indeed a control point, but designating it a critical control point would have be based a few things:

  1. Is there a likely risk of metal contamination in the product?
  2. Is there a history of metal being found in this product or in they type of processing upstream of the metal detector?
  3. What is the severity and consequences of the risk if it were not controlled?
  4. Where in the processing stream is the metal detector (is there a processing point further down stream that would better control a metal hazard)?

The short answer would be no, it does not HAVE to be a CCP for SQF but I would darn well make sure you can justify AND validate your reasoning why it doesn't need to be a CCP.  I believe this will also apply to any Preventive Process Controls under a HARPC program.



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#13 Tony-C

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 03:48 PM

From my experience with SQF certification ......

The short answer would be no, it does not HAVE to be a CCP for SQF but I would darn well make sure you can justify AND validate your reasoning why it doesn't need to be a CCP.  I believe this will also apply to any Preventive Process Controls under a HARPC program.

 

It wasn't a question of whether metal detection was a CCP. It was a question of if it was required by SQF.

 

It could be appropriate as a Preventive Control, that doesn't mean it is a CCP and if there is no history of problems and the risk is low then I don't see the need for a metal detector.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



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#14 Chippy

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 04:35 PM

I am sorry to answer this so late.
The metal detection would be on the final packages, before going into the shipping cases. We have pre-requisites for all lines and makeup points for the products, indicating that there is no missing or broken metal (or other) parts on any machines or lines. We have never had a complaint about metal in any of our products (in over 20 years of manufacturing).



#15 SQFconsultant

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 05:09 AM

Again, there is no requirement per SQF for a metal detector.  Tell your consultant to stick with the facts or codes for that matter.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging & Food Storage Industries
SQF Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants 
 
In a nutshell we help small to large businesses to get their act together (as needed), help them to co-develop
entire SQF documentation systems, make recommendations as to installations and repairs in order
to get certified and continue with on-going support thru our popular eConsultant program and we do
all in about 30 days so your staff can implement with our assistance to retain and get new business!
 
Serving the new Republic of the United States of America & Alliance Countries

http://www.GlennOster.com


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#16 Boohzhen

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 02:12 AM

Metal Detectors are part of your Preventive Process Control. These controls are different based on the products you are producing. Some companies use X-ray.

For  our company; we use sieves and filters since we are a food aerosol company.



#17 scole

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 12:37 AM

We do not use metal detectors and although it is questioned at every SQF Audit, I explain our reasons for choosing not to use one and the other process controls in place.  It has never been a problem. 



#18 mettlert

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:46 PM

Scole, 

How do you handle the 11.7.6.2 then?  Do you use sieves and magnets?  How would one validate and verify those two.  We do not have a metal detector either.  We use sieve screens and magnets.  We have never had a metal complaint from any customers and they are not requiring us to have a metal detector.  We check magnets for slivers every day and also check the sieves for condition and materials everyday.  We have not found issues with either.  Following maintenance we can have some metal slivers show up on the magnets but we divert all the product to disposal until the magnets run clear.  Is that sufficient?






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