Food rework practices can vary from food business to food business. Depending on your industry category, using food rework may be a daily activity, where for others, the practice maybe be a little more sporadic. Regardless of the frequency, you need to have a plan in place to manage rework.
The US Code of Federal Regulation, defines food rework as being “clean, unadulterated food that has been removed from processing for reasons other than insanitary conditions or that has been successfully reconditioned by reprocessing and that is suitable for use as food”.
Examples of food rework can include pastry scrap added to new pastry, day old bread crumbed into stuffing mixture, minced meat into patties or whole produce into a sliced produce product.
There are several hazards associated with food rework that is not managed, handled, stored or used correctly. These can include allergen, microbiological and physical contamination along with a loss of traceability. To learn about food allergens and their impact, click here.
Implications of contamination can range from your food business having to perform a food recall to illness or injury sustained by your customer.
To ensure that food rework remains safe and suitable at all times there are some basic controls that need to be implemented by your food business. These include
One of the easiest ways to test your rework systems is to perform a food traceability activity. Make sure to include both forward and backwards traceability. To learn more about food traceability please click here.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Do you have a food rework plan in place? Do you know what rework takes place in your food business? If you don’t know, take the time to find out. If you do, fantastic! Take this opportunity to review your plan for adequacy and relevance. Share your insights with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.