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Quarantine of Raw Materials prior to QC release to production


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#1 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:56 PM

Hello everybody,

 

As far as SQF is concerned;

 

My current facility has a process for receipt of raw materials. Their process is to place everything in quarantine until testing verifies it is in conformance with the COA and suitable for use in production.

 

 

 

After the raw materials have been tested and found acceptable, A QC representative both physically places a green "approved" sticker on the material and ALSO enters the information in to the production data base.

 

My question is this,

 

Do we need to do both? If I can prove that the "electronic" quarantine and electronic release would 100% prohibit un-approved materials from being used in production, then isn't that enough? I just don't want to spend the extra man hours having someone locate the pallets of raw material in the warehouse to place a green sticker on the product if that control can be maintained electronically.

 

A physical green sticker could be lost, it could be on a case that is consumed with the remainder of the pallet returned to the warehouse.....etc..

An electronic release could be assigned to the PO.

 

Please submit your thoughts and experiences. 

 

Thank you!



#2 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:07 PM

No different than any other hold system, you can combine it with other inventory system controls or not. Heck, you don't necessarily need to even have a positive release for your raw materials provided you committed to dealing with negative results on products used in production (e.g. dispose/recall as necessary), catching problems earlier is a good business decision, but your only food safety priority is to ensure the materials were safe for use before they leave your site.

 

IMEX, the visible status "sticker" or pallet tag is more effective than the inventory location/status to make sure things don't get used prematurely, so I would actually support using the physical stickers over the transaction if you wanted to drop one or the other, but if you have a barcoding system or something else less fallable, then certainly if your system is effective (and you are confident you can prove it during an audit) then you can use whatever method you like.


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#3 Scampi

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:13 PM

I agree, the sticker/label/tag is a huge pain i'm sure, but it's the only REAL thing preventing employees in that department for using what has not been released. The assumption without your tag system is that everything is ok all of the time

 

The barcode system will work, provided the employees look at ALL the information on the scanner....again it comes down to visibility in the warehouse.

 

BUT from an auditing perspective, your electronic program should be enough provided you can prove it works on it's own 


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#4 Gerard H.

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:08 AM

Hello,

 

Indeed, it seems laborious to put an extra sticker on it, as it's already released in the system.

 

However, you need to set very clear rules about it (meaning: communicate what is obvious for the quality department) and maintain a good dialogue with the production department.

 

Furthermore the reverse of the situation is much more important. It's advisable that the raw materials which are non-conforming are physically blocked. Maybe not necessarily for your certification scheme, but it's a good practice.

 

I hope this gives you some more insights.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens

 

PS - There is always a reason why things are done in a certain way (green stickers). Before you sort it out, make sure it isn't a serious requirement from one of your customers. And if you sort the green stickers out, carry out a validation of the new process, so that everything is sufficiently reasoned.



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#5 matthewcc

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 04:18 PM

They're both necessary.  Electronically is necessary to prevent allocation of rejected or hold materials to batches.  Physically is necessary to communicate clear status to everyone who physically handles the product or ingredient.

 

It hasn't been mentioned yet, but clear status both electronically and physically will actually save you time; unclear status will cause confusion, delay, and possibly necessitate material reviews and dispositions.  Unclear status will cost you time in the long run.



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#6 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:41 PM

Citing the communication breakdown that I have witness happen from the office to the production floor, I will have to side with matthewcc on this one.

 

 

It isn't the conclusion I wanted my mind to accept, but logic compels me to accept this undesired explanation as to why they are both necessary. Crud.






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