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How to handle Dermal Piercings?

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:43 PM

We recently interviewed someone for an operator position at our facility, we would like to hire her the only problem is she has a dermal piercing on the side of her cheek.  I know the SQF code states that no jewelry of any kind is allowed out on the production floor.  However, given the risk assessment, dermal piercings are attached under the skin and can't be removed without surgery, so the risk of the piercing falling out into product is negligible.  I was wondering if any of you guys have had this situation pop up before, and what was your solution to it?  Or what would your advice be moving forward with this potential hire?  


p.s. We already thought about covering it up with a bandage but felt the bandage would pose a bigger threat to contaminating the product than the dermal piercing itself.



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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:57 PM

that's a tough call and i agree the bandage probably poses a much larger risk.


I think given the type of piercing, you should contact your CB or SQFI for a definitive answer. These kinds of piercings are not the norm, so an exception might be made. The risk I suppose would be the same as the nose piece falling off of glasses



The larger issue will be that you've started down a slippery slope and your other employees won't care why you made an exception, but that you did.........it could start a lot of problems for you day to day

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 10:21 PM



I agree with the advice that Scampi provided - (1) your certifying body will be better suited to guide you towards what should be done. Also, I would recommend that you look into the FDA's regulations regarding cGMPs because there may or may not already be something in there addressing piercings. My understanding is that piercings of any kind go against cGMPs however, from experience - you can usually explain your processes and justify the decision to let this go. But, Scampi does have a point about how this exception will reflect on the rest of your production crew. Again, from my experience - employees do not appreciate it when they feel as though someone is an exception, while they are not. 


Best of luck!



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Posted 29 June 2018 - 02:35 AM

These things are fun when pieces of them break off, the surface peels off, etc.


Will not be accepted by an Auditor.


Also as someone pointed out it becomes a slippery slope as other employees see this and then you'll have others that want to have their lips pierced with round wooden disks - oh, that was a fun day when I saw three of those. Could not figure out during an audit why I kept on hearing a clicking sound and then watched two employees smacking their wood disks!

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Glenn Oster.

Glenn Oster Consulting, LLC -

SQF System Development | Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:19 PM

prevent and eliminate contaminant to food in the process is the target, but you need simply hire source of contamination and ask for a solution

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