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The Food Scientist

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 10:01 PM

Hey IFSQN family! Really quick question.I took on some duties from a previous employee. That is verifying HACCP CCPs and all that stuff. The previous person would document in the form of an email all mistakes employees have made. For example someone forgot to put a lot #, forgot to write correct temperature...etc. So I am currently seeing these mistakes and telling people quickly to correct them and they correct them. Sometimes it takes them a few days. Note these mistakes are minor and do not affect the HACCP system in any way (no deviations). And you really can't retrain someone not to forget a lot #, because we are all human and may just "forget". She sees them as required or needed, I do not see the value in documenting someone forgetting to put page # or lot # on a paper. not even FDA care. Question, do any of you document these things? Are they REALLY needed?


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


SQFconsultant

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Posted 08 February 2021 - 10:42 PM

i agree with you, otherwise it gets real anal retentive


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Spidey

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 12:00 AM

I don't think a detailed email calling out each mistake is necessary, but trending these mistakes can't hurt.

 

I got a minor in my first SQF audit because forgetting to write down lot numbers was a frequent mistake production was making.  Since then, I've started calculating a monthly percent error for missed lot numbers and a couple of other items.  Once I started trending, I noticed a decrease in mistakes as well as a trend in the type(s) of lot numbers forgotten. Ex. a batch sheet with 10+ raw materials, often times the last raw material was missed; a raw material used in several different products is commonly missed.  These are trends that you can then bring to the attention of production.

 

My favorite months are the ones where there are no errors at all.  I make sure to compliment production when this happens.  It shows that I'm not only looking for mistakes, but I also recognize success.



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Posted 09 February 2021 - 01:21 PM

If you're going to track anything, just use aggregate numbers, not specifics. But unless you think you've actually got a problem, like Spidey had, there really isn't any value in this IMO


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The Food Scientist

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 01:36 PM

I don't think a detailed email calling out each mistake is necessary, but trending these mistakes can't hurt.

 

I got a minor in my first SQF audit because forgetting to write down lot numbers was a frequent mistake production was making.  Since then, I've started calculating a monthly percent error for missed lot numbers and a couple of other items.  Once I started trending, I noticed a decrease in mistakes as well as a trend in the type(s) of lot numbers forgotten. Ex. a batch sheet with 10+ raw materials, often times the last raw material was missed; a raw material used in several different products is commonly missed.  These are trends that you can then bring to the attention of production.

 

My favorite months are the ones where there are no errors at all.  I make sure to compliment production when this happens.  It shows that I'm not only looking for mistakes, but I also recognize success.

 

The thing is the lot number errors are corrected even before they get filed. And it's usually one number missing, nothing huge. So the SQF auditor won't even find any mistakes on the documents because they were already verified. They are reaaallyyy minor mistakes.


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


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Scampi

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 02:20 PM

I would just stop doing that task------it's a make work project as best and a diversion from actual value added work

 

 

Or the previous occupant of your chair was just petty


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The Food Scientist

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 02:29 PM

I would just stop doing that task------it's a make work project as best and a diversion from actual value added work

 

 

Or the previous occupant of your chair was just petty

 

She was doing an documentation audit and then asked me if on this day any mistakes were made by people (the document had no mistakes), so she asked if i found any that day and they were corrected....

 

I was like huh LOL no auditor looks at a document that doesnt have mistakes and asks the company if people made mistakes that day LOL 


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


Scampi

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Posted 09 February 2021 - 02:33 PM

Ah, a text book example of an over written program with the emphasis on the wrong things!!!!

 

It's about correcting mistakes correctly----it's why they always mention it in training..  LOL


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Mulan1010

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 06:12 PM

     If you are requiring something to be recorded then there should be a purpose for it and therefore it should be important, although there are levels of importance.  We have errors corrected, preferably same day but next day if not caught that day, no matter the level of importance. If correcting next day we give it to the responsible Supervisor so he/she has to do the legwork and that way we know he/she is aware.  Whether or not you track mistakes is up to you; if employees are correcting errors properly then you can review past forms to get the information needed to see if there is a trend.  When I see a lot of errors come through for a few days or notice that one individual keeps making errors then I will send out an e-mail to our management team or that employee's supervisor.    

     One auditor told me that a facility's paperwork is a good indicator of how well a process is ran.  If a facility is careful about their paperwork, ensures everything is filled out, errors are corrected properly and you can tell the paperwork was actually on the floor and used (crinkles, stains, crimps from clipboards, etc...) then it is a good indication that the facility's personnel take care of their process and facility. 



The Food Scientist

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 07:39 PM

     If you are requiring something to be recorded then there should be a purpose for it and therefore it should be important, although there are levels of importance.  We have errors corrected, preferably same day but next day if not caught that day, no matter the level of importance. If correcting next day we give it to the responsible Supervisor so he/she has to do the legwork and that way we know he/she is aware.  Whether or not you track mistakes is up to you; if employees are correcting errors properly then you can review past forms to get the information needed to see if there is a trend.  When I see a lot of errors come through for a few days or notice that one individual keeps making errors then I will send out an e-mail to our management team or that employee's supervisor.    

     One auditor told me that a facility's paperwork is a good indicator of how well a process is ran.  If a facility is careful about their paperwork, ensures everything is filled out, errors are corrected properly and you can tell the paperwork was actually on the floor and used (crinkles, stains, crimps from clipboards, etc...) then it is a good indication that the facility's personnel take care of their process and facility. 

 

Agree but the case I am talking about is minor, not very much recurring mistakes. (they rarely happen)


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


JohnFiggins

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Posted 15 February 2021 - 09:48 AM

I agree with the previous comment - there should be a purpose for everything in the QMS. Ask yourself why is the missing information needed? For example, if this is associated with a CCP (or equivalent) then by definition it is critical.

 

If it is not needed, then consider if it can be removed - simple is often easier to comply with.

 

Trending is important - if it is a specific record(s) then there may be something about the process or timing or completion that makes it more challenging. And of course, if it is specific staff then there may need to be an element or refresher training.

 

Culture is also worth considering - do staff actually get why the information is important?

 

Root cause is important - you can't stop it happening in future if you dont know why it is happening.

 

Finally, you should never ignore anything in your QMS - it is telling you something!

 

 

 



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Posted 07 March 2021 - 08:43 AM

I would also go back to your QMS.

 

Why should lot codes be written? Why should the correct temperature be written?

 

Furthermore, try going into the root cause of why it takes the staff days to correct a mistake you already called them out for.

 

Minor mistakes should be mistakes that can be easily corrected, but why will it take days and why would it keep repeating? Perhaps you can also try going one step forward from simply logging down minor mistakes and include risk assessment - how will these affect our overall system?

 

If your risk assessment reveals that these are really unnecessary steps, then you have sufficient documentation to move to revise.

 

 

However, from initial impression, forgetting to write lot codes and correct temperatures might result in more serious infractions if not properly corrected.





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