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wayne1978

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 07:58 AM

I kindly request people's view.

I have started at a cake factory that produce a wide range of cakes, tray bakes.

Majority of products contain allergens (egg, flour,milk,  soya etc)

The factory is small with cakes made by hand and prep tables in close proximity to each other.

We try segregate allergens as much as possible, storing them separately and using different scoops etc.

 

We declare on the label may contain allergens not present in the ingredients.

 

But with mixing and prep areas being so close to each other the current procedure is to wear different colour PPE when handling allergens

 

I am trying to get my head around why one line wears normal ppe while they are handling allergens like flour and milk, yet another line a few feet away are handling egg, walnuts, milk and flour for example wear red ppe.

 

Considering the size of the site and the close proximity of prep, traying up areas are we just being over the top showing staff are handling allergens of specific type when overall the factory handles these allergens and although we have clean down procedures with apron and glove changes between recipe changes that coloured PPE is just a waste of money and time?

 

Would it not be more prudent to put in place that PPE must change between recipe rather than have different colour PPE wondering around the factory spreading the different allergen around the place?

 

The policy currently states that staff handling allergens must wear red PPE if handling allergens, looking at the factory this means all staff should wear red ppe all the time, it does not stipulate what allergens they need to wear red ppe.

 

apologies if this sounds confusing, but it has thrown me as it is so damn confusing the way the policy is written.



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Posted 19 September 2019 - 08:49 AM

Dear Wayne,

Purpose of different coloured PPEs may be to avoid cross contamination of allergens. Ex; Milk products with soya or vise versa. 

Though your label says "may contain allergen" statement, in my view its better to continue using different coloured PPEs.

 

Mahantesh



wayne1978

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:29 AM

Dear Wayne,

Purpose of different coloured PPEs may be to avoid cross contamination of allergens. Ex; Milk products with soya or vise versa. 

Though your label says "may contain allergen" statement, in my view its better to continue using different coloured PPEs.

 

Mahantesh

thanks for your reply.

Let me put it like this

prep weigh up in advance each ingredient into lots, for one recipe they will weigh up all the non allergens first then weigh up the allergens by changing their PPE, but those ingredients will move down the line where all those ingredients will be mixed together for that product.  It just seems a waste of PPE when the ingredients will be combined at mixing.



QAGB

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 01:35 PM

I kindly request people's view.

I have started at a cake factory that produce a wide range of cakes, tray bakes.

Majority of products contain allergens (egg, flour,milk,  soya etc)

The factory is small with cakes made by hand and prep tables in close proximity to each other.

We try segregate allergens as much as possible, storing them separately and using different scoops etc.

 

We declare on the label may contain allergens not present in the ingredients.

 

But with mixing and prep areas being so close to each other the current procedure is to wear different colour PPE when handling allergens

 

I am trying to get my head around why one line wears normal ppe while they are handling allergens like flour and milk, yet another line a few feet away are handling egg, walnuts, milk and flour for example wear red ppe.

 

Considering the size of the site and the close proximity of prep, traying up areas are we just being over the top showing staff are handling allergens of specific type when overall the factory handles these allergens and although we have clean down procedures with apron and glove changes between recipe changes that coloured PPE is just a waste of money and time?

 

Would it not be more prudent to put in place that PPE must change between recipe rather than have different colour PPE wondering around the factory spreading the different allergen around the place?

 

The policy currently states that staff handling allergens must wear red PPE if handling allergens, looking at the factory this means all staff should wear red ppe all the time, it does not stipulate what allergens they need to wear red ppe.

 

apologies if this sounds confusing, but it has thrown me as it is so damn confusing the way the policy is written.

 

Honestly, I'm a little confused myself. I feel like this a process that I would need to see visually to really understand it, but I'll take a stab at this one.

 

My comments are as follows:

 

  • Consider the possibility of prepping "premixes" in an area that isn't right next to the line
    • If you have ingredients that go into all or most of your products, can you have a team prep bulk premixes for stock (in a separate area)...instead of having people prepping several different allergens within feet of each other. Then the lines can pull the stock pre-mixes as they need them and mix them into the final formula.
  • I like the different colored PPE for each line. However, I am concerned about the proximity of your different allergen containing production areas being that close to each other. The differently colored PPE tells you that someone is somewhere they should not be, pretty quickly.
    • It does sound like you need to change your allergen policy - wearing "red PPE" for allergens in your facility isn't enough. You might consider AT LEAST using red PPE for employees working with nut ingredients (being the most severe), another PPE color for milk, soy, wheat, egg allergens, and another color for non-allergens. You might want to break it down further if you can find different PPE of colors you need. That's really up to you, but I know I'd want to break it down to at least 3 different PPE colors so I could see who was handling allergens of increasing severity, and to see who is handling non-allergens. 


