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Food Safety Manual vs Food Safety Mangement System

SQF manual

Best Answer , 29 May 2019 - 12:28 PM

This is a big help.  Much appreciated!


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BB123

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 04:06 PM

Hello,

 

I read now that SQF Edition 8 no longer refers to a "Food Safety Manual shall be documented and maintained" but rather a "Food Safety Management System" shall be documented and maintained.    The current IFSQN implementation package for SQF Edition 8 still references a "manual" at times in its guidance.   

 

Am I correct to understand that with Edition 8 they are encompassing all SQF documentation and no longer require a separate manual with selected bits of information? 

 

To be honest I was always confused with what information needed to be documented in the "manual" and what was saved elsewhere. 

 

 Thanks for the help!

 

 

 

 



LiaBryant1

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:46 PM

Hello,

 

I read now that SQF Edition 8 no longer refers to a "Food Safety Manual shall be documented and maintained" but rather a "Food Safety Management System" shall be documented and maintained.    The current IFSQN implementation package for SQF Edition 8 still references a "manual" at times in its guidance.   

 

Am I correct to understand that with Edition 8 they are encompassing all SQF documentation and no longer require a separate manual with selected bits of information? 

 

To be honest I was always confused with what information needed to be documented in the "manual" and what was saved elsewhere. 

 

 Thanks for the help!

 

You are correct, I believe, in a technical way. However, we have found it a best practice to have a separate manual that summarizes our food safety policies because:

  1. Many customers request a copy of our food safety manual
  2. It has to be available to relevant staff to review and we feel that it is easier to read a summary that guides them to the specific documents/records they need to use
  3. Our auditor felt that it made the desk audit a little simpler, since it referenced all applicable documents/records

In our food safety manual, we recap the major portions of module 2. These are the headings to each section:

2.1 Management Commitment

2.2 Document Control & Records

2.3 Specification & Product Development

2.4 Food Safety System

2.5 SQF System Validation/Verification

2.6 Product Identification, Trace, Withdrawal, & Recall

2.7 Food Defense Plan

2.8 Allergen Management

2.9 Training

 

Under each heading is one paragraph per sub-topic, with document reference numbers at the end of each paragraph. Our document is currently sitting at 15 pages.

 

This is the document I update last after our annual SQF document review so I make sure that the latest version/language is reflected. Typically, even though program elements may change, the summaries do not; however, we will update this document immediately if there are any significant changes.

 

Hope that helps!



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Tony-C

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 04:23 AM

Hi BB123,

 

:welcome:

 

Welcome to the IFSQN forums.

 

I personally wouldn't get hung up on whether you want to call something a 'manual' or the 'food safety management system' as long as your system covers the requirements of the SQF Code as stated in 2.2.1 below*. I personally like to segregate where I might have a food safety manual containing the main food safety system documents, a good manufacturing practice manual and a HACCP manual containing food safety plans. There may also be work instructions/standard operating procedures in a separate manual or even by department.

 

From the SQF Code and Guidance:

 

SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing Edition 8

2.2.1 Food Safety Management System (Mandatory)

2.2.1.1 A food safety management system shall be documented and maintained in either electronic and/or hard copy form. It shall outline the methods the organization will use to meet the requirements of the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing, be made available to relevant staff and include:

*i. A summary of the organization’s food safety policies and the methods it will apply to meet the requirements of this standard;

*ii. The food safety policy statement and organization chart;

*iii. The scope of certification;

*iv. A list of the products covered under the scope of certification;

*v. Food safety procedures, pre-requisite programs, food safety plans; and

*vi. Other documentation necessary to support the development and the implementation, maintenance and control of the SQF System.

 

Guidance for Developing, Documenting, Implementing, Maintaining and Auditing an SQF Food Safety System for Manufacturing SQF Code, Edition 8–SQF System Elements for Manufacturing

2.2.1 Implementation Guidance

What does it mean?

In general, food safety management systems involve “saying what you do,” e.g., documenting policies, specifications, procedures, HACCP plans and work instructions that agree with the standard (in this case, the SQF Code), and “doing what you say,” e.g., operating based on those documented policies and procedures. This is reflected throughout the SQF Code in the use of the terms “documented and implemented.”

In the SQF Code the food safety manual is the documented system (“saying what you do”) that must be implemented (“doing what you say”).

The food safety manual must be practical, usable, and available to all employees with a responsibility for food safety. It can be stored electronically or in hard copy, and the currency and security of the manual must be controlled (refer to 2.2.1). The form and structure of the manual is determined entirely by the supplier. It must be in a language and a form that is understood by all relevant employees.

 

What do I have to do?

This element is mandatory. The supplier must prepare a food safety manual that documents the policies, procedures, pre-requisite programs, Food Safety Plan(s), specifications and work instructions necessary to support the development, implementation, maintenance and control of the SQF System.

The manual will include the company policy statement and an organizational chart. It will include the HACCP Food Safety Plan(s) (refer to 2.4.3) for all products included in the supplier’s scope of certification.

There is no prescribed format for how the manual (s) is/are to be constructed. Format is determined by the supplier. It can be divided into a policy manual, food safety manual manual, or combined into one manual. It can be integrated with other operational procedures, or housed in a separate SQF manual - the choice depends on what best suits the supplier’s business.

The main criteria are to ensure that the manual conforms to the requirements of the SQF Code that are relevant for that industry sector and site, and that it is readily useable by the staff located at the site. It therefore is to be brief and concise and be available in a form and language that meets the access needs, language and literacy levels of the operating staff.

 

2.2.1 Auditing Guidance

The food safety manual shall be thoroughly audited as part of the initial desk audit. Any non-conformances raised at the desk audit must be corrected before proceeding with the initial site audit. The content of the manual shall be reviewed and verified, but not the format.

Thereafter at subsequent recertification audits, the desk audit is blended with the site audit. The auditor shall review changes and conduct checks of the documentation, including specifications or procedures that may impact on food safety. The content of Food Safety Plans shall be reviewed at every audit.

The auditor will seek evidence of compliance to this requirement by reviewing documentation. Evidence may include:

- The manual includes the company policy statement (refer to 2.1.1) and organizational structure and job descriptions (refer to 2.1.2)

- The manual includes a summary of the supplier’s food safety policies, and covers all relevant elements of the SQF Code.

- The manual includes procedures and/or work instructions for all pre-requisite programs included within the supplier’s scope of certification.

- The manual includes specifications for all products included within the supplier’s scope of certification.

- The manual includes the HACCP Food Safety Plan(s) for all products included in the supplier’s scope of

certification.

- The manual is current, concise, available, and usable by employees within the supplier’s site.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



BB123

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 12:28 PM   Best Answer

This is a big help.  Much appreciated!






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