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HACCP Training for Flexible Packaging Industry

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Stephwoegs

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 07:52 PM

Hi, everyone! 

I am new to the Flexible Packaging Industry. I come from the RTE Beef Industry, and I was the Microbiologist/Quality Supervisor at my plant. My job was to manage swabbing, sanitary design, tracking and trending of results, CAPA, and investigations, audit prep etc. Needless to say, I was always at work, so when a recruiter offered me a Quality Manager job at a Flexible Packaging Firm, I decided to give it a try. Its SQF Level 2, HACCP Plan in place with no CCP. That to me is a red flag. I just don't understand how it is possible. And being the industry, I come from, I was HACCP Certified, but that was a broad training I received about 7 years ago. We had a HACCP Coordinator at the plant, and he managed all of the documentation, the audits etc. So now here I am at my new job, and I am going thru all of the programs. Well HACCP is where I am stuck. We all know we are supposed to have a HACCP team, and I do not. They have no training in HACCP. So, I have been doing a lot of research. I need a class for them to receive their HACCP training so they can help form a HACCP team, and I need a more advanced Training for implementing and managing a HACCP plan. Normally I would go over to ZOSI, but it is all food and beverage based. While that works for me, I know it may confuse those who are going to be on the team. We basically receive film in, we either create pouches or flat bottom bags with zippers inside and ship out. We also do innolok bags too. There is no swab program because there is next to no wet cleaning, and they state that the film contacts surfaces do not touch the equipment, but it does. I have a feeling we are not in compliance, and we are all fairly new to this industry as well. (management and executive team)

So basically, my question is: what HACCP training should i get for my support staff/HACCP Team, and what HACCP Training class should I get for myself for implementation, management and verification of HACCP

I have contacted AIB. They are 425 a person and only 4-hour classes. I was always under the impression training was 9 hours. Then I contacted NSF who seems to have a class specifically for Flexible Packaging. That is 9 hours and about 825 a person on select dates. 

I figured asking the community would be my best bet. I haven't really found any black and white answers out there, and I want to do this right and set everyone up for success! 

Thank you in advance for taking the time out to read my post and I hope someone responds! 



lisiegirl

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 03:08 PM

Finding HACCP training specifically geared towards the food packaging industry is a challenge at best! We too make food contact packaging and I have yet to find what I'm looking for in regards to HACCP for our industry. I ended up taking the course through AIB, which I do not recommend because it is solely focused on food manufacturers and hasn't been updated to include oPRP's. I know there are other consulting firms out there that provide training, but again, not solely focused on packaging.

As for CCP's; I have yet to run into a packaging provider that has a CCP on their HACCP Plan, so I would say this is quite common.



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beautiophile

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 01:48 AM

Finding HACCP training specifically geared towards the food packaging industry is a challenge at best! We too make food contact packaging and I have yet to find what I'm looking for in regards to HACCP for our industry. I ended up taking the course through AIB, which I do not recommend because it is solely focused on food manufacturers and hasn't been updated to include oPRP's. I know there are other consulting firms out there that provide training, but again, not solely focused on packaging.

As for CCP's; I have yet to run into a packaging provider that has a CCP on their HACCP Plan, so I would say this is quite common.

 

This also has been annoying for decades.

The trainers usually say the typical HACCP training materials are mostly unsuitable for packaging productions because they mention food processes.

Still GFSI Auditors accept those. Food producers feel satisfied (a.k.a. familiar) while auditing packaging suppliers. And so few of them can technically criticise the HACCP (or HARA) plans and appear helpful. The reviews often stop at showing HACCP certificates. People then find a easiest way to get certificate papers.

The industry will remain status quo, IMHO.



Scotty_SQF

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 11:05 AM

I'm in the industry as well and have been worked for two different companies and both had no CCP's so it is as the other user above mentioned, quite common.  I too originally started from the food industry.  I have not heard of any specific class for HACCP training just to packaging.  What I have done in the past is train my own HACCP team and that was always sufficient as long as I could show auditors what I trained on and provided proof of training.  Having said that, your back-up SQF Practitioner will need an actual certified HACCP training with a certificate.

 

Some advice transitioning from food to packaging, remember this is packaging not food.  Things are not always as critical.  Find a supplier you trust and form some sort of base relationship with them to share ideas and ask questions.  The right person with a lot of knowledge will be helpful in the transition.



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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 25 April 2024 - 02:11 PM

The principles of HACCP aren't industry specific so you likely will never find training that doesn't include all aspects of HACCP. Once trained, you can only apply the information that applies to you and your processes. We are a paperboard packaging manufacturer and all auditors have stated they don't expect to see any CCPs but I took a 9 hour HACCP training that mostly seemed foreign as we do not deal with any type of food.





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