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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:33 PM

Hi wayne,

 

I'm curious, are you responsible for Quality Control ?

 

If not, does it exist since most of yr queries would typically (hopefully) be answerable from within such a Group ?.

 

Is there a documented Allergen Management program ? (other than the "Policy" you quoted)

 

 

As per previous post, the relevance of colors (if any) depends on yr actual lines / product scheduling procedure (if any) /cleaning methods.

 

We declare on the label may contain allergens not present in the ingredients.

 

I guess it depends on what the label actually states but, from a customer's POV, I hope this is not the main declaration


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


wayne1978

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:09 PM

 

Honestly, I'm a little confused myself. I feel like this a process that I would need to see visually to really understand it, but I'll take a stab at this one.

 

My comments are as follows:

 

  • Consider the possibility of prepping "premixes" in an area that isn't right next to the line
    • If you have ingredients that go into all or most of your products, can you have a team prep bulk premixes for stock (in a separate area)...instead of having people prepping several different allergens within feet of each other. Then the lines can pull the stock pre-mixes as they need them and mix them into the final formula.
  • I like the different colored PPE for each line. However, I am concerned about the proximity of your different allergen containing production areas being that close to each other. The differently colored PPE tells you that someone is somewhere they should not be, pretty quickly.
    • It does sound like you need to change your allergen policy - wearing "red PPE" for allergens in your facility isn't enough. You might consider AT LEAST using red PPE for employees working with nut ingredients (being the most severe), another PPE color for milk, soy, wheat, egg allergens, and another color for non-allergens. You might want to break it down further if you can find different PPE of colors you need. That's really up to you, but I know I'd want to break it down to at least 3 different PPE colors so I could see who was handling allergens of increasing severity, and to see who is handling non-allergens. 

 

thanks for trying to understand

I will try explain the step as I have been here two weeks and the process is cramped and confusing

Stock is brought in to the prep room from the warehouse, allergens are segregated into areas.

prep staff will weigh out the relevant ingredients into the recipe (they apparently change PPE when they weigh out a allergen)

The ingredients for the recipe will then be put into bays awaiting the bakers who will then reweigh into smaller batches

IF staff on one line are handling a different allergen to the other line they wear red PPE

product is then baked off in the same ovens

product is then stored in the same chiller awaiting finishing

Finishing will then pull stock and finish the product, as yet I have not seen them wear different PPE.

 

I am trying to get my head around it.

 

By all means if you want to see the operation and want free cake and based in the UK based in the South west do PM me 



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QAGB

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:59 PM

thanks for trying to understand

I will try explain the step as I have been here two weeks and the process is cramped and confusing

Stock is brought in to the prep room from the warehouse, allergens are segregated into areas.

prep staff will weigh out the relevant ingredients into the recipe (they apparently change PPE when they weigh out a allergen)

The ingredients for the recipe will then be put into bays awaiting the bakers who will then reweigh into smaller batches

IF staff on one line are handling a different allergen to the other line they wear red PPE

product is then baked off in the same ovens

product is then stored in the same chiller awaiting finishing

Finishing will then pull stock and finish the product, as yet I have not seen them wear different PPE.

 

I am trying to get my head around it.

 

By all means if you want to see the operation and want free cake and based in the UK based in the South west do PM me 

 

 

As much as I like free cake, I'm not in the UK so unfortunately I can't see your operation. Thank you for the invite though!

 

This is convoluted process it seems. We had some allergens in my facility, but the difference is that the person prepping ingredients pretty much grabbed only as much of the ingredients as needed for the day's run, so there wasn't a need for changing PPE during handling (except gloves), because everything was going into that product. We also tried to make our formulas and batch sizes make sense for the raw ingredient size as much as possible - so we didn't have many partial bags or containers of ingredients remaining once ingredients were prepped.

