Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

I think I bit off more than I can chew...


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

casc

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 10 posts
  • 1 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:47 PM

Hello,

 I just recently changed positions to a new food processing plant. They make sandwiches so meat product, except tuna and chicken salad, comes in frozen. Some sandwiches are regulated by the USDA, some FDA. They hired me because they are trying to obtain SQF certification for level 2. The building is a mess. Stairs to food hoppers, over food contact, are rusted there is no real color coding, drains haven't been cleaned in years and are so clogged IDK if they ever will, the processing floor was once painted but is now chipped paint, they only hire temps (some temps have been there for years) and the turnover rate is no kidding at least 10 people a week so training isn't existant. I feel like if I flat out told them all of these things they would not believe me because they have been getting by this long. Can anyone help me towards some guidance? Won't the auditor have issues with these things? 

   There is a lot more going on then just this, but it seemed like a place to start here. Thank you for any advice you can offer.



Dr.Khan

    DR

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 314 posts
  • 131 thanks
28
Excellent

  • Australia
    Australia
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney
  • Interests:Food, Reading technical information,provding technical help in QA,R&D,staff Training, products and processes optimisation, watching documentaries and making presentations
    AM available as consultant in Quality Assurance, Product & process development/ optimisation, staff training and trouble shooting in complex manufacturing Environment

    Cal me on +61411588329 to discuss your requirements.

    Am available for International Assignments

Posted 23 April 2017 - 01:44 AM

HI Kickeryklack

 

The situation you are in is not unique. Many companies commit to obtain certification for quality systems with out having any understanding of the standard they are planning to implement.

 

probably it is wise to tell them now that all the thing you have mentioned here need to address for them of having any chance of obtaining the certification. You can start by writing the " Management Commitment Statement" and discussing it with your Manager  and /or if possible with the top management. My impression is the company will realise that it is going to cost a lot of money and time to bring the plant and practices up the standard. If they are really committed they may ask you to prepare a plan for achieving all these requirements or just drop the idea. The the latter case you may have to find an other job.

 

Kind regards

Humaid Khan

Managing Director

Halal International Services

Beverly Hills Australia



Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 19,080 posts
  • 5312 thanks
1,273
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 23 April 2017 - 10:10 AM

Hello,

 I just recently changed positions to a new food processing plant. They make sandwiches so meat product, except tuna and chicken salad, comes in frozen. Some sandwiches are regulated by the USDA, some FDA. They hired me because they are trying to obtain SQF certification for level 2. The building is a mess. Stairs to food hoppers, over food contact, are rusted there is no real color coding, drains haven't been cleaned in years and are so clogged IDK if they ever will, the processing floor was once painted but is now chipped paint, they only hire temps (some temps have been there for years) and the turnover rate is no kidding at least 10 people a week so training isn't existant. I feel like if I flat out told them all of these things they would not believe me because they have been getting by this long. Can anyone help me towards some guidance? Won't the auditor have issues with these things? 

   There is a lot more going on then just this, but it seemed like a place to start here. Thank you for any advice you can offer.

 

Hi kyk,

 

Sorry but I'm a little puzzled by yr OP.

 

I presume you meant "new" to you ?

 

I'm not in USA but i would expect the basic SQF GMP/safety requirements to be comparable to those of USDA/FDA ?.

 

Given yr descriptive comments, I have difficulty understanding how the  RTE production is currently accepted as OK by both FDA and USDA ?.

(This acceptance logically IMO supports the Management's belief that certification to SQF should be feasible).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Thanked by 1 Member:

casc

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 10 posts
  • 1 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:19 PM

Yes new to me I started there last week and previously worked SQF at another plant (also SQF ) where the conditions wouldn't be acceptable.

USDA is only there when their product is running.

I was trying to find all of their regulations and turn it in to management to show them, but there's so much everywhere I am starting to doubt if I even know what I am talking about LOL

How would this be allowed for so long? They have had silliker audits in the past. I do not know what those type of audits entail or if any of this was even addressed. But it seems like since they passed those audits they feel they do not need to change anything for SQF



Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 19,080 posts
  • 5312 thanks
1,273
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 23 April 2017 - 10:46 PM

Hi kyk,

 

I deduce that the structural failings you mentioned were (somehow) un-noticed by USDA. Perhaps the "Management" believe that a repeat performance will be equally possible for SQF (assuming an "announced" audit).

