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Posted 15 November 2021 - 08:50 PM



Gearing up for initial SQF certification for Storage and Distribution and had a question about MCS.  We have it written into our program and on the schedules themselves that if we are not working or if the cleaning item was inspected, but not needed, then leave space blank.  Only initial a task when you are present and when it needed done and was completed. 


I am ok with this, however, in previous experiences at other places I have had auditors make it seem like blank spaces were not ok and you needed to mark something by the task, either N/A, Out, Not working, Not needed, etc.  Wanted to know some others thoughts on this.


I feel if it is written in the SOP and also on the schedules, there should be no issue.  Thoughts?


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Posted 15 November 2021 - 09:15 PM

My facility only initials the tasks performed.  My Cleaning Checklist and QA Checklist combine Daily, Weekly, and Monthly tasks onto a single log.  It makes checking the completion of tasks per their appropriate schedule much easier if you only have to look for initials.  In this instance, I believe that simplicity is the best policy.

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 05:25 AM

I see two possible issues.  


1.  the frequencies are suppose to be defined in   In theory this should be based on risk and thus cleaning should be done at some designated frequency.   I would be skeptical if I saw too many  "not neededs"    I do agree that if a something hasn't been used for a period of time cleaning might not be necessary.   but I keep imagining a cleaner determining everything not needed.   pessimist is guess.   maybe I don't fully understand your situation.   


2.  I would not be OK with the item left blank.   I would want to see some record/documentation/entry on who and or why it was  determined it was not needed.   A blank could mean that cleaning was not needed  (for various reasons) or it was needed and just wasn't completed.   


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Posted 16 November 2021 - 05:48 PM

Blank spaces are not okay because there is no written verification that it was determined to be not needed.  I would have them document it isn't needed and initial at a minimum.

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 06:00 PM

you could add a statement into the footer of each record stating your blank field policy---then if an auditor asks, you can quickly and easily refer them to that

Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs

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