I am in the process of getting my company ready for an SQF audit. I am having a little trouble figuring out if a 3rd party calibration on our metal detectors is required for SQF. We had one done a year ago and has just expired.
The code states:
126.96.36.199 Equipment shall be calibrated against national or international reference standards and methods or to accuracy appropriate to its use. In cases where standards are not available, the supplier shall provide evidence to support the calibration reference method applied.
188.8.131.52 Calibration shall be performed according to regulatory requirements and/or to the equipment manufacturers recommended schedule.
184.108.40.206 Calibration records shall be maintained.
would our daily metal detector checks be sufficient or am i required to have a 3rd party come calibrate them?
What we did -
We purchased NIST traceable wands (from Safeline), which we use for every check. We used that to justify our 220.127.116.11. We check it every hour and/or every SKU, whichever is more frequent. I don't have a strong justification for that time frame, admittedly - but it hasn't been an issue.
I think you could make a case that would be sufficient, however - it's a bit weak by itself as the purpose of a calibration is to assure that your detector will not fail, and most detectors are large enough that you should make sure all areas will sufficiently detect the size metal you are concerned with.
Therefore, in addition - as we don't have a servicer for our metal detectors, what we do is once/year we do a 125 wand test for each detector at its settings. 25 front, middle, back, right side, left side. This challenges all sides of the product and the detector to prove that with our settings, an NIST-traceable wand rejects every single time. We do this as we have multiple brands of detectors and when we had a servicer come in - they pretty much charged us $750 bucks to come in, run wands through once, and gave us a certificate that the detectors work. If we had reps from each of the brands come in instead it would have been significantly more than that, and it didn't feel like it was money well spent as our detectors have been extremely reliable. (Helped along by the fact we run a dry product).
I don't suspect that this is a common way to handle it, but so far we've had auditors (including SQF) accept this. Bonus - the certs on the wands are 5 years for NIST traceable.