Allergen Management

Tips and tricks to help with your food safety compliance

Tools for Allergen Management

Welcome to HACCP Mentor Review Episode 18. This week we cover the hierarchy of food safety program documents, guidance tools for Allergen Management, what should be included in a wood policy and putting evidence into SQF Reliance. Episode 18 is not as long as my usual reviews and I apologise that there is no video or audio this week – just a blog post.

The hierarchy of food safety program documents

Whenever you read any of the food safety and quality certification standards you will often see references to documents, policies, procedures, forms and records. Here is a quick guide to how I explain the difference between them to any of my clients who may be new to HACCP.

Policy – this is an over-riding statement or guiding principle for the business giving overall commitment to what will be undertaken. Eg. Food Safety Policy

Procedure – these are the “how to” or the written method to how something will be done. Procedures are usually written step-by-step in the sequence that they are to occur. Other terms may include SOP or work instruction.

Forms – A form is something that gets filled out and is made of one or more fields. A food business may have many forms and can be presented electronically or more commonly as paper. Eg. customer complaint form, accident notification form, visitor sign-in form.

Records – a record is a form or template that has been filled out or has been completed. A record can also include photos and forms the basis of evidence that something has been completed eg, CCP monitoring, pre-operational checks, inwards goods checks.

Document – A document can be considered as being a writing that contains information. Examples of documents used in a food business include a position description, organisational chart, flow process chart, a product recipe.

Guidance tools for Allergen Management

There have been some recent guidance tools released to help food manufacturers with understanding, managing and implementing allergen management in their food business. Depending on your location check out the following links:

Food Drink Europe

FSANZ Food Allergen Portal

The Allergen Bureau Ltd

Wood PolicyTips and Tricks for HACCP

As a minimum your wood policy should include the following:

  1. The types of wood found in your business
  2. An assessment of the impact of these items on your food product
  3. How do you control these items so they do not contaminate the food product
  4. How are you going to check/verify the condition of the wood items.

Items may include wooden pallets, wooden handled cleaning equipment, equipment or utensils that are made up of wood, wooden surroundings

Tips for uploading CAR evidence into SQF Reliance

If your business has SQF certification you will be required to upload any corrective action evidence into the SQF Reliance system for the auditor to review. For some people this process can be a little stressful, more so if you are not organised.

The make the process less stressful try the following:

  • Have a copy of the non-conformances issued by the auditor in a stand-alone document.
  • Review the non-conformance and write out your corrective action (what you are going to do to fix the issue).
  • Collect your evidence that will show the auditor that you have fixed the issue.
  • Log onto SQF Reliance and copy and paste your corrective action and upload your evidence for each non-conformance.
  • Click on the link to send your non-conformance for review.

Delays to the close-out process will occur if you have not included acceptable evidence or only uploaded part of your evidence. If you don’t respond to your CARs this will also delay the process and you may risk losing your SQF certification.

Check out this link for more detailed information on submitting corrective actions for SQF.

Wrap Up

That is it for Episode 18 of HACCP Mentor Review, I hope you got something out of it. As always, leave your comments below or if you have any questions just contact me.




7 thoughts on “Tools for Allergen Management”

  1. Pingback: 7 tips for your HACCP Plan - HACCP Mentor

  2. regarding the uploading of CARs to the SQF Reliance website, I found out the hard way to make sure you folllow the “Finalizing a Corrective Action” as listed in the manual you linked to. When we had our Desk Audit I went through all the steps of completing and documenting the Corrective Actions, and uploaded them to the site and hit the SAVE button, thinking i was done. It was only when the auditor returned for the facility audit that I learned my earlier Corrective Actions had not been accepted. So remind your fans that they must also hit the “review” button when submitting their CARS to the SQF Reliance page.

    P.S. Love your blog Ms. Evans, very informative, though I prefer them w/ audio~I like listening to your accent. 🙂

    1. Thanks G for sharing your SQF experience. As for the audio….if I get time today I will record this episode just for you 🙂

      1. Thank you, you are too sweet. i can wait until next weeks version though, know you are busy enough. I do really like the information you post, keep up the good work!!! I’m a loyal fan!

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