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SQF mock recall with company secret recipes


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#1 MooneyQA

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 05:10 PM

Hi everyone.

 

I currently work for a family company that produces pasta sauces. During our last audit we had a non-conformity relating to our mock recall procedure. The auditor said we must have a log of weights for each ingredient going into each batch of product, as well as the ingredient suppler lot numbers. We have always kept track of the supplier lot number, but the auditor mentioned we specifically lost points due to not keeping track of certain ingredients weights going into the batch. For instance, we know the ingredient weights of 7/10 ingredients, but for the 3/10 ingredients we do not know the weights as the owners personally mixes the 'family secret seasoning'. To be clear, we know every ingredient going into the product and their lot numbers. There are just a few ingredients where the owner does not disclose the weights so he can keep his family-secret private.

 

This is an issue for our owners as they want their recipes to be kept a secret for personal reasons of their own. 

 

Does anyone have any idea how we can keep our owners secret recipe private, while also adhering to the SQF requirement?

 

Thanks



#2 lentilheather

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 05:33 PM

What section of the SQF Code did they cite as a reason for needing to document the ingredient weights?



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#3 t3hpr0phet

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 06:01 PM

Treat the seasoning as a single ingredient with its own in house lot number. Keep the same paperwork for that lot as you would for any other product but only involve the people trusted to know about it and keep the paperwork sequestered.  Then when you make your final product refer to the lot number used. If you ever get in a bind with a recall or something you can have the owners look up the weights of the ingredients in the seasoning lot 

 

You could even go so far as to have the owners set up another company that mixes the spice and "sells" it to your main company.  Then all you have to do is approve your sub company as a supplier and keep data on the spice lots that you "purchase".  A little disingenuous, and probably not worth the hassle though...



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#4 Scampi

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 06:11 PM

Have the owner pre-portion the spice blend, he can manage the lot numbers of the spices and attached "new" lot numbers to the blend

 

Alternativly----why doesn't he have a company prepare the blend for him.........then they can sign a confidentiality agreement and you receive the pre-blended secret spice?


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#5 SQFconsultant

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 08:52 PM

Simple solution - no need to make this complex...

 

Whatever the ingredients are - make each one a private code number and go from there.

 

2 Pounds - Secret Recipe Spice Code 1

1 Pound - Secret Recipe Spice Code 3

 

etc.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/3PL

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#6 Ken Bookmyer

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 05:00 PM

Or you could list the weights of the "secret ingredients" above what they actually use. If for example it's 1.2 # cumin and 3# oregano list both as 5# Then have the owners put in what they use and throw the rest directly into the trash (you can't keep them or it will screw up inventory. As long as the total weights in and out match the auditor has no issue the reconciliation works. 

It's expensive, but nobody but the owners know how much goes in and how much down the drain. 

ken



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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 07:48 AM

Surely SQF Inc. must have encountered this problem many, many times so that a suitable, non-destructive, auditor-acceptable, work-around would have been (internally) selected by now ??


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 Ken Bookmyer

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 11:32 AM

Charles, I would agree that there should be some collection of SQF rulings on various questions like this one, but if it exists I can't find it. There is a "general guidance" document but it is truly general. I asked my last auditor how I appeal his decision and he said I could ask SQF. I did, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a reply since I honestly don't expect one. 

ken



#9 sqflady

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 12:40 PM

I think maybe the point the auditor was trying to make was to make sure all product is accounted for.  You need to know how much of each ingredient was used and where so you can trace 100% of that ingredient.



#10 Ken Bookmyer

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 01:26 PM

Oh I agree the auditor is just trying to make sure that all of the ingredients are accounted for. On the other hand though the company has the right to protect their formula. Some of the other schemes like having part of it blended somewhere else may work. My suggestion will work, but it's expensive because they will literally have to throw away perfectly good ingredients. Just depends on how much they want to protect their "secret" recipe. I can only say that if your auditor has the information that the federal government has access to it and while it should be protected from a freedom of information request I would not rely on that. 

ken






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