How good is your glass register?

The prevention and control of glass and similar items should be the priority of any type of foreign matter prevention program. It is this priority that sets the requirements in many food safety laws around the world. Third party food certification standards take this further by mandating the implementation of particular prevention and control measures relating to glass and similar items.

The Challenge

Welcome to week 10 of the Food Safety HACCP Challenge. This week’s challenge has been inspired by a client of mine who went through their SQF certification audit this week. The Food Safety HACCP challenge set for this week is to check that all relevant items are listed on your glass register.

How to complete this Challenge

Step 1: Get a copy of your glass register.

Step 2: Walk around your food business and check if you have captured or documented all sources of glass and brittle plastic.

Step 3: If you have identified items that are not on your glass register, update your register to reflect ‘real life’.

Tip: Get a few different people to complete this #FSHChallenge. A fresh set of eyes helps with food safety blindness.

What is the purpose of a glass register?

The purpose of a glass register is to outline and identify the sources of potential foreign matter contamination related to glass items. This would also include brittle plastic and other materials. If you need a template for a glass register – Click Here.

What should be included on the glass register?

Some areas and items to consider when looking for glass and brittle plastic include lights and light covers, clocks, emergency exit signage, covers on measurement instruments, glass dial covers, storage containers, windows, viewing panels, indicator sirens and packaging. The list could go on but in essence, the glass register needs to be complete and cover all glass located within your food business.

Documenting your glass register

For my consultancy clients, I generally have a documented list of all of the glass and brittle plastics present within the food business. This list (which includes the quantity of each item) then forms part of the regular monthly inspection tool. At a recent SQF certification audit, the auditor provided an alternative way of recording this glass register. It was to take a photo of the area and circle the glass and brittle plastic items within that area. This photo could then form the basis of a visual location tool to assist in the inspection of these items.


The big picture

Your glass register forms just a small part of your overall glass / foreign matter prevention program. Other areas to include are:

  • Foreign matter identification and control procedures
  • Regular glass inspection program to check for breakages or missing pieces
  • Maintenance and repair activities
  • Corrective action procedures when a glass breakage is found
  • Training of staff in glass control, detection and corrective procedures.

What is on your glass register?

Help your food safety / QA brothers and sisters around the world by adding some of the items that you have on your glass register. You can also include brittle plastics and other items. Just leave your comment below this post.

10 thoughts on “How good is your glass register?”

  1. Good day

    I have just finished my HACCP Implementation course, and was wondering if you could assist with a template for appointment letters for my Food Safety Team?


    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      Thanks for your comment Thembeka. Unfortunately I do not have any of these templates currently available but will look to see if this is something I can add as a potential resource.

  2. I love the idea of taking a picture!! My glass and brittle plastic document is four pages long and as hard as I try to keep it somewhat organized, it is a mess to follow. I recently had another employee complete the visual check and the results were not good. He left many places blank cause he could not locate or understand the location and it took him an hour +. Thanks for the idea.

  3. In a packaging manufacturing plant, where the offices are completely separated from the packaging production area, would glass and hard plastic items in the offices need to be on the register? Or, would it be the glass/plastic in the packaging production areas and the quality lab? it seems silly to be auditing offices for glass and plastic items. they are forbidden to be taken to the production area anyway.

    1. Thanks for your question Lonnie. It really comes down to risk and the practices of your staff. What are the chances of glass and hard plastics items ending up in production area where they could contaminated the products? Glass/plastic items definitely need to be controlled in the packaging production areas and the quality lab.

  4. Great info Amanda. Time for to set up a glass register. By the way, must this go hand in hand with a glass policy?

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