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JohnLambert

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:05 PM

Hello again,

Not been here for a while, but, I have a problem and I'm turning to the expert community here for an SOS.

For those that don't know, I work for a corrugated packaging company in Lincolnshire and the dilemma I have is actually BRC Food Standard related. Being in a packaging company, I am not overly familiar with the food version of the BRC standard.

One of my customers, a frozen fish company, is telling us that their BRC auditor is insisting that their factory become totally wood free, and that they would like us to supply on plastic pallets.

What I would like to know is...what is the clause that forbids the use of wooden pallets and, bearing in mind that our goods would only enter into the end packaging area, how can we overcome it.

For reference, the end packaging area is not segregated by walls from the main production area but the production line is a straight end to end process. Each line runs in the same direction and all packing is done at one end of the factory.

Any help would be most appreciated.
Regards,
John Lambert



Simon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:16 PM

Hi John, I cannot help you myself, but I'm bumping your query to the top of the pile to give you a better chance of an answer.

Regards,
Simon


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cazyncymru

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:41 PM

section 4.8.5 on issue 5 deals with wood

4.8.5.1

" In areas where a risk assessment has identified the potential for product contamination from wood, the use of wood shall be excluded. where the use of wood cannot be avoided, and the risk is managed, the condition of the wood shall be regularly checked to ensure it is in good condition and clean"

i would say, that as there is no segregating wall between end of line and production, that the company that you are supplying will have carried out a risk assessment and have come to the conclusion that the wooden pallets pose a risk to their final product.


hope this helps



Simon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:50 PM

Caz do you fancy a :beer: or a :mwah:

Thanks,
Simon


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salmonboy

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:03 AM

Hi John,
As Caz has already said it sounds as if the company you are supplying do not have segregation between their goods in/ packaging store and their production area(s).

Wooden pallets are the "norm" in the fish industry and we have always used them for all our goods in and out. In my experience BRC auditors have no issue with this so long as their use is correctly controlled.

Gary



JohnLambert

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 03:16 PM

Thanks for the input guys,

You have confirmed basically what I thought. Risk assessment and adequate control seems to be the key here.
OK customer, look out because I'm now armed and dangerous. (or something like that)

Fun always.
John



Charles.C

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 10:02 AM

Dear John,

Sorry to add a dissenting voice but I hv personally heard of plenty of negative opinions regarding wooden pallets in the seafood business as per yr original post although cannot speak specificallly for the UK. Unfortunately, plastic pallets generally are extremely expensive. The result IMEX is that considerable ingenuity has been exercised to propose control measures so as to permit continued use of input material using wood pallets. Unfortunately again, if the receiver has an open plan such as you indicate (usually an already questionable practice to an auditor IMEX), even more ingenuity will presumably be required.

Another possible factor is that this kind of issue may come within the concept of "continuous improvement", something which the BRC seem to be becoming ever more focused on.

Perhaps you shud inform this receiver to erect some prefab. walls since they will probably hv the same difficulty from any other suppliers :smile:

There also seem to be various grades of wooden pallets (rejects?) IMEX, some are visible hazards with regard to breakage so there may be justification for concern in such cases. Maybe some such hazard had been previously noticed during an audit and you are getting the fallout ?

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


GMO

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 04:28 PM

I've worked in several factories where there is no physical barrier between open food areas and areas where wood is permitted; I have also worked in food factories where wood is permitted in food areas on a risk assessed basis.

I think it is possible to manage a wood risk without putting up walls; you could have areas, ideally lines on the floor over which wood is not permitted. They also need a foreign body reporting procedure, regular black bag audits and careful intake checks to check the quality of incoming pallets. I have also found that the most likely place where wood contamination occurs is in freezers with racking. The reason for this is because people damage the pallets going into the racking and also take ingredients out of boxes in the freezer rooms without moving the open box or resealing it properly. If that's what is happening, it's their problem not yours.

Here's a list of suppliers who will not supply on plastic in my experience:

frozen cooked chicken (e.g. CP foods)
Bagged rice 25kg or 1 tonne bags
Spice suppliers
Noodle suppliers
Fresh unprocessed produce suppliers
Packaging suppliers
Any frozen fish supplier

I could go on...

Hope that's helpful.



MRios

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:17 PM

I suppose flour (supplied in 50 and 100 lb sacks) would probably also be supplied on wooden pallets ??
That´s our case, because indeed plastic pallets are extremely expensive compared to wood ones. We have a pallet control program that ensures that all damaged pallets are repaired. Also, because of the type of sacks used (paper and polypropylene), if a splinter got into the sacks, it would rip it, causing the flour to spill. Any damaged sacks are pulled out.
Completely off the topic but, GMO, I´m so envious of your avatar. I wish it was mine!!! I´m a big fan of the Professor and his assistant, Beaker.



aps

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:12 PM

Hi all,

I work in a bakery and we have deliveries on wooden pallets. We had to control the risk and on goods in we invert all wooden pallet deliveries onto plastic pallets.

On segregation within the factory we only allow wooden pallets within the warehouse on materials which is not praticle to invert.

Open packing rooms we do not permit pallets in this area. The only other area we allow wooden pallets is in the packing areas where we pack closed sealed finished goods.

We also insist and monitor that no broken pallets are used.

Hope this helps!





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