This article is written to meet the following sections of the Standards:

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 8SOI 4.9 Chemical and physical product contamination control
SOI 5.3 Management of allergens
BRCGS Packaging Issue 6SOI 4.9 Product contamination control
P618: Position statement for issue 6 (allergen management control)
BRCGS Agents & Brokers Issue 3Not applicable
BRCGS Storage & Distribution Issue 4SOI 7.4 Physical and chemical product contamination risk
7.4.2 Contamination incidents
SOI 7.7 Management of allergens
FSSC22000 Version 5.1ISO 22000:2018 8.2.4 h) PRP – prevention of contamination
IFS Food Version 74.12.1, 4.12.2 Foreign body controls
SQF Edition 911.7.3.1 Foreign matter contamination

Scope

The finished consumer product must be protected from contamination, which means that all materials involved in the supply-chain for that product need to be free from contamination.

Contamination can come from the processing environment:

  • The processing and storage facility (such as fabrication, pipes, walkways, platforms, ladders).
  • The processing and storage environment (such as airborne contamination).
  • Equipment and lubrication.
  • Tools and utensils.
  • Material and finished product packaging.
  • Personnel.
  • Chemicals.
Contamination Control eDocs

Risk assessment

Although contamination has already been covered in the product safety plan, further risk assessments are still required.

The product safety plan looks at the process steps specifically. It doesn’t look at the overall environment. And it only identifies the type of control needed, it doesn’t go into the detail needed to identify the specifics of how the control must be managed (unless it’s defined as a product safety control point).

Allergen risk assessment

For example, allergens are considered in the product safety plan, but on its own – the hazard analysis doesn’t provide enough detail to be able to prevent allergen cross-contamination.

Registers

The product safety plan also doesn’t go into sufficient detail to provide a register of where such contamination risks are located. For example, it wouldn’t identify where all the knives are on site, or how often they should be checked.

Please check

So, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that having a statement like ‘contamination is considered in the product safety plan’ in your contamination control procedure – will get you through your audit.

Risk assessment methods

Before you document a risk assessment, you must decide what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.

This means, you must write down your method for you risk assessment. Doing this may seem like a lot of work, but we promise you’ll find that it’s worth it. Having to write down a method, forces you to work through the detail – which means your assessment will be much more effective and consistent.

Non-conforming product

All incidents where the product has been contaminated, or is at immediate risk of contamination, must be managed as non-conforming.

The procedure for handling such incidents, must include:

  • Communication channels.
  • Putting affected materials on hold.
  • Investigation, including finding the source of the contamination.
  • Corrective action.
  • Preventive action using root cause analysis.
Contamination Control eDocs

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