I am trying to revamp our Foreign Material program to be more specific in how we handle foreign material events. Specifically corrective actions. It's pretty obvious when you find foreign material in the product you throw it out, put stuff on hold from the last good check if needed, and find the source to stop the bleeding. Where I get stuck and have struggled with in my past experiences has been when you're in sanitation and during a routine PM or after you remove a piece of equipment, oops! you find it's missing a piece. What is the best practice performing a risk assessment. Me (being QA) immediately send myself into a frenzy running around in circles saying "put everything on hold!!" (I'm only half way kidding). I've also seen my upper management throw their hands in the air and say, how are we supposed to know when it came off, the last time we looked at it was a year ago?!
My goal is to be able to construct an action plan when these types of events present themselves to remove emotional freak outs and the unknowns out of the equation and look at it from a risk and probability assessment. My problem is I've never been part of an effective assessment and reading about them only half way helps me because I always get caught up in the side questions. I found a really cool form here in a related chain (attached) as I was digging for information, but it reads like it's only when found inside the product. Am I looking at this wrong? What if you're not entirely sure it's in the food? Or when it happened? Or what if the material you found were shavings (metal/plastic/paper/whatever).
I tend to be overly cautious, which is not good either when you're trying to get Production to buy in. I need to find a way to make it a solid, factual, practical conversation. Having an outline or guide would be SO helpful to make sure we're coming up with the right decision. So there's my next question, how do you hold those conversations? You collect the information and facts in the moment, make sure you have any effected product contained, and start your risk assessment? I make sure I have my upper management involved or at minimum in the know and have my maintenance manager/supervisor, production supervisors, and QA with me. I have had heated arguments trying to get my point across that if we don't know when it happened we need to establish a conservative time frame based on our facts and not assumptions. Am I out of line, being too conservative, or being too impractical?
I super love coming into these forums for advice. You all are so awesome!