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FoodtechSA1

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 10:09 AM

Hi All, 

 

I work for a small company mainly repacking seeds, nuts, dried fruit, grains and we also have a few of our own blended products. 

The company is FSSC 222000 certified,  has a contracted pest control company and we have our own internal pest control policies and procedures. 

 

We keep on getting customer complaints of customers finding webs and worms in our products.  On an average i would say we receive 3  customer complaints of this nature per month out of 140 different lines we pack. My frustration is that i sometimes struggle to get to the root cause of such complaints  because when i receive the complaints we always don't have the batch in stock to check if there is any activity and we do not keep retention samples because of space constraints. 

 

I receive most of the complaint packs back from customers and i would find that they indeed contain the webs and worms. When i contact our suppliers the suppliers always give a brief response saying the contamination did not happen at their premises because they have checked their retention samples.  

 

anyone has better experience on how i would handle such complaints. 

 

thanks. 



Scampi

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 12:47 PM

You're concern shouldn't be handling the complaints, it should be on fixing the root cause. This is clearly a production/ raw material environment issue. 

 

A) identify the species of pest

 

B) Figure out how it's getting in

 

C) review saniation program including frequency and chemicals

 

D)  Empty warehouse and have PCO fog it 

 

E) test incoming materials for pests (samples to lab)

 

F) ask supplier to see evidence of the pest checks (photos, lab result)

 

G) ensure raw materials are irradiated (if allowed)

 

H) how is packaging stored and handled

 

You've glossed right over the fact that you have a repeating pest issue (gross) and are focusing on managing complaints................you will continue to have complaints until you're shut down if you don't sort this out (3/month *12=36 packages with bugs a year!!!!!!!!)

 

If you're tracking  you should be able to trace.......


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Setanta

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 02:01 PM

Yes, I agree with Scampi. You could have a big problem, either with your facility or a supplier. You will need to get samples, lot codes and try to find a commonality. You do not want this to get a higher profile.


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FoodtechSA1

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:49 AM

Thank you Scampi and Setanta. i am already working on it,



zanorias

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:25 AM

 

I receive most of the complaint packs back from customers and i would find that they indeed contain the webs and worms. When i contact our suppliers the suppliers always give a brief response saying the contamination did not happen at their premises because they have checked their retention samples.  

 

 

Roughly what percentage are affected? If, for example, 1 in every 10,000 packs has a worm, it's quite unlikely that your supplier (and yourself if you did have the stock) would find any worms/web by checking some of the stock, unless you're checking a vast amount of packs. Even then, you're less likely to see the FB than the customer who has opened and used the product. So personally I don't have confidence in the position of "the contamination did not happen here because we found none in our samples", especially if the issue is recurring. I agree with the above comments in that the emphasis should be on the process control and reducing the prevalence, and identifying a commonality could help. Web sounds like an origin FB to me rather than a contaminant on your end, but still worth taking all precautions. I would trend the data first to establish whether there are certain suppliers or lines that are identified.

 

I appreciate dealing with the complaints is frustrating, but losing customers or a visit from authorities will be more so.



Andy_Yellows

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:41 AM

Hi FoodtechSA1, I presume the raw material is checked closely by QC staff before being passed to production?

 

I am also guessing you have a form that is filled in upon receiving it describing the problem, possible root causes, corrective action taken and future preventative measures? If not that'd be something to look at.

 

In responding to your customers, I believe that the best approach is honesty with a serving of apology.

 

Be honest, inform them that you're aware of the problem and that it extends to more than just one customer. Show plenty of evidence that you're taking it seriously and that you've already put measures in place to try and mitigate further occurrences. Chuck some grovelling in there and you should be away. They will probably appreciate the honesty and have trust in your endeavors to put things right!

 

In the meantime, take on board the advice in post 2 and pray the problem is solved quickly!


Edited by Andy_Yellows, 31 May 2019 - 09:48 AM.

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Hank Major

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:26 PM

I would suspect almond moths a.k.a. tropical warehouse moths, Cadra cautella, given that the products are nuts and seeds. The ''worms'' are larvae, the ''webs'' are cocoons.



foodsafety4all

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 06:50 PM

As per above details and comments, I would suggest that check your packing quality of primary packaging first. Loose open packing might contaminate the nuts like products.
Check the freshness of the RM products. It shouldn't be very old. Check with your shelf life.
Check your rm storage conditions i.e. temperature and humidity
I would highly recommend the vacuum Packaging for the nuts and nuts like dry fruits.
Also ensure the products not lying too long in food chain before reaching the customer.
If possible slightly dry the products. High moisture content makes favourable conditions to grow insects.


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foodsafety4all

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 07:05 PM

As per above details and comments, I would suggest that check your packing quality of primary packaging first. Loose open packing might contaminate the nuts like products.
Check the freshness of the RM products. It shouldn't be very old. Check with your shelf life.
Check your rm storage conditions i.e. temperature and humidity
I would highly recommend the vacuum Packaging for the nuts and nuts like dry fruits.
Also ensure the products not lying too long in food chain before reaching the customer.
If possible slightly dry the products. High moisture content makes favourable conditions to grow insects.


Sent from my Redmi Note 6 Pro using Tapatalk

Also, one more piece of suggestions, keep the products counter sample at least one of them in the same packaging condition.
Do procure your rm materials in the harvesting seasons to have maximum shelf life and store them in control condition.
If your business is good volumes then one effective treatment can be done steam sterilisation. After that dry it. And seal in vacuum pack.
That's it. No more complain now.

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larissaj

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 03:55 PM

I would like to know about this. I just sent back a few cases of walnuts for finding webs inside of it. Only a few nuts in each box had the webs.






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