Quality control

  1. DJ. Rose, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association

Companies seeking to develop their activities under the present volatile economy, should put clear objectives as to how the various links must operate the enterprise.To achieve these objectives it is necessary to provide mechanisms for monitoring (monitoring) the effectiveness and implementation of the procedure changes where necessary strengthening. The quality management system (TQM, Total Quality Management) - A management tool that provides this capability. In the broadest sense, TQM It provides the work of the economic system by means of which the entire organization can be used to meet customer requirements. Importantly, TQM- It is not just a technical standard, and the system, covering both technical operations and business functions. The basic requirement for the success of a quality management system - is the availability of good governance as the system itself can not ensure its implementation, and any embedded system will be good as good as implementing their staff. The purpose of this chapter - review of key elements necessary in the implementation of quality management system. Below are the typical kinds of quality management systems, which may act in this or that organization, and how to use them to take into account all the necessary for the implementation of the system TQM requirements. We consider the main steps required to start system development and the process of its implementation. In addition, the following explains the basic monitoring of the processes needed to confirm the success of the implementation of the system and its development.

1.1. The definition of "quality"

Despite the abundance of quality assurance materials, their standards and many quality definitions, many are still bewildered by the term "quality". In the early versions of quality management, the expressions "quality assurance" and "quality control" were often used as synonyms. However, the importance of the distinction between reactive quality management (quality control) and preventive (proactive) quality management (quality assurance) was realized quite quickly, and more importantly, the benefits of implementing quality assurance systems were realized, and practitioners began to extract From this system direct benefit. Concept TQM takes the next step, and as evidenced by BS 5750 / 750 9000, aims to treat all operations and processes used in the company, it is essential for the overall operation of the business and the quality of its functional parameters.
In accordance with BS 7850 quality management system can be defined as "management strategy and tactics of the company, the purpose of which is the most efficient use of human and material resources of the organization to achieve its goals. " Margaret Thatcher once described quality is very succinctly several different angle, that is, as "a combination of product characteristics that ensure the interest of consumers is to the product, not the product of his search for the consumer."
It is important, however, to understand that the purpose of the organization can be different and reflect along with the obvious issues of quality of products and other basic needs of her. Therefore, the system TQM Should include such diverse goals as customer satisfaction, enterprise development, profit maximization, market leadership, environmental, health and safety issues, and reflect the position and role of the firm in a particular region. The quality management system to ensure compliance with the requirements of the current legislation in all its forms should be guided by the dominant principles in the field of food safety, business practices, attitudes to the environment and waste products, workers' rights, health and safety of the population.
The need for a quality management system supports the requirement to meet the ever growing desire of consumers for improving the reliability and quality of food. Reliable credible operational delivery to retailers of products with a short shelf life, the release of cheap, but healthy products and a continuing need to provide confirmation of safety of products - all this reinforces the need rassmаsidered manufacture refrigerated foods in general.
Unfortunately, this issue has been a lot of confusing publications. For a description of the quality management systems (TQM) Various names used - for example, Continuous Quality Improvement {continuous quality improvement) Total Quality (Full quality) Total Business Management (Full business management) Company Wide Business Management (Business management in the company-wide) Cost Effective Quality Management (Cost-effective quality management), Integrated Management Systems (Integrated Management System), and others. Suffice it to say that the objectives of the various schemes within the meaning of the same, and we once again draw your attention to the above definition TQM of BS 7850. Проблема TQMfor practitioners is usually not in the name of a quality management system, and in understanding the processes to identify all the key parameters that require installation, management and control within the TQM.