 

The other way I could see doing this is having one employee prepping all ingredients per allergen type (one for soy, one for egg, etc.), so they don't have to go switching between ingredients. Not sure if that is even feasible for you. Then they can hand off the ingredients to the bakers for them to pull for smaller batching.

 

I don't quite understand what you mean by staff handling a different allergen to the other line wearing red PPE. If they are both running allergens, how do you discern which line actually wears the red PPE? I would suggest you re-think your PPE policy similar to what I mentioned earlier.

 

Your process I feel needs revamping entirely, if your goal is to make your allergen control program better (ACP) and prevent cross-contamination.

 

I just need to understand your goal. Is it the above? Or do you plan to keep using the disclaimer on your labeling (I hope it has more detail than what you provided to us)?



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Posted 19 September 2019 - 04:38 PM

Send me a ticket, I'll go anywhere for free cake! :)


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wayne1978

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 07:29 PM

As much as I like free cake, I'm not in the UK so unfortunately I can't see your operation. Thank you for the invite though!

 

This is convoluted process it seems. We had some allergens in my facility, but the difference is that the person prepping ingredients pretty much grabbed only as much of the ingredients as needed for the day's run, so there wasn't a need for changing PPE during handling (except gloves), because everything was going into that product. We also tried to make our formulas and batch sizes make sense for the raw ingredient size as much as possible - so we didn't have many partial bags or containers of ingredients remaining once ingredients were prepped.

 

The other way I could see doing this is having one employee prepping all ingredients per allergen type (one for soy, one for egg, etc.), so they don't have to go switching between ingredients. Not sure if that is even feasible for you. Then they can hand off the ingredients to the bakers for them to pull for smaller batching.

 

I don't quite understand what you mean by staff handling a different allergen to the other line wearing red PPE. If they are both running allergens, how do you discern which line actually wears the red PPE? I would suggest you re-think your PPE policy similar to what I mentioned earlier.

 

Your process I feel needs revamping entirely, if your goal is to make your allergen control program better (ACP) and prevent cross-contamination.

 

I just need to understand your goal. Is it the above? Or do you plan to keep using the disclaimer on your labeling (I hope it has more detail than what you provided to us)?

I agree it need revamping and what you have suggested by one person pulling the recipe and then sending it to the bakers should work eliminating the confusing system,  but i need to sort out the mess of the weighing up at the same time with all stock being weighed out then batch codes written on every single container again, the system my predecessor set up is seriously flawed and time consuming.

OF course the labels are clear, they state the ingredients with allergens in bold and declare that this product may also contain.... whatever allergen is not present in the recipe but is handled within the factory.



QAGB

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 08:18 PM

I agree it need revamping and what you have suggested by one person pulling the recipe and then sending it to the bakers should work eliminating the confusing system,  but i need to sort out the mess of the weighing up at the same time with all stock being weighed out then batch codes written on every single container again, the system my predecessor set up is seriously flawed and time consuming.

OF course the labels are clear, they state the ingredients with allergens in bold and declare that this product may also contain.... whatever allergen is not present in the recipe but is handled within the factory.

 

 

My thought on this is you don't want to rely on your allergen labeling claims, because there still could be legal implications if someone gets sick. Therefore, it's revamp time.

 

Your situation is going to be a challenge, because I am seeing a revamp all the way through the process. For allergens, you either have time or physical segregation. 

 

Therefore, your processing areas would either need to be physically segregated by allergen type (including your ovens), or you would need to do time segregation (including your ovens). I think in your case, it might be more feasible to do time segregation because you state your prep/process areas are very close together. You'd have to run only products with the same allergens at the same time. You'd also have to conduct special care sanitation/testing/swabbing when your allergens change. You can find out more information on how to conduct production plans for allergen changeovers on the forums. If you have questions on that, we can discuss further.

 

In order for your ACP to be meaningful, you'd need to commit to one of these above. You can use the best PPE, and the most awesome color coded scoops.  None of those things matter if you have employees prepping different allergen containing products right next to each other (especially with airborne powders going everywhere). 

 

Therefore, it's probably best you start there. If you can get your process controls in place first, then we can talk more about the PPE and so forth.

 

As far as your batch codes being written on every single container, I'm not sure of a good way to get around it. We always did that where I worked, and as much of pain as it was, we did it because we needed to. Maybe some other posters know of a better way to do that when batching out subsets of ingredients.






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