New Equipment to Prevent Foreign Bodies
Do you recognize the following? ‘I am so excited. You know we received this non-conformity that we haven’t our foreign bodies under control. Well, I just signed off the budget to buy a new X-ray. So, this will solve our problem. And next to this, I also decided that we hire an external company to help us to install this equipment in two weeks. Above all, the company were I bought the x-ray told me they have one ready for us. In addition, we even got a huge discount!’
You can image how surprised this QA manager was when he heard this information. And this situation happens often, I know. It might not be a new equipment for you, but maybe Purchasing decided to change supplier without consulting you. This situation happens often in many different aspects. And as a QA manager you often have to deal with this.
Risks to Think About
Okay, let’s go back to the X-ray. Maybe in your company internal communication is better and you are involved in this process. Even so, you are facing challenges in this project. Why? Well let me explain this to you. Maintenance and an external company will install the X-ray. Firstly, they all bring in their own materials. Secondly, these need to be cleaned before entering the area. And thirdly, hopefully they also take away all the materials that don’t need to stay there. Then, the equipment is installed and needs to be cleaned before you can use it. And surprise, surprise, often materials are forgotten and left behind. And this can be a huge risk. The foreign body can end up in your product.
Preventive Actions Foreign Body
Wait, now you have an X-ray, so you are safe….are you really?
It’s always important to start with the preventive actions before you start the project. What actions can you take before the project is started? How do you know if nothing is left behind? And how do you engage everyone? There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself. That’s why it is so important to pay extra attention to Foreign Body Management. A lot of the preventive actions you have already implemented in your processes, however these activities with new equipment aren’t always implemented. Meanwhile, you might face issues with a foreign body in products due to installing new equipment.
Foreign Bodies that might end up in Your Product
The machines, belts, walls, everything might be damaged. And damaged mains that we can have a food safety risk. What will our next step be? Yes, we need to repair the damage or to renew things. Also the maintenance and repair can be a foreign body risk. Screws, rubber, metal parts and many other parts have been found in foodstuff. How does this happen? It might be that maintenance was carried out to late. On the other hand, it can also be that the design has flaws. Or just that someone has forgotten to put things away, or because the person was called to come quickly to another part of the factory because the issue there is much higher than the work he was performing. There can be so many reasons why this occurs and a foreign body comes in your product. It’s up to you and your colleagues to find the root cause. And with your colleagues I mean also colleagues of other departments, not only the QA department.
How to Improve Your System on Foreign Bodies
Let me help you with this, so you can improve your system. Let’s start at the beginning what you can do to improve:
- Identify all relevant Foreign Objects for Your Company
- Create Your Own Foreign Object Heat Map
- Identify all existing Preventive Measures of Your Facility
- Know the major Sources of Foreign Objects in Your Facility
- Identify and know in which Areas Foreign Objects occur and where the Preventive Actions might not be sufficient
- Build Your Business Case on Your Typical Costs of Foreign Objects so you know the Investment to improve Your Situation
Training 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 training. 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. In this module you will receive ± 2.5 hours of training via video lessons on HOW to Improve your Foreign Body Management System and ± 10 downloads that you can implement in your organization.
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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Foreign Objects Management Poster