This analysis of the key processes in the enterprise can be made in different ways. Most important for the analysis of the possibility of collecting usable data describing a particular process. You can use the forms for data collection, available technical data, market research, data on labor productivity, or its financial statements. Analysis of the raw data to extract information applicable for use may be performed by various methods. AT BS 7850 recommended so-called "similarity diagrams", brainstorming, cause-effect diagrams, technological maps (route maps, production flowcharts) and tree diagrams for the analysis of non-numeric data. For the analysis of numerical data, control tables, histograms, Pareto diagrams and scatter graphs are used. If the company understands all the processes occurring in it, you can define each process, implement its management tools, monitor the effectiveness and measure the improvement. This is the fundamental basis of the quality management system.
1.2. Quality Assurance System
The basis for any quality management system is contained in the principles of "correct production methods" (PPMs or GMP:, Good Manufacturing Practice). Technical requirements for PMP of refrigerated products are discussed above in other sections. In developed countries, there are many guidelines for the production, processing, transportation and preparation of refrigerated products [2-4,6, 8]. The focus of these documents is on the technical requirements for safe and hygienic production methods, due to the correct methods of storage, handling, storage and transportation. In this context, these methods can be considered basic technical goals or standards that require implementation.
Currently, there are different systems of quality assurance in the production of chilled and frozen foods. The most common formal quality assurance system - this is still a set of standards BS EN ISO 9000 (BS 5750), comprising, in particular, BS EN ISO 9002 (production facilities and equipment), and BSENISO 9001 (new product development). The advantage of the system ISO 9000 is the possibility of establishing formal levers of production activities, as well as the fact that it can be easily extended to other important aspects of the enterprise (supply and sales). Many businesses have expanded their system ISO 9000 to the quality management system by the inclusion of other important processes for them.
Companies have to consider and the conditions necessary to meet the requirements of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (NASCP), based on certain food Code (Pharmacopoeia Alimentarius). Along with providing important control measures, necessary for the understanding of safe production methods, the HACCP system is the basis for the development of automated control systems and ensure product quality systems.
To fulfill the seven basic principles HACCP, established in Pharmacopoeia alimen­tarius, It requires documentation of plans HACCP. These plans are documented and associated operational procedures, the registration process operations and data maintenance of critical control points often provide a sufficient basis for the application of techniques HACCP as a quality assurance system (see principle 7:. «Identify documentation concerning all procedures and rules of the relevant records").
Somewhat later, the company was obliged to consider the impact of their activities on the environment. The steps necessary for the standardization of environmental monitoring and management, are described in ISO 14001. This international standard "Environmental Management Systems: Guidelines" significantly associated with ISO 9001 and covers issues such as the presentation of the strategy, process control, system design, training, competence, system documentation, checking and corrective action, preventive action, accounting, audit and management systems analysis. goal ISO 14001 is worded as follows: "To ensure the organization of such elements of the system management of the environment, which can be combined with other management requirements." Such an approach - an obvious step towards the implementation of the concept in quality objectives with respect to environmental management system.
security system then began to include in the complex functions of quality systems, and BS 8800 «System Occupational Health and Safety Management" provides the basis for the management of safety and safety training methods for personnel systems. Given the growing importance of occupational safety and health personnel, and the need to minimize the risk of possible litigation, manufacturers recommend to treat this job seriously. Manufacturers may also be interested in other systems associated with staff training, exemplified by the program Investors in People standard in the UK, organized by local councils for vocational training and entrepreneurship. Such a system requires the relevant data about the curricula for the training of staff, registration of all training activities and clear indication of the benefits received by both staff and entrepreneurs from the executed training programs.
British retail Consortium (BRC — British Retail Consortium) He has published a basic "standard for companies supplying food products to retailers" (Technical Standard Service forum Companies Supplying Retailer Branded Food Products), which is used by many commercial enterprises in the UK as the main standard for suppliers. It defines the requirements for compliance to businesses and this standard contains a list of mandatory Metorows.

2. Process control
To identify the critical control points in the development of a technology and to determine requirements for monitoring programs, the system should be used HACCP.
System HACCP must be properly verified; It must prove that the identified control points is sufficient for quality control.
Installation location should help minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination of the processed product.
The installation must be designed for the hygiene requirements.
