I am working on SQF and as of right now we don't have a sampling or inspection program for incoming raw materials. I don't know where to start with this since we have never done it. I am hoping you can help me because I am lost. We produce Relish and Brined Vegetables. We receive raw produce, bulk vinegar and fructose, and spices, along with a lot of other ingredients that go into our relish and brined vegetables such as salt, sugar, spices, oils, and preservatives.
We do inspection on all incoming trucks and trailers and produce. We also do truck inspections on incoming ingredients.
For Bulk Tanks of Vinegar we test before unloading to ensure the Vinegar is the right grain.
For Bulk Tanks of Fructose we test the brix to ensure the Fructose is the correct concentrate.
We require COA with all incoming ingredients from our suppliers.
For Fresh Produce we require COA, and Pesticide EPA numbers from our growers.
We don't currently send out incoming supplies for testing to an outside lab.
For final product we test Acid, Salt and pH and Brix for Relish's and plate for Yeast, Mold, Aerobic on all finished product and Coliform based on customer request. We also send out to an outside lab for Lactobacillus, and Salmanella based on customer request.
For In product process we test the acid, and salt of all vegetables before the brine is made to know what brine needs to be put on for the final specification to be in spec. We then make the brine based on the product specification and the brine is tested before being put on the final product.
For Relish we test test the Acid Brix and Salt during processing to know what sugar, salt or vinegar we need to add for the final product to be in specification. The Relish is then tested after adding to ensure it is in specification.
Do we need to send raw materials to an outside lab for testing and if we did what would we send them out for and am I missing anything? I was told to send out our ingredients for testing against the COA. We have so many different ingredients and the testing on the COA is different for all the ingredients. Would I have to test for everything the Supplier tests and reports on the COA?