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What is a "Uniform Grade"?

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Diane Ampere

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 03:23 PM

Hello, 

 

I work at a small primary production factory and we have uniforms for the production staff. 

A customer asked us what 'grade' the uniforms are. 

I am new in the food safety role and I'm not sure how to answer this question or what grades there are in the first place regarding Uniforms.

 

I would appreciate any inputs you can provide.

 

Thanks, 

Diane



Lesley.Roberts

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 04:31 PM

Hi Diane

 

I have never had this question asked to me before with that wording - of course my response would be "food handler grade, compliant to BRC standard, they are  manufactured by a specialist & laundered according to specific requirements"  (by this I mean, no external buttons, external pockets above waist level and having audited the laundry I would know what the wash protocols are)

 

You don't say which country you're in or where the auditor was from - perhaps it is a requirement for that customer?.... maybe you could ask exactly what they mean by "grade" as this could just be their terminology?...



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Diane Ampere

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 05:12 PM

Hi Lesley, 

 

Thank you for your reply. 

 

The customer is asking if the uniforms adhere to food grade or "grade" as per US regulations.

 

However, I am yet to find any "food grade" uniform references or regulations related to US FDA GMPs about uniform policies.

 

Thanks, 

Diane



Charles.C

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:02 PM

Hi Lesley, 

 

Thank you for your reply. 

 

The customer is asking if the uniforms adhere to food grade or "grade" as per US regulations.

 

However, I am yet to find any "food grade" uniform references or regulations related to US FDA GMPs about uniform policies.

 

Thanks, 

Diane

 

A typical follow-up/riposte  IMEX  would be which Regulation ?

 

PS - one typical expectation, eg BRC, is that the uniform be microbiologically satisfactory after cleaning.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Lesley.Roberts

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:12 PM

Hi Lesley, 

 

Thank you for your reply. 

 

The customer is asking if the uniforms adhere to food grade or "grade" as per US regulations.

 

However, I am yet to find any "food grade" uniform references or regulations related to US FDA GMPs about uniform policies.

 

Thanks, 

Diane

 

Hi Diane - no problem - I asked our QM at the USA site if she had any further knowledge of USA specific requirements & she sent this link:

 

 https://www.cleanren...ccp-compliance/

 

She stated that you should know your laundry's protocols, wash temperature, detergents used etc.and to make sure you know what other customers they are servicing, so you can satisfy yourself that there is zero risk from allergens or pathogen cross contamination....so advise you ensure your laundry is fully approved & that you are happy with their standards. 

 

I do know one particular UK retailer that insists that you conduct an audit of your laundry service supplier - they don't believe a questionnaire is sufficient (however if you don't produce for retailers you probably wouldn't have to do this)



Lesley.Roberts

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:26 PM

A typical follow-up/riposte  IMEX  would be which Regulation ?

 

PS - one typical expectation, eg BRC, is that the uniform be microbiologically satisfactory after cleaning.

 

Charles - this is a very valid point!...  :giggle: 

 

5 years ago I was working as a consultant at a meat producer for the 'customer from hell' 

As the site was only 20 mins away from the customer she would "drop in" regularly after her working day to give us the benefit of her experience & was frequently still there at midnight....obviously we were so grateful for 18hr days this entailed.

 

After 3 weeks of being told we should be following "Food Industry standards" (which are multiple & diverse) we asked her to quote exactly which standard she was referring to.

 

The frequency & duration of her visits dropped off significantly after this conversation, we won the contract & were subsequently given an award from the customer for product quality.....



Charles.C

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:30 PM

Hi Lesley,

 

With due respect, the link states -

 

"Cleanliness that meets FDA, USDA, and HACCP standards"

 

That's it. ;)

 

PS - have seen micro. standards but not American.

 

PPS - as per yr nice story, I also anticipate this customer is BS-ing.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Charles.C

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 06:57 PM

also see this parallel thread -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...ms/#entry135180


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


CMHeywood

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 04:00 PM

The basic problem is that people are using "food grade" to refer to anything that goes into the food, touches the food, or comes within the vicinity of the food.  There are regulations, such as FDA and USDA, that deal with direct food additives, food contact (indirect additives), and work environment (machines, floors, walls, etc.).

 

As far as I know there is no U.S. regulation that deals with uniforms.  For HACCP or a HACCP based standard (such as GFSI food safety), the issue is whether the uniforms are suitable for the processing area:



CMHeywood

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 04:06 PM

As stated above by other members:

 

No buttons - prevent foreign material contamination.

No pockets above waist level - no foreign materials falling out of pockets and into machines or product.

No frayed or torn uniforms - foreign material contamination.

Clean - no chemical, physical or biological cross contamination.

 

So this would be part of your HACCP based food safety system applied to your uniforms.  But this would also be the same approach for any other risks.

 

There is no separate 3rd party organization or government agency that certifies uniforms as being "food grade".  You control the food safety risks of uniforms using the same principles you use to control other food safety risks.







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