"184.108.40.206 The intended use of each product shall be determined and documented by the food safety team. This shall include target consumer groups, the potential for consumption by vulnerable groups of the population, requirements for further processing if applicable, and potential alternative uses of the product."
This is my first SQF as a practitioner. I'm fine tuning in preparation for our audit and I wanted to see if I could gather clarity on what this may look like for a beverage manufacturing company. There are no medical or supplemental values in the products that we produce. So how does one identify the intended use for a simple beverage to be consumed by ANY person?
This topic is a fundamental early step in Codex/FDA/USDA HACCP Plans. it has been discussed in numerous Literature documents.
The, afai can see, near Universal HACCP response to the SQF query is initially/partially a "pragmatic" one, ie to specify the intended user via preliminary queries such as these examples -
Is the food intended for the general public?
Is the food intended for consumption by a population with increased susceptibility to illness (e.g. infants, the aged, the infirm, immuno-compromised individuals)?
Is the food to be used for institutional feeding or the home?
When there is no processing or other manufacturing (e.g. cutting, wrapping), the description of the product can be limited to information available on the label (prepacked food) or other information on the food extracted from reliable websites. Unless specifically targeted to certain consumers (e.g. baby food), the intended use can be considered as consumption by the general public.
I'm not a SQF user but in (HACCP) Principles, "use" can also involve other aspects such as consumer handling, eg whether further cooking is involved. This intro/form is a simple, basic, diagrammatic summary (the original text has expanded details) (HACCP Alliance 2011) -
2) Describe the Product, Intended Use and Consumers
The HACCP team should describe the product(s), the type of packaging, the method of distribution, the intended customer (e.g., general public, infants, elderly) and likely use of the product (e.g., consumed without further cooking, heat-and-serve, cooked). It may seem to take a lot of effort to complete a very detailed description of the product and intended use, but it is necessary to assure an accurate hazard analysis.
Product Description.PNG 48.51KB
In Codex haccp the above info is conventionally handled in a Table something like these examples (many, many others on this Forum).
Product description and intended use.pdf 119.65KB
Product description and intended use, MAF,1997.pdf 143.16KB