Yes, Everyone Has CCP’s, and Still We Find Foreign Bodies in Our Products
Do you recognize the following? Many of us receive complaints on an ongoing basis and often even on a daily basis. The complaints are various, however many of the complaints contain foreign objects in our products. And you might have noticed this as well…there were a lot of recalls in 2021 regarding foreign objects.
Let’s have a look at the Horizonscan recall database on Foreign Bodies. In 2021 the following is registered by the authorities:
• 215 recalls were performed on glass in products
• 184 recalls took place due to metal in products
• 18 recalls on products that contained wood
• 200 recalls thanks to plastic in the products
• 23 recalls on products containing insects
• 13 recalls were registered with foreign objects in products
No, Not Everyone Complains
And of course, you also know as I do, not everyone complains. Many people will throw away the product and might decide never to buy your product again. A little rule of thumb: 1 in 10 people complain. And if we believe that the object is large enough we don’t think this might be a food safety issue, we don’t notify the authorities that we have found foreign objects in our products. Or if we believe this object is the only one, we consider the rest of the products to be okay, so no issue or reason to recall.
We All Have CCP’s And OPRP’s On Foreign Bodies
Next to this, we all know that all of these companies have CCP’s and OPRP’s on foreign objects. They all implemented metal detections, sieves, x-rays, etc. And still they are facing foreign objects in their products. Why do you think we still are at risk even if we have implemented several CCP’s and OPRP’s?
What is your reaction if you see the answer of your supplier that they have a CCP for controlling foreign objects and that they will re-train their staff? Is this really going to solve the issue?
What Do We See Happening?
When the complaint is received, the QA department performs a root cause analysis. Do we recognize the foreign object? Is it really something we have in our facility? Or could this have been introduced by our supplier? Did our CCP or OPRP function well?
Often the QA department already has an official answer for the customer. I have seen answers like: ‘No, this is not possible. At our facility we have implemented a metal detection machine and this machine detects if there are foreign bodies in our product. Our products are 100% safe. This foreign particle can’t be introduced by us’.
Or ‘We gave training to our staff to prevent this happening in the future’.
Maybe you got the answer ‘We created a new form. Our workers need to fill out the form every hour’.
And these answers are also the results of the root cause analyses and the actions to be taken to prevent this in the future.
Sorry, but I am not surprised that with these kind of actions you are facing complaints and having the risk of performing a recall. In some cases QA employees act on an autopilot. They receive or create an overview of possible answers to send to the customer. The root cause analyses is focused on corrective actions. And often they forget about the preventive actions that could be taken as well.
Why Does This Happen?
One of the reasons that we find foreign bodies in our products, is that we all are facing the challenge of having QA staff that has the knowledge of food safety. Next to this we are all very busy and we don’t have the time to dive into these kind of questions. We just answer the questions, hopefully the customer is happy and we move on.
A next time your situation might be different. The customer has notified the authorities because the customer lost trust in your way of handling complaints. And now you are facing a recall.
Or one of your customers had a severe issue and this foreign body damaged the oesophagus. You don’t want to have this situation.
Can We Prevent Foreign Objects Only With Our CCP’s and OPRP’s?
We can’t prevent foreign bodies in our products only with our CCP’s and OPRP’s. We also need to handle our PRP’s. And for some reason PRP’s don’t get the attention that they need. If you spend more time on your PRP’s, you might have less issues with foreign objects.
Course on Foreign Body Prevention
All GFSI-guidelines acquire that people are trained. Therefor we all provide a lot of trainings on our CCP’s and OPRP’s. After following the training the people understand the meaning of their CCP and OPRP and how to act. However, as mentioned above focusing only on CCP’s and ORPR’s isn’t going to solve the issues we have with foreign body in products. Next to this, often after following a training you learned a lot about WHY it is so important that you take action. On the other hand, most of the courses don’t provide you the information of HOW to improve your system. And that’s exactly the difference of all the courses of Food Safety Experts and all the other courses you can find. We, at Food Safety Experts, focus on the HOW. This will give you a lot of tools to implement and improve your situation.
Check out our training. You will have one year access to the video lesson. This will give you the time to implement what you have learned. You can watch the training as often as you would like to. Next to this, you will receive a certificate that you followed a training on Foreign Object Management. For more information: A Successful Approach To Foreign Object Management
QFS Mastery Program
At Food Safety Experts we have our QFS Mastery Program. This Program contains 24 modules with different topics related to food safety. And Foreign Body in Product is one of the modules. This Program will give you a huge boost as a professional and for your company. For more information, please visit our website QFS Mastery Program.
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