They should be developed and implemented systems washing / cleaning schedules.
Critical parameters (time, temperature and quality) should be recorded for the entire process.
Beforelzhny sampling modes be installed to measure product quality and safety during the manufacturing process.
Driving actions in an emergency should be displayed prominently, and cover all possible safety issues and product quality.
2.1 Buildings and facilities
Buildings and facilities should be designed so that the risk of product contamination was minimal.
Buildings and facilities should be kept at the level of hygiene standards, corresponding to a degree of risk.
Particularly clean areas must be appropriately designed, and all the necessary work in their control measures should be implemented.
It is necessary to provide for appropriate means of removing waste products.

2.2 Quality control
In addition to the HACCP methodology, when clarifying issues not directly related to product quality, clearly defined product characteristics and quality standards should be applied.
The quality of the products (in terms of their organoleptic characteristics) must be determined so that it meets the above requirements and is agreed with the consumers of the products.
Before shipment of products, the quality of products should be checked, and in case of large defects, periodic checks should be performed to prevent them.
2.3 Staff
Personnel should be trained in the methods of sanitary and hygienic measures and familiar with the quality requirements of the work performed.
High standards of personal hygiene are required.
Personnel should wear clothing appropriate to the work being done.
For the staff to work, appropriate household amenities (showers, washbasins, toilets, etc.) should be equipped.
Personnel must undergo necessary medical supervision.
2.4 Final product
To determine whether the product meets the technical requirements and the absence of contamination by any foreign bodies, appropriate checks should be performed.
To separate a product that does not meet the requirements, it is necessary to provide a special system.
The type and level of inspections of the final product should be determined using the HACCP plan.
Verification of critical points should be carried out by competent laboratories.
Where it is important (from a technical point of view or for legal reasons), packing checks should be carried out.
It is necessary to record the results of the checks.
It is necessary to provide confirmation of the shelf life of the product.
A consumer complaints tracking system should be in place.
Products must be released on the basis of special permission.
2.5 System sales
Measures should be taken to maintain product quality in the distribution and transportation chain.
The level of tracking of product batches must match the risk of their recall.
It is necessary to develop and test the effectiveness of the product return system.
The above list, although not exhaustive, can show a range of issues that require special consideration when working with chilled products. This is a difficult job requiring qualified management to be carried out as part of the development of a common quality assessment system.
Developing a quality management system that meets the requirements of this enterprise is a rather difficult task. Not only the elements described above should be considered, but also such factors as administrative responsibility, documentation and quality inspections. For a number of years, the standard model of quality management systems has been a series of international standards. ISO 9000. Applicability ISO 9000 for the food industry has been proven to be successful in many food industries, but over the years ISO 9000 is criticized because of its “unfriendliness” and the feeling that it does not give an improvement in quality, but only provides control and standardization of processes. Therefore, quality management by ISO 9000 is often perceived as something parallel to enterprise management, and not as a comprehensive product quality management system.
Changes to the standard were published in 2000. ISO 9000, aimed at correcting these shortcomings and aiming the system at improving quality, developing technological processes and meeting customer requirements. Despite the above comments, the basic principles ISO 9000 still form the basis for the development of quality systems, that is, a system of overall quality management, built with all other requirements for the work of the enterprise.
3.1Executive Responsibility
The importance of the commitment of top managers to quality management cannot be overemphasized. If the quality of products for top management is a priority, it will become a priority for all other departments of the company that will be actively involved in the process of product quality management. Defining the main responsibilities of all structural units of the enterprise, it is possible to identify personnel whose actions can affect the quality of the product or its production processes, clearly defining its authority. Errors do not occur when it is clear who is responsible for certain actions (for example, who regulates the temperature in the refrigerating chamber or who should perform this or that check).
