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JohnLambert

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 12:45 PM

Hi all,

OK, before I start, I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this. BUT, I need some back-up before I address this with my MD.

So,

We are a packaging company who produce non contact packaging for the food and petfood industry and are accreddited to BRC/IOP (Cat 'A').
My dilemma is that a customer has asked us to produce an item for use as direct contact packaging (petfood) and have agreed that we can make it for them providing we carry out a risk assessment and install the relevant control measures.

Can we do this? How do we stand legally?

Now, I believe that we cannot do this and continue to conform to BRC (Cat 'A'). It would be my understanding that no concession for customer agreement exists in the standard and that the only concession is that we go to Cat 'B'.
Legally, I believe that if a contamination case should go to court, we would be found negligent due to not being able to demonstrate due dilligence, and it would be our duty of care to refuse to produce the items.

All comments, however scathing, are welcome.

John.



Simon

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 10:04 PM

We are a packaging company who produce non contact packaging for the food and petfood industry and are accreddited to BRC/IOP (Cat 'A').
My dilemma is that a customer has asked us to produce an item for use as direct contact packaging (petfood) and have agreed that we can make it for them providing we carry out a risk assessment and install the relevant control measures.

Can we do this? How do we stand legally?

Mmm, not sure about legally. I've no experience with pet food, is it classed as food? As in human food and therefore subject to all food contact legislation? Maybe someone can confirm this. :dunno:

I have heard that pet food manufacturers can be even more stingent than food companies, but I've never heard of a poodle suing a supplier for food induced illness. Sorry for being a jerk John. :biggrin:

Now, I believe that we cannot do this and continue to conform to BRC (Cat 'A'). It would be my understanding that no concession for customer agreement exists in the standard and that the only concession is that we go to Cat 'B'.
Legally, I believe that if a contamination case should go to court, we would be found negligent due to not being able to demonstrate due dilligence, and it would be our duty of care to refuse to produce the items.


There is no concession for a customer agreement, although if you and your customer were happy and you were not breaking any laws what's to stop you.

If pet food is classed as food then you will need to meet category B. Your customer has asked you to carry out a risk assessment anyhow and this is where it will lead you.

Maybe going for Cat B could open a few doors for your company in the future. Another option would be to dedicate a line or area to Cat B standard, but not always practical.

Let us know how you get on John.

Regards,
Simon

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MartLgn

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 12:24 PM

There is no concession for a customer agreement, although if you and your customer were happy and you were not breaking any laws what's to stop you.


To expand slightly on the point Simon makes, so long as the customer is happy with any additional controls you put in place there is nothing to stop you producing this packaging outside the scope of any accreditation BRC/IOP or otherwise, your due dilligence requirement may still apply even to petfood packaging but you do not have to have a certificate to prove this. Of course you would need to ensure that the new products do not affect your compliance with Cat A but I am sure you have considered this.

If pet food is classed as food then you will need to meet category B. Your customer has asked you to carry out a risk assessment anyhow and this is where it will lead you.


There are standards for livestock feed but as pets don't normally enter the foodchain in the UK( we hope) i doubt these apply to pet food, however the big boys in the domestic petfood industry have pretty stringent hygiene standards as contaminated pedigree chum would spark a national outrage in excess of any human food poisoning incident. It seems to me that the if you are able to produce the two types of packaging side by side in your facility then the call is vey much with the customer if they are satisfied with your controls.

Why put off until tomorrow that which you can avoid doing altogether ?

JohnLambert

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the input guys, more welcome.

I have always been of the belief that petfood is classified under food in general, however, you may well have changed my opinion (or maybe warped it anyway).
I am now thinking that maybe I'll just wait for our evaluation in December and blatantly ask the question. However, this would open us up to scrutiny regarding this issue and it may well become an audit point.

Hey ho!

John



Charles.C

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 11:44 AM

Dear John,

As part of my QC function some years ago I had to routinely taste petfood since all my staff unilaterally refused. The customer introduced me to the various possible gradings as though the product were a wine variety.
I can assure you that it has a definitely different taste to most European human targeted products.

Good Luck !

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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