How will you know what to produce unless it is defined? There are two types of specifications the site
will need to have: raw material and finished product. Raw and packaging materials specifications work
in conjunction with the approved supplier plan to define the product raw and packaging materials
suppliers will provide to the site as an approved supplier. And to ensure the final product meets both
company and customer requirements, finished product specifications are to be documented,
approved by the customer and kept current.
Prepare raw and packaging materials specifications
Develop finished product specifications
Applicable Code Elements
A detailed description of work to be done or materials to be used in a project; an instruction
that [defines] exactly how to do or make something (dictionary.com).
Raw and Packaging Material Specifications
The quality and safety of the finished product depends on the quality and safety of
the incoming raw materials. Specifications for raw and packaging materials must fully
describe the materials provided, comply with relevant legislation and kept current.
Safety-related information in raw material and ingredient specifications may include
threshold levels for microbiological pathogens, factors affecting microbiological
growth such as pH and water activity, threshold levels for potential chemical or
physical contaminants and the presence or absence of known allergens. The extent
to which these factors need to be included in the specifications will depend on the
use of the material and the food safety risk to the finished product.
All raw and packaging materials must be validated to ensure hazards and risks to
finished product safety are identified and controlled. Validation methods will vary
depending on the risk to finished product safety. Evidence of validation for materials
may include certificates of analysis or certificates of conformance. For food-contact
packaging material, validation may include testing or assurances for potential
chemical migration to the food product.
Finished Product Specifications
The site must develop a written finished product specification for each product (or
group of similar products) covered under the scope of certification. The specification
must, as a minimum, comply with the appropriate food safety legislation (including
labeling requirements) and must be updated as required.
A finished product specification can include microbiological (e.g., aerobic plate count,
yeast and mold, lactic, coliforms), chemical (e.g., salt, moisture, titratable acidity, pH,
fat content, brix, viscosity, etc.) and the labeling and packaging specifications for the
The site’s customers may provide finished product specifications and if this is the
case, it is advisable that both the site and their customers agree the specification is
achievable and agree on the safety attributes of the product to be supplied.
The specification must be made available to relevant processing staff in production,
process control and/or QA personnel.
Translations are provided as a service to SQF customers and are provided "as is." No warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability, or correctness of any translations made from English into any other language.