Senior executives should periodically review the current effectiveness of the quality management system. The main sources of information for them are internal audit data, registration of data outside the specified limits, quality control records and tracking results (trends) of consumer complaints. The second important task of managers is to create a mechanism for introducing innovations aimed at improving quality. It is recommended to assess the basic quality parameters that can be used to measure customer satisfaction, as well as performance indicators that can be used to measure the effectiveness of the production process. Based on the analysis of these and other data, senior managers can identify those processes that can be improved through these innovations.
3.2System documentation
Effectively documenting the procedures and actions necessary to achieve the required quality is an essential element of the quality management system. Such documentation can be used both as reference material and for training.of
assessment methods:
- audit;
- supplier control;
- control upon receipt (the strategy is to accept only those materials that meet the requirements);
settlement of disputes;
feedback on the results of the production process;
Supplier’s responsibility for delivery in accordance with the standard.
Contractual obligations
Collaboration with suppliers with whom there is no clear understanding of common goals does not make sense. Cooperation usually takes the form of a contract covering, inter alia, the technical conditions for materials, delivery parameters, responsibility for quality (including verification), access to the supplier, procedures for resolving disputes or conflicts. It is important that all these parameters are agreed and verified before signing the contract and entering the supplier in the approved list.
List of approved suppliers
The customer must maintain a list of approved suppliers, which should be preceded by a series of procedures describing the stages of approval. There are two main criteria to consider here: a) financial capabilities and stability, and b) the ability to ensure compliance with technical specifications. The latter can be assessed in various ways:
checking the quality management system at the supplier;
based on previous cooperation with the supplier;
based on the reputation of the supplier;
by testing prototypes.
Supplier Audit
The goal here is to establish the ability of the supplier to ensure that its products comply with the agreed specifications. Special supervisors (auditors) should be trained to quickly and efficiently carry out this work, who check production facilities, the production environment in buildings and premises, production equipment, become familiar with the quality management system and its implementation. In addition, auditors should be aware of the position of the company's management, the attitude of staff to work, the registration of quality control checks, etc. Quite often, these auditors also study financial and technological issues.
Feedback on the results of the production process
In forming partnerships, it is absolutely necessary that the supplier promptly obtain accurate information about the behavior of the materials supplied to them during the production process.
Such data can be obtained from a number of sources.
Matching raw materials. Sources of such information are the supplier’s check data and the input control data. Most cases of inconsistencies are clearly visible here, as they usually lead to delays in deliveries or production.
Compliance of technological processes. It is more difficult to detect this discrepancy, but it must be identified at least during the audit. The terms of the contract may stipulate the procedure for informing the customer about non-conformities of technological processes.
Procedural discrepancy: see previous paragraph.
Raw material unsuitable for use. This is the most dangerous situation, since the discrepancy is detected only in the process of the technological line, during the sale or during the consumption of the product (in the latter case, complaints and complaints are possible). The consequences of such a situation are usually very serious and affect the very possibility of marketing the final product. Despite the seriousness of this problem, it is often quite difficult to collect enough data to inform the supplier about the essence of the problem.
Feedback should work regularly - so that each case of non-compliance is not perceived by the supplier as a complaint. The basic principle here is the transmission of both bad and good news. If possible, the data provided should be irrefutable (records and samples are the best confirmation), and regular meetings with suppliers ensure the transfer of positive information.3.3. Process control
All aspects of the production of chilled and frozen products that directly affect quality, to avoid disruptions due to inadequate controls, should be identified and documented. This includes the monitoring of critical control points in accordance with the HACCP methodology. The duties and actions of personnel in the event that the parameters exceed the established limits should be clearly defined. The HACCP methodology should be used throughout the entire production process, including acceptance of raw materials, storage of the finished product and marketing. This approach can be used to assess all potential risks, including product safety, and to assess the quality that does not meet the specified requirements.