 

If you seriously believe Management are/will remain "in denial" I can make one suggestion which is to "cover your back" and switch from SQF to BRC.

 

Unlike (afaik?) SQF, a (first time) BRC audit program typically includes the option of  an informal, "representative,"  operational pre-audit. The result of this pre-audit is a list of items which are considered unacceptable and should/must be corrected prior to the formal audit.

IMEX failings such as you have noted in OP will not be ignored. I predict this audit  will have an impact on Upper Management.

 

PS - if an equivalent procedure to above does exist for SQF, that would be my alternative suggestion but based on previous posts here seems not an option (?).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Thanked by 1 Member:

adamperry2235

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 51 posts
  • 18 thanks
6
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:58 AM

Good Morning, 

 

As Charles suggested it would be a good thing to get a pre inspection audit. SQF does allow them. I know my certifying body does them, and in doing just that it was a real eye opening experience for my owner. Their commitment will be an expensive one. So maybe they would consider making the needed changes.

 

However, I have a feeling you are fighting an uphill battle. The main reason for concern is the temp workers and the fact that there is a high turnover of employees. That to me doesn't seem as though management has a commitment to anything. (But thats just my opinion from the outside) 



Thanked by 1 Member:

Scampi

    Fellow

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 4,010 posts
  • 1101 thanks
773
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 24 April 2017 - 12:25 PM

Perhaps, if you haven't already, review the previous SQF audits in detail, it will give you an understanding in what the issues have been to date

 

We have had a very high staff turnover in the past, which created a nightmare for me, but have finally fallen into a good rhythm of reliable staff.

 

Managing USDA, FDA and SQF or BRC is a huge job, but I'm sure you can manage it, but you might be doing it kicking and screaming the whole way.

 

Do you know what the driving force behind SQF 2 is? 


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


Thanked by 1 Member:

GrumpyJimmy

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 123 posts
  • 28 thanks
3
Neutral

  • Wales
    Wales
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South West
  • Interests:IronMan Competitor & Film lover
    IFSQN Member of the Month July 2017 and chuffin proud!

Posted 24 April 2017 - 01:44 PM

Hello,

 I just recently changed positions to a new food processing plant. They make sandwiches so meat product, except tuna and chicken salad, comes in frozen. Some sandwiches are regulated by the USDA, some FDA. They hired me because they are trying to obtain SQF certification for level 2. The building is a mess. Stairs to food hoppers, over food contact, are rusted there is no real color coding, drains haven't been cleaned in years and are so clogged IDK if they ever will, the processing floor was once painted but is now chipped paint, they only hire temps (some temps have been there for years) and the turnover rate is no kidding at least 10 people a week so training isn't existant. I feel like if I flat out told them all of these things they would not believe me because they have been getting by this long. Can anyone help me towards some guidance? Won't the auditor have issues with these things? 

   There is a lot more going on then just this, but it seemed like a place to start here. Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Hi

 

Sounds like a difficult situation and am infact going through similar issues with regards to geting BRC where changing the mindset of a site to obtain the goal is an uphill battle. One thing i found quite useful was showing how much money could be saved by carrying out tasks needed for cerification on things like reducing staff turnover, reduced complaints, maintenance schedule and by the sounds of it a good plumber which if all are taken into cosideration should save money at the same time ticking off issues on the never ending problem list



Thanked by 1 Member:

SQFconsultant

    SQFconsultant

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,816 posts
  • 960 thanks
852
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:American Patriot
    WWG1WGA
    Never give up, never give in - always win!
    Martha's Vineyard Island, Massachusetts

Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:36 PM

We recently helped a facility to literally do a total transformation and it sounds like this is something similiar.

You might want to suggest to ownership thst they at least allow you to have a consultant come in to run an SQF consulting audit.

This will transfer the burden of informing thrm about what they will to do both operationally but also capital expense wise too.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday
 
 

itreatpets

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 73 posts
  • 13 thanks
4
Neutral

  • Canada
    Canada

Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:46 PM

I understand where you are coming from, this is what helped me.

 

I had our CB come in and do a pre-audit. While speaking with the CB during the audit, I asked that she present her findings to not only just myself but to request the presence of our General Manager and/or The owner.

