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Responding to a foreign material complaint when no action is possible?


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#1 Gr8grain

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 11:55 PM

Received a foreign material complaint from a buyer. Unsure of how to approach this. We are a value adding grain facility. We basically clean the product and ship it raw in bulk containers for further processing.

We get official grades over all of our product before it is sent.
We are allowed a marginal amount of foreign material (agricultural debris). And this is listed with the grade and sent to the buyer before we ever ship it so they can review.

The complaint we received was over the "allowable foreign material"
It was a very small amount (2 pieces of debris less than an inch each over 200,000 lbs.)
We try to remove 100% of foreign material. But the tolerance is there for a reason.

I am unsure how to respond since there really isnt anything we can do extra.

Any tips or advice on how to go about this is appreciated.



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 02:10 AM

The complaint we received was over the "allowable foreign material"
It was a very small amount (2 pieces of debris less than an inch each over 200,000 lbs.)
We try to remove 100% of foreign material. But the tolerance is there for a reason.

I am unsure how to respond since there really isnt anything we can do extra.

 

-------------------

 

Please offer a clarifier on this - was the complaint "over" on the allowable foreign material or was the allowable foreign material exceeded?

 

Assuming the complaint has to do with being in excess of your stated allowance for foreign material I must assume you would of course have a protocol in place (written) as to what to do, if not - that's a bad.

 

Now, since you have an official grade issued and this was not caught - your first step is to get the product back intact and present to the grader and explain the process to the buyer or if within allowable and the buyer complained anyway, it's time to show the buyer your allowance document and under the terms of how they purchased subject to the allowance.


Edited by SQFconsultant, 30 July 2019 - 02:11 AM.

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#3 QAGB

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 01:22 PM

I'm trying to understand what you mean as well. You say you try to remove 100% of the foreign material. What is your allowable tolerance?

 

Are you saying the buyer found 2 pieces of debris over the allowable tolerance, or that the 2 pieces of debris were found in total over 200,000 lbs. of material? 



#4 Gr8grain

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 05:00 PM

Allowable amount is 0.20% of the entire shipment based on weight (so several pounds per shipment.)
The material found was not in excess over the allowable limit, just a few grams in weight over several shipments.

If it was excessive it would be an entirely different situation.



#5 QAGB

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 05:35 PM

 or if within allowable and the buyer complained anyway, it's time to show the buyer your allowance document and under the terms of how they purchased subject to the allowance.

 

 

Hi Gr8grain,

 

I understand now. It sounds like the buyer bought this product with the understanding that there is an allowable tolerance for foreign material, and they are still complaining anyway. You should refer to SQFconsultant's response above. This is the way to respond to the complaint. 

 

If you are aware of a document the buyer signed confirming they wanted that grade of product and understood the grading method at purchase, you should share that along with your general allowance document for different grades. 

 

The only legitimate complaint otherwise would be the type of foreign material found (if a food safety/general safety hazard) which wasn't addressed by your CCPs or CPs.



#6 moskito

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:35 AM

Hi,

 

seeing such specification in place my question is which statistical sampling plan is behind this numbers. How reliable such data are? Or vice versa: How to check this with incoming goods?

 

Rgds

moskito






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