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Food Safety Plan - Archive & document control systems

document control SQF numbering

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#1 GL003


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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:00 AM



I am new to a company and which is currently certified under SQF 7.2 Food Safety Level 3. I am now responsible for maintaining documentation. The current system for document control is quite... unorthodox? The current system uses an annual document review process in which huge amounts of paper and time are essentially.... wasted. 


To understand the current system I will attempt to explain it.... 


For example, last years Food Safety Plan (2017) will be reviewed at the start of this year and each document/ appendix/ template will be archived physically and electronically into 2017 folders. The *NEW* 2018 Food Safety Plan will be a copy of the 2017 plan, however, the dates will be changed on the documents and the version number will become Version 1 2018. These documents will become version 1 even if they were version 3 or 4 in 2017. 

This process means that I will basically be re-printing huge amounts of documents for the sake of changing a date to the new year and "revising" the version number. As the year progresses, any changes to the documents will mean that the version is changed to version 2, 3 etc. However, come 2019, the new food safety plan will mean every document will be changed version 1 2019.....


We have a document control register which lists all changes to documents so tractability with this annual system is not an issue. This annual system also works well for archiving records physically.   


However, I would like to change the system to make it more... continuous. Can anyone make any suggestions to how to change the system to make sure that the document version is carried through year to year (I don't think that a document should be called Version 1 for 2018 if it was Version 3 in 2017). Is it necessary to archive each years Food Safety Plan if no changes are major changes have been made and documents are updated throughout the year anyway? 



Any suggestions would be appreciated! 

#2 SQFconsultant



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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:55 AM

First, get an electronic online system such as SQF Sentinel from www.focus-works.com.


You are required to do an annual review under SQF, that does however not mean duplicating everything and playing the game that the company seems to have been playing.


With that said you will need to make a number of changes on the present system as SQF 7.2 goes away in about 4 hours and SQF 8.0 begins.

Warm regards,


Glenn Oster


SQF Certification & Implementation Consultant

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