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Is a knife policy necessary for box cutters in a food packaging manufacturer?


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#1 RDM_Rep

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 05:32 PM

Yes, I'm in process of a QC check off of the knives and box cutters, but the machine blades, I'm curious on if they need a daily form, weekly form, do i need to list all machines with blades in the facility? I just haven't seen any examples so i feel like I'm going in blind.

 

I was wondering about this myself if anyone can assist. We are a food packaging manufacturer and the only blades we have would be box cutters. Can anyone confirm if a knife policy would be required for these? 


Edited by Charles.C, 12 March 2021 - 02:44 AM.
split rom thread 40361


#2 RDM_Rep

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 10:39 PM

I was wondering about this myself if anyone can assist. We are a food packaging manufacturer and the only blades we have would be box cutters. Can anyone confirm if a knife policy would be required for these? 

 

Additionally, to clarify, we do not work with any food on site, our work is entirely in plastic. We supply food packaging and materials only, so the risk of contamination from a box cutter would be low, so I am debating whether a knife policy would even be necessary for the type of work we do? 

 

On this, it's my understanding that Module 13, the GMP requirements, are considered "applicable elements" and "Not all elements are applicable. There may be some sections or clauses that do not apply to your site." Can someone confirm if this is correct? If not, my apologies for the question about the knife policy and any other questions I've posted being redundant. 



#3 Roshni

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 03:16 AM

Hi RDM_Rep, Usage of cutters and other sharp tools in food supply chain always introduces risk due to contamination while using these tools and food defense risk. In my opinion, it is best to have usage of knife policy.


Regards

 

Roshni

 

 

"Everyone is responsible for food safety"


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#4 epeabody

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 01:56 PM

Hello,

 

We are a food packaging manufacturer, specializing in paperboard cartons. We had this issue as well, our solution was to remove all knifes and blades from the manufacturing floor and supply all employees with safety knifes. These knifes are designed so the blade cannot fall out or break. Therefore, we do not have any other kind of policy or recording program in place. 



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#5 yliautaud

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 02:21 PM

A cutting tool policy/procedure is required for GFSI.



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#6 MDaleDDF

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 02:34 PM

We actually use scuba diving knives.   They're all metal, and we have metal detection, so no risk.   They can be sourced in bulk surprisingly cheap too..   I have to sharpen them once or twice a year, but that's it.   They've been great, and our knife situation was a pita before...



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#7 RDM_Rep

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 04:44 PM

Hello,

 

We are a food packaging manufacturer, specializing in paperboard cartons. We had this issue as well, our solution was to remove all knifes and blades from the manufacturing floor and supply all employees with safety knifes. These knifes are designed so the blade cannot fall out or break. Therefore, we do not have any other kind of policy or recording program in place. 

 

Thank you for this! In your experience, can you advise if this has been sufficient to obtain SQF certification?



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 04:59 PM

We actually use scuba diving knives.   They're all metal, and we have metal detection, so no risk.   They can be sourced in bulk surprisingly cheap too..   I have to sharpen them once or twice a year, but that's it.   They've been great, and our knife situation was a pita before...

 There is a risk if one disappears ?.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 epeabody

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 05:05 PM

We had a GAP audit completed in 2019 and if the auditor even asked about it (cnanot remember exactly) we definetly did not get a non-conformance for our process. 

 

Yes, there is a risk if one were to go missing. However, being such a "large" item it would be extremely apparent to us if it had ended up in our customers product. 



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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 05:09 PM

We had a GAP audit completed in 2019 and if the auditor even asked about it (cnanot remember exactly) we definetly did not get a non-conformance for our process. 

 

Yes, there is a risk if one were to go missing. However, being such a "large" item it would be extremely apparent to us if it had ended up in our customers product. 

 

FMEX you may be an optimist.

Murphy is always right, somewhere.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#11 Charles.C

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Posted 12 March 2021 - 05:32 PM

Thank you for this! In your experience, can you advise if this has been sufficient to obtain SQF certification?

