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Meaning and Implications of "Mandatory" Elements in SQF 8


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cdavis3355

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 09:48 PM

Hello all! I wondering if anyone can help me gain some clarity on the updated elements in Edition 8 of the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacture of Food Packaging. There are numerous elements therein which state they are "mandatory" while others are not. Does this mean or can this be interpreted as if these elements are missing then an auditor would deem them as major findings? What exactly does this mean? 

 

  



tezza07

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 01:53 PM

It means they cannot proceed with the audit if those elements are missing, so it's an automatic fail. These elements must be addressed as required, you cannot list "exempt" or "not applicable". As per the preamble in the code: "Mandatory elements (refer to Part A, 2.9 above) must be reported for the SQF food safety audit report to be submitted."

 

If you are preparing for your first ever SQF audit I would highly recommend bringing in a consultant to review your program and carry out a pre-assessment. We did that and it pointed out a lot of things that we had thought we were prepared for but in actual fact were not. Worth every penny.



SQFconsultant

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 03:02 PM

Mandatory means there is no go-around on  those items. Not having mandatory items in place can be show stopper leading to a failure on your first audit.


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cdavis3355

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 03:42 PM

tezza07, I have personally been through 4 audits. However, I have been tasked with making some improvements to our system within the context of the code. I have not been able to find anything clear on what the definition means, as it could interpreted in such a way that if we do not have the "non-mandatory" elements in pace then we would be fine. 

SQF Consultant Glenn, I do understand what the "mandatory" elements involved, I am concerned with the "non-mandatory" elements, as it may help to streamline our internal auditing process. 



Scampi

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 08:09 PM

Non mandatory items cannot just be ignored. Generally speaking, you need just cause AND a written exemption approval from the CB for non mandatory items


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Peak

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:04 PM

I agree with Scampi.  In addition to the CB approval (Which needs to happen BEFORE the audit and not during the audit) I recommend a risk assessment to provide evidence as to why there is little risk with not complying with the non mandatory requirement.


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