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Requirement in SQF for ingredients to have food-grade liners?

packaging product-contact SQF contamination prevention ingredient

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#1 matthewcc

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:53 PM

Hello all,

 

Do you know of a requirement in SQF that ingredient must have a food-grade liner?  We had a supplier send us ingredient in a cardboard box with no inner liner.  It's dried plant material (whole flower).  They said it's so that the flower doesn't get moldy in a plastic bag.  More than 99% of our ingredients get shipped to us in food-grade packaging.

 

I would think SQF would have a requirement that an inner liner must be used, but I am just not familiar enough with the standard.  I can't seem to find where US FDA is requiring it either, although they would state that ingredients must be kept in a condition where they will not become contaminated or adulterated, and without a liner that goal is not achieved.

 

We manufacture dietary supplements in the United States following 21 CFR Parts 111, 117, and 121.

 

Thank you,

Matthew



#2 AC2018

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 02:40 PM

At a past job, we had our pecans come into us without a liner and I too questioned it. Fortunately, they said their corrugate is coated with a chemical which acts like a plastic bag so that it was protected. But they sent their product like this for the same reason, it would get moldy because of the moisture. 

 

Is the supplier you are getting the whole flower from audited against any food safety scheme? or by the FDA/department of agriculture? If so, maybe they can share some more information as to how they are allowed to ship it like that. 

 

Look at 2.3.2 Raw and Packaging Materials - 2.3.2.5 Verification of packaging materials. It doesn't specifically say that you need to use a liner but there needs to be some sort of verification that the packaging they are using is not contaminating the product. If they can't provide a COC or LOG then maybe they have done testing to prove it is safe for packaging. 


Edited by Allisonc2018, 14 November 2019 - 02:44 PM.


#3 matthewcc

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 12:10 AM

Thanks - I'll look those up.  They have SQF 2000, which I think might be outdated now, which would imply an expired food safety certification.

 

They also get it from the country of origin (COO) like that.  I suppose it's possible that the cardboard itself could contaminate the product.  That wasn't the bigger risk on my mind, however.  I was thinking more along the lines that the lack of a bag would put the product in conditions whereby it can become adulterated or contaminated.  Any tiny little hole would allow contaminants into the box and onto the product.  It's just not protected from contaminants and moisture in the journey from the COO to our dock.



#4 AC2018

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 01:09 PM

I see and that makes sense. It probably depends on what you are doing with the flower as well. Maybe there can be an extra inspection step for larger particles or foreign materials and it there is a kill step within your process that could help as well. But if not, I can see why this would be a concern and potentially the supplier can change the way they are packaging that product or look for a different supplier or product to replace it. 



#5 FoodSafetyPlanet

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 06:26 AM

Hi Matthew,

You’re buying dried flowers, presumably the moisture should be removed and mold wouldn’t be an issue so early on.

I recommend checking your spec, talking to your supplier about a loose liner, and running some shelf life tests to watch the YM counts.


Edited by FoodSafetyPlanet, 17 November 2019 - 06:28 AM.


#6 Timwoodbag

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 03:30 PM

If using a liner is going to create an issue then their food safety plan should specify not to use a liner.  However, I am sure there are other ways around it, like burlap or some kind of breathable material.  Like FoodSafetyPlanet said though if these are supposed to be dried there should be no mold risk liner or not.  

 

Always reminds me of trucks with open beds full of onions in those mesh bags driving down the highway, getting oily grimy road water splashed up on them from other cars.  I get that onions need to be peeled but still....there has to be a better way.



#7 CMHeywood

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 04:23 PM

Your supplier would have to prove that the cardboard box is "food-grade" = OK for food contact (no contamination, etc.).







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