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Cardboard in a food production room?


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#1 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:36 AM

Hi all,

 

What's everyone's opinion on the use of cardboard in a food production room?

 

We have recently invested in a load of plastic pallets to place our vac-packed prep on rather than the old wooden ones. This was firstly to prevent wood splinters and secondly for hygiene reasons (ease of cleaning). Our prep team have voiced concerns that they are slippery to stand on, at which point I told them they weren't to stand on the anyway due to bringing filth from the floor to the pallet but they sound as if they're going to go ahead and completely ignore this. I have been thinking about putting cardboard layers down on the pallets to enable safer standing but want to know everyone's thoughts on this. We aren't working towards a 3rd party certification that states 'no cardboard' and the stuff is fairly absorbent so would dry anything that transfers onto it quickly. Plus our prep is packed into cardboard boxes once picked form storage anyway.

 

Anyone think I should loosen the policy on the pallets by using cardboard covers?

 

Many thanks,

 

Andy


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#2 BrummyJim

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 10:27 AM

Hi Andy,

I wouldn't have cardboard in a food production (High care/risk) environment, but see no problems in a low risk area. Given that your product is already sealed, I imagine that you are low risk.

Don't let your operatives stand on the cardboard though.



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#3 GMO

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:06 PM

You've not said if you are in high care or high risk manufacturing on this?  From describing it as "prep" though I suspect it's a low risk area but an area before cooking processes, am I right?  In which case, it can be an issue.  There are places in some factories which have open food but can still be low risk, in which case, getting rid of wood is a great idea but bringing in cardboard is a bad idea, even if that ingredient will be cooked.  

 

For me there are two issues with wood; one is the foreign body risk (which won't be lessened by cooking) and there is also potential for a micro risk (which isn't great practice but would be sorted out by cooking.)  Unfortunately cardboard has similar issues, ok a piece of it isn't going to hurt someone's mouth but they're not going to be all that happy about it either.

 

It all comes back to the fact people are standing on pallets which isn't a good idea.  Standing on pallets in low risk or high care is not exactly a great idea (a H&S risk for one, they could slip even if there was a card liner anyway), if it's in high care, then it's a micro risk, if it's in low risk, it's still not best practice is it?  Would you be happy if a customer saw it?  So why are they doing it?   Are you giving them the tools they need to do the job?  Are pallets accessible?  What can you do to make it so people don't have to stand on pallets?  Then once you've done that, there's no more excuse so it's just a question of enforcing it.



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#4 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:52 PM

Hi guys,

 

Personally I don't want any cardboard in the preparation area (we do have low and high risk products in separate rooms, no cooking takes place on our site- it just gets vac-packed or zip-locked raw and sold raw to caterers) and I don't want anybody standing on the pallets whether they're lined with something or not. Thank you for your input though, I will use this when making a case to my MD tomorrow for not putting safety precautions on the pallets as nobody should be touching them with their feet in the first place. I fear I may be overruled on this issue as 'we do have a business to run' but cross your fingers for me won't you!

 

Regards to all,

 

Andy


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#5 Scampi

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:39 PM

If your employees need more height to do the job, you need to find a suitable permanent solution, or this will continue to be either a food safety issue and/or a food safety issue. Can you not coat the pallets with non slip strips like commercial stair have?


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#6 adamperry2235

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:02 PM

If they are stacking product on pallets why are they standing on them? That would be the main question. And with the cardboard under their feet are your customers going to be happy with footprints? You said you may be overruled due to "we have a business to run", but let them know if the customers start complaining of foot prints or dirt on the pallets and you lose business then there will be no business to run. Good luck!



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#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:36 PM

Cardboard is allowed in the manufacturing area if it is kept off the floor in a sanitary manner. After all, most raw materials come in in secondary cardboard packaging, most of us pack our products in cardboard cases prior to shipping, and most of us don't have separate rooms dedicated to removing or adding secondary packaging in legacy facilities.

 

Walking on cardboard is definitely a no-no, you're begging for an environmental harborage issue. If the employees walk on the pallets, they should be treated in your sanitation program as if they were floor surfaces, and some sort of barrier between the "walking" pallets and product needs to be in place. If you have a safety issue with these pallets, find a permanant solution, cheap or expensive, but cardboard to correct a slipping issue is definitely a temporary fix, and a poor one.


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Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

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#8 Andy_Yellows

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:18 PM

Hi all, at this point I should clear up why they're standing on pallets, it's because they want to stack bags of prep on to the back and don't want to 'waste their time walking round be pallet to the back. That's why they want to step on them. And we don't sell our prep on pallets, we store it in our coldstore and sell it by the bag to each customer so no customers would actually see the state of the pallets. It just feels like bad practice but I was just gauging public opinion


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#9 peeviewonder

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:29 PM

I think a bigger problem is the personnel safety issues. Your employees should not be standing on anything that is not meant for them to stand on, and the cardboard could pose a slip/trip hazard. Not following safety rules is the one thing that you could be fired for at my old union plant. 



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#10 Michelle Grace Astorga

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 05:11 AM

I can see two issues in using cardboard, safety of your employees standing on it and possible food safety concern as well.






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