HACCP implies an assessment of potential risks, sets the means to exclude possible risks and allowable limits of those risks that cannot be excluded in the manufacture of food products. This approach determines the relevant control measures, the frequency of their use, the sampling program (sampling control), the procedure for conducting special checks and criteria for product acceptance. Since HACCP is a permanent dynamic process, all data must be analyzed in the light of the identification of new risks and possible changes in technological parameters. The HACCP technique allows to identify areas where failures are not observed, which makes it especially useful for developing new technological operations.
The following definitions of basic concepts are used in HACCP:
risk analysis (hazard analysis) - identification of potentially hazardous ingredients, storage conditions, packaging, critical points of technological processes and the role of the human factor, that is, parameters that may affect the safety of the product or its quality;
critical control point (SSR) - technological factor, loss of control over which may lead to the manufacture of a dangerous product or increase the risk of deterioration of its quality.
Performance HACCP-анализа
To perform the HACCP analysis, a formalized, structural approach, a broad information base and special knowledge in many fields of knowledge are necessary (since ensuring the safety and quality of the product cannot be attributed to any single discipline).
The first stage of the analysis is to obtain a detailed flow chart of the given technological process, including the methods and schedules of production, preparation and transportation of raw materials. Much depends on the particular enterprise.
In the second stage of the analysis, the essential characteristics of the product and its use are determined, which makes it possible to draw certain conclusions about the real and potential risks that may threaten the consumer or the product. It considers the storage conditions, the composition of the product, the packaging used, the possible methods of processing the product by the consumer and the target group of consumers.
The third stage of analysis is the analysis of all technological stages, taking into account realistic estimates of possible deviations. Critical process steps are defined that, for safety, should be appropriately monitored at critical control points. Risk assessment should be carried out by one of three main methods: probabilistic, comparative or practical. The choice of one method or another depends on the circumstances, and the reasons for this choice must be documented. Detailed assessments require high qualifications and experience, and therefore should be performed by qualified personnel (ideally, it is advisable to get the opinion of several experts). If the process data is incomplete, one should proceed from the most unfavorable assumptions (with the exception of the presence of a long-term proven “history” of raw materials that do not pose a danger to the given process or product).
The final stage of the analysis is the development of standards and effective procedures (both for monitoring critical control points and for corresponding corrective actions).
Monitoring critical control points
Monitoring of critical control points should be carried out using physical, microbiological and chemical tests, visual examinations and sensory control. Monitoring procedures (including only visual ones, which do not imply any measurements) should be recorded in the relevant checklists tables. These tables contain data on the location of critical control points, monitoring procedures, frequency of control checks and eligibility criteria. In particular, for refrigerated products, the “equipment cleanliness” indicator is a critical reference point, and therefore a schedule should be developed to maintain the sanitary and hygienic state, showing what, how, when and by whom it should be washed and cleaned.
When conducting such monitoring, special attention should be paid to the temperature of the products, methods of maintaining hygiene and the way the product is handled, whether the workers are sick, whether they are carriers of an infection that can be transferred to the product, whether there is a likelihood of cross-contamination ( from raw to already cooked product). The control also includes an assessment of the organization of the enterprise in terms of minimizing cross-contamination, quality of maintenance and cleaning of the building, as well as professional skills of the staff.
4.3 Control checks and testing
Based on the HACCP methodology, a schedule of testing raw materials, intermediate and final products is developed. At the same time, it is necessary to determine the methods of testing, the responsibility for its implementation and the criteria for acceptability of the product on the basis of the relevant technical conditions. The product shall not be released from each production stage until the control check is completed. If a product is shipped earlier, there must be a tracking system for possible product recall. The problem here is the time required to complete the microbiological analysis of chilled products, but most microbiological analyzes are used to monitor the success of the control process itself, and not to test product characteristics. To avoid confusion, checked and unverified, accepted or rejected materials should be clearly labeled.
