IFS Blog

Most Seen Deviations in Packaging Audits

The requirements of IFS PACsecure are designed to examine the processes of all types of packaging manufacturing. Looking at the bigger picture of the audits performed, whether in plastic, paper, metal, or glass manufacturing, certain patterns become apparent. Some requirements are frequently rated with deviations. 

For example, the requirements on glass breakage:

4.12.8 – All stationary objects made of or incorporating glass or brittle material present in areas of handling of raw materials, converting, wrapping and storage shall be listed in a specific register, including details of their exact location. An assessment of the condition of objects on the register shall be performed on a regular basis and recorded. Frequency of this check shall be justified by documents. 

Most seen deviations were:

  • Inventory not made, nor audits of condition of what is in the plant.
  • Glass and brittle plastic inspection records are not available.
  • Fire alarms with glass are not listed in the glass/hard plastic register. The number of lamps is not mentioned in the register.
  • List of glass and brittle materials available, but the condition of the glass and plastic items was not verified.
  • Some glass items are not included in the list as manometer located on each machine. The list doesn't include brittle material (acrylic glass). Frequency of monthly inspection is not justified by documents.
  • No proof of stationery objects in glass or brittle plastic were checked.

Glass and brittle material may end up on or in the packaging product as a foreign material. They constitute a hazard and can cause injury. The detection of foreign material from glass and rigid plastic maybe costly and extensive in many cases. Therefore, the focus is on preventative measures.

According to the requirement a complete list of all glass of brittle object shall be made. Understandably there're objects which can easily be overlooked, such as manometers or safety covers of fire alarm buttons.

Auditors will check if the glass register is complete and includes the location of the objects. Furthermore, it must be clear if checks are performed regularly. The company shall provide evidence (records) indicating what, how, how often and who performs the checks of the condition, and how defects are handled.

What can be done?

  • Record exactly where glass and brittle material is located (room, line… ).
  • Specify how often the glass registers shall be checked.
  • Create a check list and review the condition of the objects.
  • Take photos and add descriptions to help record cracks and damages. They also help to track changes of the condition.
  • Cross check with final product control and complaints.
  • Consider the checklist when revising the safety system.

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