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SQF 2.3.1 - How to Provide Evidence of Shelf Life?


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#1 larissaj

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 06:43 PM

Hello,

 

In the SQF section of 2.3.1 it mentions shelf life trials and all that fun stuff. Our shelf life is 6 months. We currently don't do shelf life studies, all of our ingredients (we roast nuts and make trail mixes) has a shelf life of over 6 months. So my question is how can I provide anything to support the following:  

 

2.3.1.2 Product formulation, manufacturing processes and the fulfillment of product requirements shall be validated by site trials, shelf life trials and product testing. 2.3.1.3 Shelf life trials where necessary shall be conducted to establish and validate a product’s:
i. Handling, and storage requirements including the establishment of “use by” or “best before dates";
ii. Microbiological criteria; and
iii. Consumer preparation, storage and handling requirements.     2.3.1.5 Records of all product design, process development, shelf life trials and approvals shall be maintained.

 



#2 AC2018

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:26 PM

I used to work for a nut roaster and we had set shelf life for our raw nuts, roasted nuts, and trail mixes that were set up long before I started working there. I don't remember having a non-conformance for it but our auditor suggested we perform some kind of testing to verify the shelf life we had established. So I took a packaged samples of every type of nut and mix that we had, 1 sample for each month to test. I then created an organoleptic testing form to document what I noticed each month. When the attributes were unacceptable for the customer then we noted that and we could establish the shelf life or at least verify our current shelf life if we didn't want to change it. We didn't test for micros since this was not a risk for us and our products as it related to shelf life. All of the details were explained in our Product development program. 

 

Oh, and I attached the form I used but you can modify it for your needs and requirements. Hope this helps! 

Attached Files



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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:38 PM

You don't - you use the following statement:

 

We have used the following for various companies where we developed their SQF programs (such as the one we are currently completing) and this statement has always passed muster during an audit --

 

This is the wording for a seafood company that we are at today:

 

 

"For over sixty years the company has not been involved in Product Development/Realization. The company minimally processes seafood and conducts primarily skinning and filleting of fish.

 

In the event that >>Company Name<< undertakes design, development and converting product concepts to commercial realization full documentation/SOP compliance with this section of the SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacturing will be developed and implemented."


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
GOC GROUP / +1.772.646.4115 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/DC

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Mid-Size Businesses | Now accepting: BTC, XRP, ETH, DAI, USDCoin & LTC

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http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

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#4 The Food Scientist

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:42 PM

I worked at a very similar establishment. We didn't do any of the shelf life studies and all that fun stuff. So we just provided a simple statement saying we do not do this and that we buy raw ingredients with a shelf life of 6 months. Even one auditor asked me do you do this I was like no we don't and wanting to show him hes like that's fine you don't need to show me anything. And he put N/A beside it on the report.

 

Edit: Even at my current facility (spices and seasonings), we don't do it and auditor also wrote N/A beside it when told we don't carry any of that detailing why. This is part of what he wrote:

 

"No shelf life or product development trials are conducted because this facility does not develop or
manufacture any products. They only pack products as is documented in SOP 2.3.1. The products are sold based on the customer
request which most commonly is 'best by'."

Edited by The Food Scientist, 09 January 2020 - 07:51 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#5 larissaj

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:47 PM

We have a ton of SKUs (over 300) due to flavors we use when roasting and the many different combinations that we do with dried fruits or wheat sticks and even chocolates, doing a shelf life would be difficult due to all of products. Thats why I need to know what we can do. I have no issue doing a handful of them every month but it adds up obviously. So I appreciate the input! 



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:44 PM

 

Hello,

 

In the SQF section of 2.3.1 it mentions shelf life trials and all that fun stuff. Our shelf life is 6 months. We currently don't do shelf life studies, all of our ingredients (we roast nuts and make trail mixes) has a shelf life of over 6 months. So my question is how can I provide anything to support the following:  

 

2.3.1.2 Product formulation, manufacturing processes and the fulfillment of product requirements shall be validated by site trials, shelf life trials and product testing. 2.3.1.3 Shelf life trials where necessary shall be conducted to establish and validate a product’s:
i. Handling, and storage requirements including the establishment of “use by” or “best before dates";
ii. Microbiological criteria; and
iii. Consumer preparation, storage and handling requirements.     2.3.1.5 Records of all product design, process development, shelf life trials and approvals shall be maintained.

 

 

The obvious question is where does the 6-months come from ??


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 larissaj

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:49 PM

the 6 months is what I was told when I first started but its from all of our ingredients having a shelf life of 12 months and older so we have a cushion on ordering some stuff and having extra for a few months.



#8 The Food Scientist

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:59 PM

The obvious question is where does the 6-months come from ??

 

Suppliers usually indicate the 6 months on the specification sheets.


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#9 Charles.C

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:00 PM

the 6 months is what I was told when I first started but its from all of our ingredients having a shelf life of 12 months and older so we have a cushion on ordering some stuff and having extra for a few months.

 

And the 12 months comes from ??

 

FS Standards typically expect Validation, eg 2.3.1.3

 

Micro.specs are typically expected to be consistent with data at end of shelf life also.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 01:17 AM

Just a note, if 6 months is a company standard, you may want to validate internally anyway because it may allow you to extend your shelf life! And you don't need to do it for every unique SKU, just do it for the packaging and representative product categories.

 

The "based on supplier shelf life" thing can sometimes make sense, but because you would presumably use an ingredient all the way until the end of it's shelf life in your plant, ultimately may have no relevance on product performance in the field. It's magical how blue cheese with only 2 days left of shelf life, once mixed into a salad, is good for another month :).


Austin Bouck
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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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#11 jperri

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 05:25 PM

We supply raw produce (peeled, cut etc), therefore we do not do product development. We wrote a statement similar to what SQFConsultant wrote but our auditor wanted to see a procedure written up to answer "but what if you decide to do product development".... :mellow:

 

Long before I arrived, my company did their own internal shelf life testing and recorded organoleptic results as well as sent samples off to a lab and they did shelf-life testing and recorded results for 7 days, 14, 21..etc with microbiological results attached. This was accepted by the auditor.

 

Jenna



#12 Timwoodbag

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:46 PM

For our brewed coffee, we sent samples to a lab, they ran micro and organo trials, and that one document is seemingly good for as long as our process and packaging etc is consistent.  Cost a couple hundred dollars.  

 

For Green coffee storage and roasted coffee we just use historical data, some scientific documents, and low moisture content arguments.  

 

We have never been asked for a statement for the future, like "what would you do if you made a new product?"  - we have a statement similar to SQFConsultants.  






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