 

Don't know about SQF but, IIRC, there is a knife control template in this elderly (BRC Food Packaging) zipped Package -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...mpany/#entry220


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#12 SQFconsultant

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 12:39 AM

Need policy, log, etc for ALL sharps.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
 

 

Serving the New Republic of the United States of America, Costa Rica, Panama & Caribbean Islands

 

 


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#13 SQFconsultant

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Posted 13 March 2021 - 12:39 AM

Need policy, log, etc for ALL sharps.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
 

 

Serving the New Republic of the United States of America, Costa Rica, Panama & Caribbean Islands

 

 


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#14 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 05:01 PM

Paperboard packaging manufacturer here too. Our policy prohibits all knives from being brought in to the building, we supply bright orange, snap back safety razor knives in our finishing department (new code prohibits any snap off blades which we have never allowed anyway but never stated it until a few weeks ago!) and restrict knife usage to only knives supplied by the company. This allows us to use standard razor knives in departments where the safety knives would be much more difficult or even dangerous to use. Our risk assessment provides information and rationale for the policy such as standard razor knives are only used in preliminary or remote areas from direct production, high-vis knives are almost impossible to not see during finishing processes etc. This policy is trained on every employee's first day and annually at our GMP and HACCP training. This has been questioned but records (new employee training) and training content bear out the effectiveness as well as never having an issue with blades in our product. Blade disposal containers are located at all work stations and checked monthly. When they're 1/4 to 1/2 full we recycle them and put out a new container, they're about $10.00 and last a couple of years.



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#15 RDM_Rep

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 05:09 PM

Paperboard packaging manufacturer here too. Our policy prohibits all knives from being brought in to the building, we supply bright orange, snap back safety razor knives in our finishing department (new code prohibits any snap off blades which we have never allowed anyway but never stated it until a few weeks ago!) and restrict knife usage to only knives supplied by the company. This allows us to use standard razor knives in departments where the safety knives would be much more difficult or even dangerous to use. Our risk assessment provides information and rationale for the policy such as standard razor knives are only used in preliminary or remote areas from direct production, high-vis knives are almost impossible to not see during finishing processes etc. This policy is trained on every employee's first day and annually at our GMP and HACCP training. This has been questioned but records (new employee training) and training content bear out the effectiveness as well as never having an issue with blades in our product. Blade disposal containers are located at all work stations and checked monthly. When they're 1/4 to 1/2 full we recycle them and put out a new container, they're about $10.00 and last a couple of years.

 

Thank you for that. It sounds like this has been sufficient to pass your audit, without the need of a knife register? We only use box cutters in shipping and receiving so it sounds like a similar situation. 



#16 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 05:17 PM

Make sure to do an honest risk assessment. If your current practices show little or no food safety risk, or any benefit from all of the documentation, tracking and policing of a control system, why bother? If we were a food manufacturing plant we would have a very stout knife control program.



#17 RDM_Rep

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 05:32 PM

Make sure to do an honest risk assessment. If your current practices show little or no food safety risk, or any benefit from all of the documentation, tracking and policing of a control system, why bother? If we were a food manufacturing plant we would have a very stout knife control program.

 

I definitely plan on it but am currently trying to get all the necessary information and clarification first before I start attempting to implement any policy changes. Research and development, I suppose. It's my first audit and given that we only manufacture plastic packaging and supply plastic products like shrink film, we are low risk and I am trying to find the balance between satisfying the auditor and reducing any additional work/paperwork for myself/the company. 



#18 Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 19 March 2021 - 05:58 PM

Policy: "Only box cutters are allowed to be used in the building and only in the S&R Department. Knives are prohibited in all other departments." Trained on first day and incorporate into annual training - Done.

 

I just wonder how many people use case sealing equipment but don't consider the fly knives used to cut the tape off in their policy / procedure? Hahaha :rofl2:


Edited by Hoosiersmoker, 19 March 2021 - 06:00 PM.


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