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Is it acceptable under the SQF Code for manufacturing to let our grass grow until the state order is lifted?


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#1 AC2018

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 11:24 AM

Lawn care and maintenance is considered nonessential in my state. In your opinion, is it acceptable under the SQF Code for manufacturing to let our grass grow until the order is lifted? I posted the part of the code that I am reading for the exterior down below and I know it doesn't say specifically to cut your grass but could it be considered a pest harborage concern? We continue to pick up trash around the building on a weekly basis so the outside of the building is kept clean, the grass is just getting very long.... 

 

Thanks everyone!  

 

 

 

11.10 Exterior

11.10.1 Grounds and Roadways

11.10.1.1 Measures shall be established to maintain a suitable external environment, and the effectiveness of the established measures shall be monitored and periodically reviewed.

11.10.1.2 The grounds and area surrounding the premises shall be maintained to minimize dust and kept free of waste, accumulated debris or standing water so as not to attract pests and vermin.

11.10.1.3 Paths, roadways and loading and unloading areas shall be maintained so as not to present a hazard to the food safety operation of the premises.

11.10.1.4 Paths, roadways, loading and unloading areas shall be adequately drained to prevent ponding of water. Drains shall be separate from the site drainage system and regularly cleared of debris.

11.10.1.5 Surroundings shall be kept neat and tidy and not present a hazard to the hygienic and sanitary operation of the premises.

11.10.1.6 Paths from amenities leading to site entrances are required to be effectively sealed.



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 04:26 PM

I will start out by saying this is all unlawful what the states are doing, however let's take it at face value.

 

Nonessential - you can't mow the grass, clear weeds, etc.

 

SQF - requires that you maintain suitable external environment - which basically means everything is clean, landscaping is maintained, etc. etc.

 

You are caught in the middle between the two requirements and if an SQF Auditor shows up,  this situation could result in a mark-off or two or three. Auditors are required to obey the code, just as your company is required to obey the law.

 

What to do...

 

If you go out and mow the lawn and clear the weeds, etc. you might get arrested, fined, etc.

 

So, put the state government on notice and require the governer's tyranny office to issue a letter to you, your CB and SQFI informing  that by their stupid (they will never use that or tyranny) executive order/law of the state that XXX Company name is not allowed to properly maintain their external areas to include mowing the grass, weeding, etc.

 

When you have the letter, show that to your Auditor - you will not be marked off for it.

 

Also, get a copy of the nonessential list to have that handy as well.

 

It is mind-boggling what they are doing to American businesses and each of us.

 

With all that said you might want to consider going into farming - I doubt that farming is nonessential and that would allow you to mow your lawn with a farm tractor.


Edited by SQFconsultant, 21 April 2020 - 04:28 PM.

Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / 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

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | SQF, BRC & IFS Pre-Development or Pre-Audit GAP

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

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#3 AC2018

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 04:35 PM

First off, agreed. I don't understand why someone can not come mow our grass when they come in contact with no one while doing so. With that aside, I appreciate your input, these were my thoughts too and reassuring.

 

I was thinking of contacting the state government and explain all that was said "we are essential (manufacturing food), we follow a food manufacturing code that requires to keep our outside ground maintained, etc. and hoping they would be able to write a letter approving this so that we can have our lawn company out to mow, weed trim, etc.

 

We have a very large area of grass and I half joked to our management team that we may all need to bring our personal mowers on a Saturday and knock it out together... 

 

I am currently starting my own garden (started pre-COVID19) and I am beginning to think that was a good idea on my part. 

 

Thanks again!!



#4 kfromNE

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 07:54 PM

First off, agreed. I don't understand why someone can not come mow our grass when they come in contact with no one while doing so. With that aside, I appreciate your input, these were my thoughts too and reassuring.

 

I was thinking of contacting the state government and explain all that was said "we are essential (manufacturing food), we follow a food manufacturing code that requires to keep our outside ground maintained, etc. and hoping they would be able to write a letter approving this so that we can have our lawn company out to mow, weed trim, etc.

