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Brainstorming Color Coding System for Complex Facility


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Guitardr85

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 03:27 PM

Hi All,

 

 

We are starting the process of revamping our (anemic) allergen control program. I am going in circles trying to identify a system that is both cost effective and practical while at the same time sufficient to manage the risks present in the facility. I am specifically wanting to have better risk control over in-process and sanitation cleaning utensils just to give an idea of my aim.

 

The complexity of the plant is what is giving me a little bit of a headache. Our facility has both RTE and non-RTE production areas, a USDA meat prep room, warehousing, and (not exaggerating) every major US allergen on-site AND many combinations of allergens from product to product.

 

I have contemplated both ends of the complexity spectrum from assigning color codes for different allergens/combos and using bands to denote production area type (which I think is physically impossible) to simply having allergen and non-allergen color coding with generic "allergen" utensils undergoing sanitation/allergen validation on a set frequency post sanitation.

 

I am pretty deep into this one so I may be missing the forest for the trees so extra eyes on the situation are greatly appreciated. 



kfromNE

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 03:34 PM

You can't. Easiest way to control.

 

First - make sure you keep all utensils separate for RTE and Non-RTE. You don't want a recall due to salmonella from cross contamination of items.

 

For allergens. Create a schedule for each line based upon allergen order to reduce the number of wash downs.

 

After the wash down - test for allergens for example using 3-D Reveal or something similar.

 

Also make sure there is enough separation between lines as well.



Guitardr85

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 04:08 PM

@kfromNE

 

Thanks for your response. 

I apologize for not mentioning this in my original post but luckily we already have in place all of the procedures you described above. 

 

I think I am coming to the conclusion of your first sentence as I peer into this dark allergen void of complexity that is our plant lol. I'd love to add a little color coding complexity to better identify production and sanitation utensils, but I'm finding that from product to product the variations are absurd (and my thoughts are validated from my site's allergen matrix). 

 

I should also mention that the length of our production runs are considerably short (we might run 2-4 products per line per day) so time constraint is a factor too....ughhh :)

 

And as a measure of self-care I have engaged with the sales department and senior managment to gently "poke the bear" in an attempt to bring awareness to our over-complexity but that is likely a long-play move if anything happens at all.


Edited by Guitardr85, 20 January 2022 - 04:10 PM.


kfromNE

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 04:17 PM

@kfromNE

 

Thanks for your response. 

I apologize for not mentioning this in my original post but luckily we already have in place all of the procedures you described above. 

 

I think I am coming to the conclusion of your first sentence as I peer into this dark allergen void of complexity that is our plant lol. I'd love to add a little color coding complexity to better identify production and sanitation utensils, but I'm finding that from product to product the variations are absurd (and my thoughts are validated from my site's allergen matrix). 

 

I should also mention that the length of our production runs are considerably short (we might run 2-4 products per line per day) so time constraint is a factor too....ughhh :)

 

And as a measure of self-care I have engaged with the sales department and senior managment to gently "poke the bear" in an attempt to bring awareness to our over-complexity but that is likely a long-play move if anything happens at all.

We have run 6 different items on the same line in a 8-9 hour day - small batches. Most lines run at least 3-4 different products each day. Luckily we don't have all 9 and mainly stick to 4 of them.



Guitardr85

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 04:31 PM

@KfromNE

 

So outside of RTE and non-RTE do you keep any kind of allergen utensil segregation via color coding or do you predominantly rely on cleaning validation and proper storage practices?



MDaleDDF

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 04:33 PM

I don't know if this is possible for you, but in my plant, I have 4 allergens in the building, and I make sure all 4 are in every formulation.   No chance of cross contamination, and a quick risk analysis write up gets you out of almost all issues such as segregation, color coding scoops and other implements of destruction, storage issues, etc etc.

 

I know not every facility can do this, but I highly recommend it if you can.   It has made our lives soooooo much easier...


Edited by MDaleDDF, 20 January 2022 - 04:33 PM.


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kfromNE

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 07:54 PM

@KfromNE

 

So outside of RTE and non-RTE do you keep any kind of allergen utensil segregation via color coding or do you predominantly rely on cleaning validation and proper storage practices?

I would love to do what MDaleDDF does - but that would never be possible for me. We don't to allergen color segregation for utensils. The only color difference is - red means waste/inedible. We us proper storage practices, cleaning validation and QC monitoring/controls. We have color coded allergen labels for our ingredients but not end product.



Scampi

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 08:56 PM

Start with colour coding for non-RTE , RTE and sanitation then build on that


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


Guitardr85

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Posted 01 February 2022 - 05:26 PM

Thank you everyone for your comments. It is greatly appreciated.






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