Hi all. I need to know what others would do if in the position I'm in today. The company I work for has two critical control points, one of which is a validated salmonella thermal kill step for popcorn popping. Our critical limit is 435 °F and our operational limit is 440 °F. The equipment is always set to 440 °F and the equipment's thermometer always reads 440 °F once it heats up from idle/non-operational temperature. Our Food Safety Plan requires the temperature is monitored and recorded every 30 minutes.
Production begins roughly 3 hours before I arrive to work at 9 AM, and by the time I arrived yesterday, the operator of the popcorn popping equipment had already completed the day's run of popcorn for further use in our product however did not have any printed forms to record his temperature checks, so he simply didn't complete them. So now I have an entire day's worth of popcorn which was produced with no monitoring recorded.
The operator stated he still continued to monitor the temperature throughout the run, he just couldn't record it because he didn't have the sheet. However, this is still a deviation as no temperatures were recorded or submitted to me for verification.
Now all the product made yesterday is sitting on hold and the owners of the company are very annoyed at this because in their mind, the checks still occurred, they just weren't recorded, so why hold the product? One of the owners even printed out a new sheet and had the employee fill it out after the checks had all been completed.
I still have the product on hold given the nature of this CCP. I know the product was popped at the right temperature - we just don't have the records to prove it. What do we do in a situation like this? What would other Quality Managers do in this situation?