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HOW TO COMPILE A TESTING SCHEDULE - PART 1

Janice Giddy
 August 04, 2020
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10 STEPS TO COMPILE A PRODUCT TESTING SCHEDULE

  1.  Compile a list of all the product categories manufactured on site.
    Here you can group products that have similar characteristics together.
  2. List all the raw materials, and processing aids used in the manufacturing process per product category. The following provides a guide:
    • Raw materials (ingredients)
    • Product contact packaging material (e.g bottles, lids etc)
    • Water, complressed air, ice or steam (if in direct contact with the product)
  3. Define the product characteristics that need to be tested / verified per item listed above e.g:
    • Legal requirements (product core temperatures, alcohol content, water content, mass tolerances, size, requirements as per claims on label etc)
    • Quality requirements (organoleptic – colour, taste, texture, smell, size, or thickness of carton, type and quality of packaging, positioning of label on product, description of pallet configuration)
    • Nutritional requirements: e.g protein, fat, sugar, salt content, water content, etc
    • Customer requirements: where a customer specifies a requirement e,g for a fruit concentrate: variety of fruit, °Brix (min sweetness), pH, acidity, pulp content, preservative content etc
    • Food Safety: Chemical hazards e.g pesticide residues, maximum preservatives levels, veterinary residues, heavy metals, aflatoxins etc Microbiological: presence of good pathogens, Allergens: presence of any undeclared allergens, Physical (free from any foreign objects e.g pieces of metal, stone, leaves etc), 
    • Product integrity requirements: Food Fraud detection, presence of any form of adulteration or substitution, claims such organic or vegan

4.  Identify how each of the above requirements can be managed and constrolled by your SQA process.

 

Here are some pointers:

 4.1    Obtain supplier information:
         Consider the following:

  • Is this a known or unknown / new supplier?
  • Is the source of the raw material known or are you purchasing through an agent?
  • Is it an imported raw material?
  • Has the supplier completed the supplier questionnaire and is all supporting documentation attached?
  • Is there proof of current and valid GFSI recognised Food Safety Certification e.g GFSI Intermediate, GlobalGAP, FSSC 22000 or BRC?
  • Have you cross-checked authenticity of this certificate with the certification body?
  • Are Specifications available for all raw materials and is the information provided in line with R146 (labelling regulation) requirements
  • Do the raw material specifications include clear microbiological criteria
  • Are Certificates of Conformance or Analysis available and supplied per delivery / available on request
  • Is there a history of food safety / quality deviations from the supplier if it is an existing supplier?
  • Have you audited the supplier? What were the results of this audit?

4.2  Obtain Raw material information
When you do this you need to consider the following aspects:
4.2.1   Food Fraud evaluation

  • Is the origin of the raw material known?
  • Is it an imported raw material?
  • Is the raw material susceptible to significant price fluctuations?
  • Are there any specific claims made regarding the status of the product e.g organic? Products with a claim are normally higher in value and therefore more vulnerable to food fraud
  • Could food fraud go undetected in this raw material?
  • What is the physical form of the product is it a liquid, minced, chopped or a powder product? Liquid and powder products are more susceptible to adulteration
  • Is the raw material or ingredient associated with any form of adulteration .eg honey, alcohol, spices and olive oil, are all products commonly associated with adulteration or substitution
  • Is the supplier able to provide a Laboratory Report from an ISO 17025 accredited testing lab with results indicating that the product is free from any form of adulteration per batch of raw material to supplied to your facility?

Continue to Part 2

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