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Is it necessary for an outside contractor to check my calibration?

sqf calibration calibrate weight weights NIST

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#1 WayneFiorelli

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:38 PM

Hi all,

 

It has been a while since my original training on calibration and we are looking to start updating our processes at the old tea company.

 

For years, I have been purchasing new scales in lieu of having an official 3rd party come in to check the calibration.

This year, my team asked me if this was necessary. Do we need to repurchase the scales? Do we need have someone come in to officially check the calibration on our scales?

 

I looked through my handbook and couldn't find an answer.

 

So, the question is: Is it neccessary to have an outside contractor come in to check my calibration?



#2 rsuong

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:16 PM

Do your scales have a certificate of calibration that is up to date?

It is necessary to prove that the scales in your facility are calibrated and the proof would be an up to date certificate of calibration.

In my facility we pay a 3rd party to calibrate our scales annually and QA'S would verify its calibration daily.

I hope that helped.


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#3 Scampi

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 12:59 PM

Yes, scales must have an annual certificate of calibration. Alternatively you can perform it yourself if you purchase a set of certified weights....however, those still have a lifespan depending on how much volume your scaling, you may want them anyway for monthly checks

 

It won't be in your manual, but this is a federal requirement for legal weights and measures


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#4 WayneFiorelli

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 01:45 PM

Hi all, 

 

I appreciate the feedback.

 

It is just as I thought and I will get this done. July 5th is closer than we all think!



#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 02:54 PM

Buy the weights, tends to be cheaper in the long run IMO and lets you do better verifications anyway.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

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#6 Quality Is the Goal

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 07:59 PM

I used to work in a sausage company and we were calibrating the scales every day with certified weights, also outside company was calibrating the scales to ISO standards once a year (certificate and calibration records were issued). Also certified weight were send out for calibration every 2 years to verify the accuracy (certificate issued). USDA approved it, SQF Auditor had no questions. 



#7 EvanAUS

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 11:46 PM

It will depend on where you are - in Australia this is governed by Trade Weights and Measures regulations. The first requirement of all Food Safety Standards is that you must meet all regulations that apply to your industry.
Typically, annual external calibration is the minimum requirement. The frequency of internal calibration (using calibrated standard masses) is based on risk and customer requirements. For one retail customer in Aus this is required each 30 minutes.
The Auditor will use your test weights to calibrate your scales (5-point method) before weighing 12 consecutive units off your line.


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#8 redhotchillipeppers

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 12:47 AM

Buy the weights, tends to be cheaper in the long run IMO and lets you do better verifications anyway.

 

I used to work in a sausage company and we were calibrating the scales every day with certified weights, also outside company was calibrating the scales to ISO standards once a year (certificate and calibration records were issued). Also certified weight were send out for calibration every 2 years to verify the accuracy (certificate issued). USDA approved it, SQF Auditor had no questions. 

 

 

Hi FurFarmFork and Quality is the Goal,

 

Where did you buy your calibration kits? And you have an estimate as to how much it costed? Also, how big are your scales? We're dealing with 50lbs bags and such, so we have a large warehouse scale, we would need calibration kits for this.

 

thanks



#9 Charles.C

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 04:29 AM

Hi FurFarmFork and Quality is the Goal,

 

Where did you buy your calibration kits? And you have an estimate as to how much it costed? Also, how big are your scales? We're dealing with 50lbs bags and such, so we have a large warehouse scale, we would need calibration kits for this.

 

thanks

 

Offhand i would anticipate that quality  certified weights in the multi-kg range will be a substantial investment.

 

@ QITG

 

I didn't know that iso issued specific tolerances for scale / weight calibration purposes ?

Can you provide a link ?

 

@EvanAUS,

 

Amazing. I have never seen an auditor actually handle a balance for any purpose other than to view its calibration interval..


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 chrcia

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 12:02 PM

Do your scales have a certificate of calibration that is up to date?

It is necessary to prove that the scales in your facility are calibrated and the proof would be an up to date certificate of calibration.

In my facility we pay a 3rd party to calibrate our scales annually and QA'S would verify its calibration daily.

I hope that helped.


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we do the same we have a third party do quarterly scale inspections and I do a daily calibration of all of the active scales within the facility.



#11 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 02:19 PM

Offhand i would anticipate that quality  certified weights in the multi-kg range will be a substantial investment.

 

 

 

You'd be surprised, it depends on how accurate you need them to be.

 

E.g. USDA tends to be good with 2% variance in a lot of situations. For most weight sizes, class F1 weights will meet that criteria. Right now I can go on amazon and get 10Kg or higher traceble weights to that class for $100-500 depending on size. They're then good for 3 years (in my program) until they need to be re calibrated or replaced. That's however many professional scale calibrations in that time. Pretty affordable IMO and way more convenient and good for keeping the program up to date.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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