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Posted 19 April 2024 - 08:16 PM

Hi there. 


We had a large/normal sized refrigerator in our receiving office for samples and it stopped working for the most part/the seals weren't in good shape. When maintenance replaced the fridge, they brought it upon themselves to put the old fridge in the maintenance shop. I did not like this and felt it was kind of a GMP violation. 


I found food in there 1 time and that was it for me. I wanted it out of there. We just had a maintenance guy throw an absolute fit about it. He literally threw the fridge out of the door. 


I could not find anything in the SQF code point-blank that says they could not have this. We also follow the PMO. 


I need some hard black and white rules to shove in their face quickly - PLEASE HELP 


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Posted 19 April 2024 - 08:33 PM

This exact situation happened to me. The (NSF) inspector made us build walls to close off the area even though the fridge was in the warehouse.

The presence of a fridge made this area a "break room" in the inspector's eyes.


I found this in SQF Food Safety Code: Food Manufacturing, Edition 9 Separate break rooms shall be provided away from food contact/handling zones.

Break rooms shall be:

  • i. Ventilated and well lit;
  • ii. Provided with adequate tables and seating to cater for the maximum number of staff at one sitting;
  • iii. Equipped with a sink serviced with hot and cold potable water for washing utensils;
  • iv. Equipped with refrigeration and heating facilities, enabling staff to store or heat food and to prepare non-alcoholic beverages if required; and
  • v. Kept clean and free from waste materials and pests.

If the warehouse is a food handling area, or if you store food there, it is pretty clearly a GMP violation.

You can't control what allergens employees store there, and there is not likely a handwashing station where they placed the fridge.



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Posted 19 April 2024 - 09:27 PM

In my travels as an auditor I ran into a lot of maintenance shops that had a frig in them, when I told them either they had to go thru the steps to designate the area a break room and all that it would entail the frig normally made an exit on the spot - but of course not until countless threw a fit about it.


I am sure however that the frig's promptly re-appeared the next day after the audit.


I remember walking thru a coffee roasting company and there were contractors working and one of them had an incredibly large and quite beautiful rolling tool chest that had a mini fridge, microwave open and TV built in - that was something, and when it was not in use you could not tell any of those things were present - cept that one of the guys decided to slide open a door and exposed the fridge, took out a Healthy Meal and popped it into the microwave - there was fireworks that day from the QA Manager that was walking around with me.

Edited by SQFconsultant, 19 April 2024 - 09:27 PM.

All the Best,


All Rights Reserved,

Without Prejudice,

Glenn Oster.

Glenn Oster Consulting, LLC -

SQF System Development | Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant

Martha's Vineyard Island, MA - Restored Republic





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Posted 22 April 2024 - 04:39 PM


 We just had a maintenance guy throw an absolute fit about it. He literally threw the fridge out of the door. 



Sounds like problem solved to me!   Lol....

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