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Manufacturer or Distributor: Documentation Responsibilites


Best Answer Gerard H., 23 May 2018 - 08:08 AM

Dear Sean,

 

There are no rules about the party, which completes the questionnaire. I agree with FSQA that it's more practical and serious, that the manufacturer completes the document, as the product knowledge is concentrated there.

 

After that, specific questions for the distributor are to be completed by the distributor. You can't take this responsibility for them. So I would send them the questionnaire back with a notice, about the questions which were left open.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens

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#1 sddingman

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 04:05 PM

Hello everyone. I am new to IFSQN and food safety compliance. I hope I am posting my question in the right forum.

 

My company manufactures food grade minerals, along with regular technical grade mineral products (yes they are separate processes).  We manufacture, bag and then ship our food grade product, but we rely primarily on distributors for the sale, warehousing and final transport to customers.

 

Some of our distributors with send us vendor self assessment forms from their customers. It has always been our "habit" of filling out the forms and sending them back. But as we get deeper in to FSMA questions, it has occurred to us that several of the questions, if in some cases the whole questionnaire, should be managed by the distributor. After all they are the supplier of record and own the product prior to sale to end users. We obviously comply with all US law on food safety for manufacturing, and would happily provide all documentation to support their needs.

 

So my question is, are there rules that govern the responsibility of documentation of food safety in a manufacturer-distributor relationship (specifically in the US) or is there a resource available that would help us determine how to handle these situations?

 

 

Thank you.

Sean



#2 FSQA

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 04:49 PM

Hi sddingman,

 

Welcome to the forums and IFSQN,

 

In the past these Vendor questionnaire forms were usually filled by the distributors for their customer and at most part, the customer was fine with it.

However, after implementation of FSMA, it has given more responsibility to the supply chain (customer) to ensure and verify the hazards before the product is offered to the public.

 

In this case, ( i assume) the distributor is receiving a pre-packaged product from your company. Since you are the manufacturer/processor of the product before it goes into final packaging, your Hazard analysis, Preventive Controls and/or Pre-Requisite programs are the key for a safer product. As an end customer, if i am getting a product from a distributor, i would prefer the manufacturer to answer my questionnaire as it gives me some idea of the products that the original manufacturer have in place, for the product that i will be using for my end product.



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#3 Gerard H.

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 08:08 AM   Best Answer

Dear Sean,

 

There are no rules about the party, which completes the questionnaire. I agree with FSQA that it's more practical and serious, that the manufacturer completes the document, as the product knowledge is concentrated there.

 

After that, specific questions for the distributor are to be completed by the distributor. You can't take this responsibility for them. So I would send them the questionnaire back with a notice, about the questions which were left open.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



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