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Sampling Scales Calibration

weighing sampling calibration BRC

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#1 WH12019

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:04 PM

Hi, I'm currently working towards my company's first BRC Storage Certificate and will hopefully have our audit in February. We are a 3rd party storage company based in the UK.   The food company has asked us to start a sampling procedure and have supplied the equipment and training to do so. My concern is that they have only supplied inexpensive 5kg max auto calibrated kitchen scales that I can't evidence further calibration in the future. How would I get around this for the audit? Would it be the case that I have to go back to the food company and have them acquire more expensive scales or is there a way around it?

 

Many thanks for any suggestions.



#2 pHruit

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:30 PM

What sort of "sampling" are the scales actually used for?
E.g. is this smaller packs that are then sold, in which case weights and measures compliance is an issue?
Or for specific analysis that requires defined sample sizes, in which case the weight of the sample has a bearing in terms of compliance with a particular analytical method?

Or alternatively, are the scales just for a "we've been asked to send approx. 1kg samples to customers" type requirement?

 

The statement of intent for 6.3 of the standard requires that: "Measuring equipment used to monitor critical control points and product safety and legality shall be identified. The identified measuring equipment shall be calibrated and adjusted or its accuracy verified".

 

The crux of the question is therefore whether these scales might fall into any of these requirements - the 1st example I gave would be under the "legality" requirement, the second could potentially be "product safety", although possibly unlikely given that you presumably aren't the ones actually doing the analysis.

If they do fall into this requirement then yes, it would be necessary to take some steps to verify accuracy - exactly how you'd calibrate such scales in the event that they aren't accurate is another question...


 



#3 WH12019

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 03:08 PM

Thanks for the reply.

The scales are only used to measure a small amount of product i.e.500g to 2kg and then we are supplied with addresses to send them to. I suspect we send them to the food company's' potential customers and they never get returned to us. That's all we do, we don't carry out any testing.

 

Sorry but I have another related question: Now that we have started taking samples does this mean that Clause 12 (Product Inspection) come in to play?

Thanks



#4 pHruit

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 03:13 PM

In that case I'd ask your customer to provide a statement confirming that the samples are sent to prospective customers for evaluation and are not used for sale or consumption.
That will ensure it is clear that the weights control requirement isn't applicable. Similarly the product inspection in section 10.6 / 12 (latter is you're providing it as a contract service) would probably not apply to this particular activity either.



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#5 pHruit

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 03:47 PM

Sorry, one further thought that I'm too late to add to my previous post - in addition to getting the statement from your customer, I'd document somewhere in your own system that you've considered this and determined it is not applicable to you. Perhaps not critical, but for some types of auditor it can be helpful to make it as clear as possible that you really have considered the specific clause in the standard ;)



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 06:32 AM

Hi, I'm currently working towards my company's first BRC Storage Certificate and will hopefully have our audit in February. We are a 3rd party storage company based in the UK.   The food company has asked us to start a sampling procedure and have supplied the equipment and training to do so. My concern is that they have only supplied inexpensive 5kg max auto calibrated kitchen scales that I can't evidence further calibration in the future. How would I get around this for the audit? Would it be the case that I have to go back to the food company and have them acquire more expensive scales or is there a way around it?

 

Many thanks for any suggestions.

 

Presumably if you ultimately do have to do "Calibration",  standard checkweights offer a possible verification of the claimed "auto" calibration (whatever that means).

 

Compliance with Weights and Measures is a rather different "cauldron" based on previous Posts here..


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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