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How much detail is required in Flow Charts?

Flowchart Flow Diagram

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#1 jfox1

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 01:03 PM

So just an opinion question here. How much detail is enough and how much is too much in your flow charts? Here at our facility there are MANY "legs" or "elevators" and conveyors that allow us to go into many tanks and bins. I understand analyzing the hazard for each step but I am wondering if anyone else out there has this issue where a rather simple process could turn into a diagram/hazard analysis time suck. 

 

If I took out all of the elevators and conveyors it would all fit on 1 page, but with them it goes into 3 pages! 

 

Thanks in advance! 



#2 Scampi

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 01:14 PM

The issue with removing those items is that you cannot see where cross contamination may occur thus rendering your hazard analysis incomplete. At my PP, flow diagram was 8 pages, a complex process will have a complex flow chart

Also, many tanks and bins means many opportunities for error in process

 

 

 

I have also experienced in the past where the health and safety department also used the same flow chart for their purposes...


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#3 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 02:26 PM

To Scampi's note, if a process step poses a unique threat, then it should be there.

 

To simplify, if you determine that pipe conveyance or storage in tanks all pose the same hazard threats every time they show up in your flowchart, you can reference the same hazard analysis every time they show up, but they should probably still be on your flowchart. E.g. in my bottled water process I have an "open container transport" and "closed container transport" hazard analysis that is referenced several times throughout the flows.


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 03:44 AM

Do FDA anywhere specify what detail is required ?

 

A traditional haccp analysis only requires a basic flowchart but FS standards have all added their own (sometimes overlapping) extras such as CPs etc etc


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 02:55 PM

The purpose of a process flow diagram is to provide a clear, simple description of the steps involved in the processing of your food product and its associated ingredients as they “flow” from receipt to distribution. The process flow diagram should cover all steps in the process that the facility performs, including receiving and storage steps for each raw material or other ingredient, preparation, processing, packaging, storage and distribution of the product. Additionally the process flow diagram should identify the equipment (e.g., pumps, surge tanks, hoppers, fillers) used in the operations. An accurate process flow diagram serves as a useful organizational format for elements of the food safety plan, because it identifies each of the steps that must be evaluated in the hazard analysis. You should verify the process flow diagram onsite in order to ensure no steps have been overlooked. The purpose of a detailed process description is to explain what happens at each of the process steps. Information such as the maximum length of time a food is exposed to ambient temperature during processing, whether a food is handled manually, and whether rework is incorporated into product can be important for an accurate hazard analysis.

 

 

Source: https://www.fda.gov/...A/UCM517394.pdf

 

Suddenly my own flows feel inadequate...


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 05:57 PM

Hi 3F,

 

Thanks.

 

The purpose of a process flow diagram is to provide a clear, simple description of the steps involved in the processing of your food product and its associated ingredients as they “flow” from receipt to distribution.

 

Precisely.

 

Most of the rest IMO is babble, except the rework/verify.

 

The process details used to be added as a separate feature in traditional haccp plans as a "SOP"


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#7 mgourley

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 08:39 PM

Do FDA anywhere specify what detail is required ?

 

A traditional haccp analysis only requires a basic flowchart but FS standards have all added their own (sometimes overlapping) extras such as CPs etc etc

 

FFF posted what they think a flow chart is.

 

Interestingly enough, they are NOT a required item in Food Safety Plans under FSMA.

They recommend that you use one, but it's not a legislative requirement.

 

Marshall



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#8 mgourley

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 08:47 PM

Probably not terribly helpful to the OP, but just figured I'd share.

 

Marshall

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