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Approved Supplier Program - You Just Gotta Laugh Sometimes!


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#1 SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:59 PM

I completed an SQF development for a seafood company and we are now working with the facility personnel on implementation.

 

One of the tasks that I decided to take on was the Approved Supplier Program.

 

Seafood is one of those interesting industries to me that has a lot of operators flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to documentating things, actually having food safety protocols in place and having to prove anything to anyone.

 

I set letters out to about 240 suppliers seeking what I wanted and thus far about 100 have responded in the positive and then there are those that just don't want to give anything and the ones that feel they don't need to do anything at all and then tell you they do but can't prove it (I remember being an Auditor and having to deal with this crap too.)

 

You have laugh sometimes however - this is one of those times - here's an actual exchange with a supplier that finally ended just a little while ago....

 

Me: I send a supplier a letter indicating the items that I want - this includes specs, 3rd party audit or GFSI cert, FSVP for foreign suppliers, gmps, etc.

 

Supplier: no response - 7 days

 

Me: I send them a reminder on the 7th day.

 

Supplier: "Got your extensive requests, we only sell live lobsters and stuff like that so we don't do 3rd party audits, but I've attached a declaration"

 

Me: I look at the declaration and it indicates the company follows HACCP principals, GMPs for employees and has Sanitation Procedures in place.

 

Me: I respond and simply say since you don't have audits for our review and file we'll need to order an audit up or have the company personnel conduct an audit.

 

Supplier: I don't think you get it - we are very small so we don't do audits  - don't send anybody here to do an audit - no no no.

 

Me: OK, let's wind back for a moment and discuss your declaration - since you mention  that you follow HACCP guidelines I assume that means you have a HACCP plan and since you indicate that you have GMPs for employees and Sanitation Procedures I'd like to have copies of all that.

 

Supplier: Don't go assuming nothing buddy - we don't have a HACCP plan, we just follow the guidelines. (no mention of GMPs or Sanitation.)

 

Me: Ok, not a problem - give me a copy of the guidelines you follow, the GMPs for employees and the Sanitation documentation.

 

Supplier: No way - I don't have anything written down, I follow a friends plant up the street that is SQF certified, they have a HACCP plan, GMPs and Sanitation procedures!!!

 

Me: So, outside of the declaration that you sent you have no documentation of your own and you are just using John's from up the street (understand I had no info on the certified facility up the street _ I guessed in order to extract info.)

 

Supplier: Yeah, and that is not even our declaration - just between you and me, we never created any documentation, we are not FDA registered, we don't have one of those PCQI's, I have no intention of ever doing anything about what you want and the name the company up the street is XXXXX XXXXX - what bugs the heck out of me is that they charge the same amount of money as I do and they had to pay all that money out to get certified, have a QA, etc.... shortened.

 

Me: Thank you - we'll be in touch soon.

 

They just talked themselves out of a big account - now we are doing business the company up the street!

 

These kind of things happen everyday too, just amazing!

 

 


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging, DC, Restaurant & Hotel Industry 
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http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  

 

 

What's it worth to you?

https://bit.ly/3dXaqfs

 

 


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#2 QAGB

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:08 PM

Well...I can't tell you how many times I cringed and shook my head when I read this exchange.



#3 Njaquino

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:14 PM

I dealt with something similar. The company I worked for at the time was not too happy when I told them we can't do business with that supplier. The price this supplier was offering their RM was significantly cheaper, but the risk was also significantly higher. We finally stopped doing business with them and they kept asking why. Do things right and don't lie, it shows a lot from the company. 



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#4 BostonCream

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:28 PM

At least this company knows PCQI...



#5 Setanta

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:40 PM

Oh THAT was rich!!  :rofl2:


-Setanta         

 

 

 


#6 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 11:36 PM

Always delightful. It amazes me that anyone can start a food business and FDA and state level food inspection agencies have no way of enforcing anything unless that business actually does the right thing and informs them of their operation.

 

Consider this gem from an OIG report on Oregon Department of Agriculture's food safety program:

 

 

"Currently, ODA relies on new businesses to contact them to obtain a license. But for businesses that may not, there is no formal policy or procedure to proactively identify them."


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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#7 Miri

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 02:10 PM

This guy sells "live lobsters and stuff like that," admits he is operating outside of the regulations, and is consequently putting people at risk.  

 

So....  when a company tells you that they are not FDA registered, are you obligated to notify the FDA?  I'm thinking that I would! 



#8 Leila Burin

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 01:58 PM

Fantastic! :happydance:



#9 SQFconsultant

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 02:29 PM

This guy sells "live lobsters and stuff like that," admits he is operating outside of the regulations, and is consequently putting people at risk.  

 

So....  when a company tells you that they are not FDA registered, are you obligated to notify the FDA?  I'm thinking that I would! 

I am not obligated to notify.  I see it more as an opportunity to educate and also, the company could be a prospective client as well.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC Group | +1.800.793.7042 | Serving the Food, Food Packaging, DC, Restaurant & Hotel Industry 
SQF On-Site & Remote System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
GFSI (Broadscope) Certification Continuity eConsultants | EMF Consulting | Approved Supplier
Business Operational Consultants | Blockchain & Crypto-Currency Developer Consultants
Trouble-Shooting & Turn-Around Consulting for food manufactuers on-site & remote
Internal Auditor, PCQI & Consultant Start-Up Training | eConsultant | SQF-GAP | EMF Consulting
Serving Small Family Owned Operations to Large Businesses - USA, Panama, Costa Rica & Caribbean

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  

 

 

What's it worth to you?

https://bit.ly/3dXaqfs

 

 


#10 Fishlady

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 07:59 PM

If the company in question only sells within their state, they may not need to register with FDA (FDAregulates interstate commerce). However, given the overall attitude of this company, it sounds like one to avoid. I have worked in the seafood business for over 30 years and have encountered many companies like this. Wild fish processing is still largely in a Wild West mentality, although most of the major processors are now GFSI certified. But many of the smaller players refuse to acknowledge that the world has changed...



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#11 Ken Bookmyer

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 12:43 PM

I"m not 100% certain that you don't have a legal obligation to inform FDA. Back in the day, you wouldn't have but now days I know labs have a legal obligation to report positives on micro testing for pathogens. If they somehow caused a major disaster lives lost and it came out that the company you were working for was aware that they had no HACCP program and didn't report it,  it would be a huge PR issue at the least. 






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