 

We have a very large area of grass and I half joked to our management team that we may all need to bring our personal mowers on a Saturday and knock it out together... 

 

I am currently starting my own garden (started pre-COVID19) and I am beginning to think that was a good idea on my part. 

 

Thanks again!!

I would call or email your local/county health department. They'll be easier to get a hold of than the state. Explain your situation then go from there.



#5 jenky

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 02:55 PM

We provided letters to all of our service partners that explained that we were an essential business, and by extension they are essential too if they are performing critcal work to keep us operating.  IMO this applies to lawn care since eliminating pest harborage is critical to operating a food business.  I really do not think the local health department is going to have an issue as long as social distancing is followed.


Edited by jenky, 27 April 2020 - 02:55 PM.


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#6 SQFconsultant

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 03:54 PM

First off, agreed. I don't understand why someone can not come mow our grass when they come in contact with no one while doing so. With that aside, I appreciate your input, these were my thoughts too and reassuring.

 

I was thinking of contacting the state government and explain all that was said "we are essential (manufacturing food), we follow a food manufacturing code that requires to keep our outside ground maintained, etc. and hoping they would be able to write a letter approving this so that we can have our lawn company out to mow, weed trim, etc.

 

We have a very large area of grass and I half joked to our management team that we may all need to bring our personal mowers on a Saturday and knock it out together... 

 

I am currently starting my own garden (started pre-COVID19) and I am beginning to think that was a good idea on my part. 

 

Thanks again!!

 

 

Having your own garden was an excellent idea.

 

Once the Plannedemic was under way our governor decided that seeds were non-essential.

 

Don't think so, so we placed orders for all sorts of vegetable seeds from a great company in Utah, got the grounds set up and now in process of planting seedlings.

 

We are in the process of opening up a microgreen business - but first we are growing samples for self-consumption, think about adding microgreens to your mix as well, very inexpensive to grow and there are some really nice varieties available.  In Panama a local microgreen operation was selling clam-shell containers of 4 ounces of different ones for about $5.00 each - here it would be about $4.00.

 

Considering the quality of what is available in the stores (now and before) it makes great sense to grow your own, there is something cool about walking out the door and 20 feet away the asparagus plot that has been there for over ten years is producing several pounds a day and 10 minutes later its on the plate with butter on top.

 

Curious to know what  you are growing. Best.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / 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

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | SQF, BRC & IFS Pre-Development or Pre-Audit GAP

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

Please consider making a donation to Oster Missions. We are collecting monies to 

assist a recently widowed American citizen residing in Panama who just lost her husband.

Please see the GOC NEWS SECTION of our main page for Card and Crypto-Donations

Oster Missions is a 501c3 US Registered Charity Organization.

http://www.glennosterconsulting.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 04:43 PM

You can probably just mow/get it mowed with no consequences, it's supporting your essential activity (just like custodians still come to work at hospitals).

 

However, like anything else SQF, if you hav a temporary barrier, you could address it with a risk management plan. Do an assessment of the risks posed, and how you plan to control them in the absence of your normal circumstances. E.g. maybe you monitor your bait stations and rodent traps more frequently to evaluate whether there is an increase in activity due to the grass, or add additional stations temporarily to address the risk.

 

Really it's no different than any other situation where you couldn't get a contractor in right away. E.g. if you had peeling paint you could put a risk management plan in place until your slow season in the winter when you can shut down to repaint.


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

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#8 Ryan M.

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 12:12 AM

Get it mowed.  You may have to call several companies to find one that will come out and mow it.

Worst case scenario the company mowing the grass gets a fine.  Offer to pay it.  Keep it maintained.

 

At our company we have had several employees step up and do tasks that were normally done by outside service companies to keep us going and maintained.  I'm sure you can find an employee who is willing to come in on OT and mow the damn grass.



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