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Purchasing raw materials from a grocery store in a bind - problem?


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#1 idealdreams

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:37 PM

Hi again all. I have developed a relatively extensive Approved Supplier and Supplier Validation program and all of our suppliers adhere to our written requirements. However, there are some days where our suppliers cannot provide us with product in a timely fashion, and as a small company we have orders to fulfill, at which point the owners simply purchase small quantities of material from a grocery store for use in the product.

 

I have expressed my concern to them for this as I don't believe it should be allowed, considering the grocer isn't an approved supplier, nor have they provided us with any type of quality documentation for the product being purchased.

 

Will cause any issues if noticed during an audit? What are everyone's thoughts on this - allowed or disallowed?



#2 KBMB

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:05 PM

Hello all,

 

I too am very interested in the response of the below...

 

 I have developed a relatively extensive Approved Supplier and Supplier Validation program and all of our suppliers adhere to our written requirements. However, there are some days where our suppliers cannot provide us with product in a timely fashion, and as a small company we have orders to fulfill, at which point the owners simply purchase small quantities of material from a grocery store for use in the product.

 

I have expressed my concern to them for this as I don't believe it should be allowed, considering the grocer isn't an approved supplier, nor have they provided us with any type of quality documentation for the product being purchased.

 

Will cause any issues if noticed during an audit? What are everyone's thoughts on this - allowed or disallowed?

 

I am faced with purchasing milk (in Canada) from the grocery store.

As this would be purchased and transported in the owner's car, I am concerned about temperature control as well.

 

Any advice would be very helpful.

 

 



#3 Charles.C

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:56 PM

Hi again all. I have developed a relatively extensive Approved Supplier and Supplier Validation program and all of our suppliers adhere to our written requirements. However, there are some days where our suppliers cannot provide us with product in a timely fashion, and as a small company we have orders to fulfill, at which point the owners simply purchase small quantities of material from a grocery store for use in the product.

 

I have expressed my concern to them for this as I don't believe it should be allowed, considering the grocer isn't an approved supplier, nor have they provided us with any type of quality documentation for the product being purchased.

 

Will cause any issues if noticed during an audit? What are everyone's thoughts on this - allowed or disallowed?

 

Hi idealdreams,

 

I haven't checked if any relevant SQF clause but yr query is a highly common one for all FS Standards?

 

The usual (audit-friendly) answer is you need an exception clause in yr SA Procedures. There are, IIRC, several examples on this Forum.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 05:44 AM

Yes, you can do that.  Simply write up an SOP for this when you have an emergency and cannot obtain materials from an approved supplier.  In that SOP you will need to conduct some type of risk assessment and analysis of the material.

 

In my previous company we made custom products for our customers and there were a number of specialized ingredients we used in very small quantities.  It was not practical to buy this from a food suppliers so we used grocery store, big box stores, and restaurant suppliers.  I never had an issue with this during our SQF audits.



#5 CMHeywood

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 08:38 PM

SQF allows for emergency suppliers that are not approved.  However, this implies temporary use and not an ongoing situation.

 

Are you able to justify that the grocery store is an approved supplier?  They are providing food to the public and it should be relatively free of contamination.



#6 Ryan M.

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:48 PM

SQF allows for emergency suppliers that are not approved.  However, this implies temporary use and not an ongoing situation.

 

Are you able to justify that the grocery store is an approved supplier?  They are providing food to the public and it should be relatively free of contamination.

 

Yes.  It is also dependent on where that material is coming in your process, such as before or after a "kill step".  For us, everything was before so it was not too much of an issue.



#7 SQFconsultant

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 06:47 PM

If you follow the code for purchasing in a pinch there should not be an issue. Just follow it to the letter.

Glenn Oster


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


#8 idealdreams

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:00 PM

SQF allows for emergency suppliers that are not approved.  However, this implies temporary use and not an ongoing situation.

 

Are you able to justify that the grocery store is an approved supplier?  They are providing food to the public and it should be relatively free of contamination.

 

That's the issue I'm trying to get through to the owners - we're allowed to use emergency suppliers, but only, well, in emergencies. The use of an "unapproved" supplier that cannot adhere to our Approved Supplier and Supplier Validation programs seems to be a red flag to me, however this is a small company and they cannot financially afford to buy large/bulk amounts of ingredients from a supplier that would comply with our programs.

 

You made a valid point: if the public is using the food and there are no issues, why can't we use it in our manufacturing process? Should this come up in our SQF audit I will argue your point. Some ingredients are used pre-kill step while some are used afterwards, so hopefully that won't cause an issue.

 

Thanks everyone for the help.






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