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whiteman

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Posted 28 June 2022 - 08:36 PM

We were recently bought out by a larger company.  Currently we have a Quality Assurance Tech for each shift, and a SQF Practitioner for each facility.  We produce Shell Eggs at 3 of our facilities and liquid egg at another under FSIS.  We are SQF 9.0 Food Safety and Quality.  The new company says that we have too many QA's as they do not have a QA, only USDA Inspector on site.  My question is, isn't a QA required under the SQF Code for Food Manufacturing.  I don't really see how it would work, our QA's perform quality checks as well as food safety QCP's checks during production.  The QA duties are interwoven into our SQF Code as to their duties surrounding the requirements of the code.  I simply cannot see how a plant can SQF Certified and not have a QA? Each of our facilities have between 65 - 100 employees each.  The Practitioner has far too many duties, mostly paperwork to fulfill and it would be almost impossible for them to maintain the food safety and quality requirements set forth by our old company and changing the rules would be a nightmare.  

 

Is this a normal environment for food manufacturing sites not to have a QA?  



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Posted 28 June 2022 - 10:31 PM

Normally it would be the QA manager that is also the SQF Practitioner and since you have 2 shifts you could simply use 2 back up SQF Practitions to fuklfill this requirement and if your new owners have a similar facilty they could designate their own SQF Practitioner to watch over both locations and thus remove the key SQFP at your location but have 3 back up SQF Practitioners covering the shifts.

This would work out just fine, however you mentioned paperwork which leads me to deduce that you do not have an electronic Food Safety system.

If a system was put into place it can cover all locations and cut down termenously on that paperwork.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster

GOC GROUP | SQF & EESystem Operations Consultant

www.glennoster.com

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Posted 28 June 2022 - 10:32 PM

Meant to say 2 more shifts outside of the primary 1st shift.


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Glenn Oster

GOC GROUP | SQF & EESystem Operations Consultant

www.glennoster.com

Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 03:56 AM

We were recently bought out by a larger company.  Currently we have a Quality Assurance Tech for each shift, and a SQF Practitioner for each facility.  We produce Shell Eggs at 3 of our facilities and liquid egg at another under FSIS.  We are SQF 9.0 Food Safety and Quality.  The new company says that we have too many QA's as they do not have a QA, only USDA Inspector on site.  My question is, isn't a QA required under the SQF Code for Food Manufacturing.  I don't really see how it would work, our QA's perform quality checks as well as food safety QCP's checks during production.  The QA duties are interwoven into our SQF Code as to their duties surrounding the requirements of the code.  I simply cannot see how a plant can SQF Certified and not have a QA? Each of our facilities have between 65 - 100 employees each.  The Practitioner has far too many duties, mostly paperwork to fulfill and it would be almost impossible for them to maintain the food safety and quality requirements set forth by our old company and changing the rules would be a nightmare.  

 

Is this a normal environment for food manufacturing sites not to have a QA?  

Hi  W,

 

I am not particularly familiar with SQF but, Organisation-wise, is this perhaps a question of Politics/Position Semantics ?, ie implement some (nominal) name changes ?

SQF9 Code seemingly makes no specific mention of a QA (or QC) Position, eg Manager/Operatives.

I sympathise with yr overloaded Practitioners (too many Chiefs?) but this is often a question of "delegation". Are "Resources" insufficient or inequitably distributed ?

 

I deduce this other larger Company X is not certified to SQF ?

Would be interesting to see the Reporting Responsibilities-Organisation Chart for X

(eg who does the onsite USDA Officer routinely communicate with regarding Safety/Quality issues? Production Manager ? Managing Director ?)


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Kara S.

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 12:36 PM

This new company is looking at a potential cost savings avenue. QA unfortunately falls into this realm because they are not a "money making" department. 

 

I have worked at a facility where we did not have QA Tech - the operators were trained to perform all checks. We did however have QA staff that ran the programs, performed the verification activities, the holds, the bigger picture items. 

 

To make your case to keep the department you have to surround it around MONEY. To do so, you first need to fully understand how their other facilities operate with just the USDA inspector, and whether any of those facilities are SQF certified. It is possible that they are USDA only and do not understand the FDA requirements or even SQF requirements. Once you understand the extent of the changes. You will need to factor in the costs affected by this change. 

  • How many customers would you lose if you were not able to retain your SQF certification
  • How many hours will it take to train operators to perform the tasks QA is currently performing 
  • Will this cause overtime because other departments will need to perform extra tasks 
  • And so on... 

This always irks me when companies just care about profit and lean manufacturing - ZERO food safety culture and run the place into the ground. Saves them money for like 1-2 years max only to find that they needed most of the stuff they cut out and costs them millions to fix. 


Kind regards, 

 

Kara Scherer 

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

LinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


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Posted 29 June 2022 - 01:02 PM

I'm in shell egg in Canada

 

We have 5 grading stations and 3 breaking stations Each facility has an SQFP and at least 1 tech/shift

 

Granted-we do not have a CFIA inspector onsite (changes to our regulations) HOWEVER each of us is the contact for SQF and CFIA

 

I could understand that one SQFP could manage all the grading stations, but no one person could do that AND the breaking station

And given that the breakers have a kill step etc, you MUST have a tech for that location IMHO  you cannot rely on operators to monitor that process correctly

 

Explain the cost/benefit in actual dollars (what would a recall cost etc)  and how many customers are you losing if you're no longer GFSI certified??

 

Assuming the company that purchased you is not another shell egg business/


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Posted 29 June 2022 - 07:20 PM

I wouldn't say 'normal' - but not unheard of.

 

I am the only FS person in our company with 2 manufacturing sites, and 40ish warehouse locations. Our operations management team is trained in all things food safety and oversee the day to day and handles regulatory and SQF audits. I am here to ensure our programs meet standards, audit as needed, and provide support. We do have a separate QA department that has a manager and a total of 3 techs. The techs, however, do not conduct (currently) any food safety checks.

 

We have been told we are slim in this area, but have been successful so no changes are coming anytime soon. 



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Posted 29 June 2022 - 08:14 PM

I wouldn't say 'normal' - but not unheard of.

 

I am the only FS person in our company with 2 manufacturing sites, and 40ish warehouse locations. Our operations management team is trained in all things food safety and oversee the day to day and handles regulatory and SQF audits. I am here to ensure our programs meet standards, audit as needed, and provide support. We do have a separate QA department that has a manager and a total of 3 techs. The techs, however, do not conduct (currently) any food safety checks.

 

We have been told we are slim in this area, but have been successful so no changes are coming anytime soon. 

Out of curiosity then---what are you responsible for? Just program management?


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jkoratich712

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Posted 29 June 2022 - 08:21 PM

Out of curiosity then---what are you responsible for? Just program management?

 

Fair question - my initial role when I started was to get both facilities up to standard, shift food safety culture, and to implement SQF. In addition - manage our warehouse food safety and shift the culture there. So the first couple years were a lot different then today. In general, I oversee all of the food safety programs, hold monthly management meetings, annual reviews, keep up with changes to requirements (regulatory, SQF, customers), audit our suppliers, customer complaint trending, oversee warehouse audits, and assist with any issues in either site. I'm essentially corporate food safety with no site specific food safety personnel.

 

In the last year I also took over training for operations - so I handle that department too. 

 

Honestly - having ownership that from day 1 said that department managers (production, maintenance, sanitation, etc.) need to own their programs and be able to speak to all of it really shaped my job / role. Expectations were very clearly set that although my title is Food Safety, I am not the only person responsible for it. 





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