 

She was great and realized why I was asking very quickly, gave me a wink and said no problem.

 

She did just as I asked and our GM was happy to join the presentation. When it was done he walked out with his mouth on the floor. 

 

Now this has not fixed or stopped all the push back I get, but it has helped. When I have a really difficult time getting management to agree with me, I just bring up the preaudit findings.

 

I hope this helps!



Thanked by 2 Members:

casc

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 10 posts
  • 1 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:48 AM

Perhaps, if you haven't already, review the previous SQF audits in detail, it will give you an understanding in what the issues have been to date

 

We have had a very high staff turnover in the past, which created a nightmare for me, but have finally fallen into a good rhythm of reliable staff.

 

Managing USDA, FDA and SQF or BRC is a huge job, but I'm sure you can manage it, but you might be doing it kicking and screaming the whole way.

 

Do you know what the driving force behind SQF 2 is?

 

They have never had an SQF audit they are trying to obtain certification. They are trying to obtain it for a contract with a customer. Thank you all for your help so far.



swmalone

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 24 posts
  • 5 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:35 PM

Hi kyk,

 

Sorry but I'm a little puzzled by yr OP.

 

I presume you meant "new" to you ?

 

I'm not in USA but i would expect the basic SQF GMP/safety requirements to be comparable to those of USDA/FDA ?.

 

Given yr descriptive comments, I have difficulty understanding how the  RTE production is currently accepted as OK by both FDA and USDA ?.

(This acceptance logically IMO supports the Management's belief that certification to SQF should be feasible).

  

It is a common occurrence in the USA that if a facility is processing under USDA, FDA, or a state department of Ag or Food that they feel they should have no trouble passing SQF or 3rd party audits.  I am working with a facility right now that had those thoughts.  The state gave them a certificate that they were GMP and then I found out they had no documented programs and the facility itself was a mess.  It is unfortunate that these organizations often give a false sense of security to food manufacturers.  Rant done.



Thanked by 1 Member:

BEACHTEC

    Grade - Active

  • Inactive User
  • 5 posts
  • 3 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 25 April 2017 - 04:15 PM

I am not sure what is driving your companies efforts to become SQF registered, but I don't care... I applaud it. At the end of the day you will be working for a safer, better organized, better managed company. The comments above are being kind; it is a challenge to get this done even in a plant that seems OK with a real GMP program in place. The GAP analysis is  DEFINITELY place to start for sure... and include a little money to get yourself one of those temps when you're drafting a budget, you will need it.

 

Also loved the comment about Management Commitment; if they are not ready to go all in, you're in a tough spot. If I had a dime for everyone that told me they would be SQF or BRC in 6 months... I'd be typing this from a beach somewhere :) From scratch, its a ton of work. Leadership always seems to underestimate the workload. Don't forget you need to have your system up and running for a few months to show that it is actually working... before your audit.

 

m



Thanked by 1 Member:

Chippy

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 46 posts
  • 3 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States

Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:07 PM

We had a friend in the industry recommend a consultant that we hired to do a GAP analysis. They will report back to the senior management and you the findings.

Then start step by step fixing the things that need it. Of course management will have to be on board. Are they on board with hiring a consultant to help with getting you set up?

Make sure that you train the Temps GMPs and have them sign a roster that they were trained. We go through a temp service but just when we are so busy we can't do it with our regular staff. Sometimes it means daily training...Can you mentor them off with someone that has been there awhile that can help with the training on the job?

Finally, don't stress over the big picture, try to take it in manageable bites. It didn't get that way in a day.. It took me just over a year to be able to be SQF auditable.



casc

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 10 posts
  • 1 thanks
1
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female

Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:21 PM

Thank you all for your responses and help. Even the vents! It feels so much better and possible to have a starting point that you provided and to know that it is attainable although I do not think in the time frame they are hoping for! 



swmalone

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 24 posts
  • 5 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Earth
    Earth

Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:22 PM

Thank you all for your responses and help. Even the vents! It feels so much better and possible to have a starting point that you provided and to know that it is attainable although I do not think in the time frame they are hoping for! 

 

 

You mentioned something that is very important.  Lots of times an organization thinks that they can go from no certifications to an SQF level 2 certification in a couple months.  If you can put together a GAP analysis and present a realistic time-frame based on their responses to the GAP analysis this may help get them on board.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users