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(What if) can't get hold of PPE?


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#1 QM-OS

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 01:04 PM

Hi all,

The supplier we've purchased gloves from for several years have a new policy due to the Covid-19 situation. They only sell and ship to hospitals and similar facilities (elderly homes etc). I totally understand this.

In the beginning of the pandemic, disinfectants and face masks quickly became hard to get by. And although it's easier now, the prices have more than doubled! (glad someone is making money :shades: )

 

We're not running out of gloves yet and we have another supplier that will probably help us out this time.

 

But what we've now started to think of is, what if we come to a point where we can't get hold of proper PPE (gloves, face masks, sanitizing/cleaning agents)? After all, no one knows how long we will be in this situation.

Even before the pandemic (depending on where in the world you are) there's different regulations to follow both from governments and also manufacturers own rules (as my case above) and different levels of access to PPE.

 

How much should we and are you willing to search and pay for proper equipment? For example, what if we can only get hold of gloves that aren't suitable for food industry? Or gloves that are, but costs 2, 3 or 4 times as much.

(I smell a risk analysis coming my way.... :ph34r:  :crying: )

 

What are your thoughts on this?

 

 



#2 Setanta

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 01:33 PM

We have been paying some of the inflated prices on PPE, because we want to keep supplying the larger stores that demand GFSI certification.


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#3 MDaleDDF

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 01:55 PM

We've experienced shortages on certain things as well, though it seems to have improved greatly the last month or so. 

As far as gloves, I'm actually pretty 'anti-glove' in our facility anyway, and prefer a well executed hand washing protocol.  The data on gloves can be pretty dicey, and I personally think they give a false sense of security to the wearer.  I'd rather clean hands than dirty gloves any day....



#4 QM-OS

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 02:17 PM

We've experienced shortages on certain things as well, though it seems to have improved greatly the last month or so. 

As far as gloves, I'm actually pretty 'anti-glove' in our facility anyway, and prefer a well executed hand washing protocol.  The data on gloves can be pretty dicey, and I personally think they give a false sense of security to the wearer.  I'd rather clean hands than dirty gloves any day.

 

I understand that, but we have to have warm gloves due to cold temperatures.



#5 Setanta

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 02:28 PM

We've experienced shortages on certain things as well, though it seems to have improved greatly the last month or so. 

As far as gloves, I'm actually pretty 'anti-glove' in our facility anyway, and prefer a well executed hand washing protocol.  The data on gloves can be pretty dicey, and I personally think they give a false sense of security to the wearer.  I'd rather clean hands than dirty gloves any day....

 

 

Costco requires gloves in our instance


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#6 MDaleDDF

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 02:53 PM

Costco requires gloves in our instance

We had a few customers that did at one time, but I sent a few articles out to them that changed their minds.  Still, we have large scale customers that have certain hoops we have to jump through, so I totally understand!   Life in the food science fast lane, eh?  Lol....



#7 Ryan M.

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 06:28 PM

We suddenly experienced difficulty in obtaining hair nets.  According to our purchasing department it started about a month ago.  I wonder if one of the major producers had an event at their facility limiting production?  At any rate....we did get some in, but at inflated prices.  All PPE seems to be inflated prices these days, but that's what you gotta do.  

 

Make sure you work with your procurement departments to set higher inventory minimums and make larger purchases where possible.  Best to have more inventory than you need and keep it at that level until this whole COVID deal goes away.  Our department learned that early on and reacted accordingly which was great, but some things here and there, like hair nets, pop up so they have to remain diligent.



#8 TimG

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 02:12 PM

I have written myself a non-conformance for not completing my monthly facility inspection in March. Corporate sent non-essentials home for the remainder of the month at the beginning of the second week, and I felt it was more important stay safe then to perform that months audit.

If I run out of gloves (we got close, but we've been sourcing from different companies) I will do the same thing. The non-conformance is there to address the issue, explain the root cause, and try to find ways to avoid it in the future. If it happens, I suggest you write up a non-conformance and treat it as any other. These are different times then they were 6 months ago, adaptation without sacrificing key food safety requirements will be necessary. Almost all of the auditors I have met are intelligent enough to understand this.



#9 QCYFH

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Posted 24 August 2020 - 09:50 AM

We suddenly experienced difficulty in obtaining hair nets.  According to our purchasing department it started about a month ago.  I wonder if one of the major producers had an event at their facility limiting production?  At any rate....we did get some in, but at inflated prices.  All PPE seems to be inflated prices these days, but that's what you gotta do.  

 

Make sure you work with your procurement departments to set higher inventory minimums and make larger purchases where possible.  Best to have more inventory than you need and keep it at that level until this whole COVID deal goes away.  Our department learned that early on and reacted accordingly which was great, but some things here and there, like hair nets, pop up so they have to remain diligent.

 

Hi Ryan, 

 

We have had no issue getting hairnets - let me know if you want the details of our supplier. 



#10 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 26 August 2020 - 01:40 PM

Amazon is an amazing resource for gloves, hair / beard nets and masks. Last masks I bought were $5.43 /50 pc boxes. Hair nets have been challenging but found a few online restaurant supply stores with large stocks. McMaster Carr has been doing a good job with our disposable nitrile gloves recently. They've brought in a lot of new suppliers to fulfill orders.






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