All instrumentation used to assess compliance with certain specifications or to control critical control points must be of known accuracy. The necessary measurements should be clearly defined, and the measuring equipment at certain intervals should be checked according to the corresponding physical or state test standards. Calibration methods should be clearly defined, and calibrated (calibrated) equipment should be labeled accordingly. Registration verification records should be kept for a certain period of time, and if it turns out that the verified instrument is inaccurate, a special person should be appointed to clarify the situation and decide on the necessary actions for materials whose characteristics were measured earlier with this instrument. If necessary, they should be checked in an appropriately certified laboratory (own or external).
If it is found that a product does not meet the specifications, then it must be isolated to prevent accidental use, and then this product is destroyed, recycled, or assigned to another grade. In exceptional circumstances, the customer (or consumer) should be prepared to accept a substandard product (but not in the case of a possible health risk!). The processing of such a product should be strictly controlled, and the reasons for the non-conformity of the product should be identified and appropriate measures taken to prevent such situations. Consumer complaints, trends in their appearance, should also be monitored, as well as changes in technology and control methods, if necessary.
3.5Transportation, storage, packaging, release and shipment
These operations are extremely important for chilled and frozen foods. To ensure the quality of the product during the production process and when it moves along the cold chain, all precautions must be taken, including sanitary and hygienic measures (including transport and in refrigerators), pest control and restriction of access to products. This should take into account regulatory requirements for personnel in contact with food products, rules for labeling, dating and labeling, as well as requirements for materials in contact with products. Fundamentally important are temperature controls, monitoring and data logging. To ensure the quality of the products, it is also necessary to determine and control the shelf life in storage, taking into account the inventory turnover scheme.
At risk of product recall, a batch tracking procedure should be provided, allowing documentation and implementation of a product recall system. This system should extend to wholesale bases, trading enterprises and - in extreme cases - to consumers. To verify the effectiveness of the recall procedure, it must be verified.
It is necessary to provide an effective system of keeping records with their control, identification, safe storage, search and deletion of unnecessary records. Such a system should determine when certain records can be deleted and who is responsible for it. The most important entries are those that indicate the actual achievement of the specified parameters. This refers to process control and control records, but to fulfill regulatory requirements for “due diligence”, other confirmations are required - for example, records on the results of internal audits, analytical materials from management, vendor checks, records of HACCP tests, temperature modes during marketing, innovation, washing / cleaning and staff training.
3.7Quality checks
To ensure the implementation and effective operation of all procedures, the correctness of writing instructions and following them, a planned system of quality checks by the staff of the enterprise is necessary. These checks are an effective means of tracking the success of a quality management system and ensuring that all employees work in accordance with this system.
System checks should be performed by specially trained personnel using observation, interview, and examining records. Any nonconformity must be registered and reported to the responsible manager for timely corrective actions. To ensure that the corrective action is carried out, additional control must be provided, and records about it must be retained. The results of inspections should be analyzed by senior managers, and the schedule of inspections should cover all aspects of the quality management system, including checks on compliance with legal (regulatory) requirements and standards adopted by the enterprise.
3.8Staff training
Personnel should be trained to perform their duties in view of the performance of work affecting the quality of the product. Personnel training should be analyzed, in time to solve the problems identified and to keep relevant documentation. Staff education and training are often the most useful way to deal with risks (for example, microbiological contamination). In addition to training in the field of sanitation and hygiene, the food industry should take into account the need for training in organoleptic analysis, and it is necessary to strive for an objective assessment of the properties of the product.
Implementing one or another initiative related to product quality is not easy. Such innovation, often perceived as “change for change”, is not always perceived by staff with enthusiasm, and therefore it is necessary that the implementation be properly supported, correctly presented and explained to the staff.
4.1. Leadership involvement
TQM strategy too complex to be considered in full by anyone other than senior executives. Ideally, the idea of ​​implementing the system should come from the directors of the company (enterprise) themselves, but regardless of the source of the idea, it is not necessary to begin its implementation until approval is obtained at the required level and the overall quality control system becomes mandatory. Any perceived weakness will be used by opponents of the system, and when senior leaders share this idea, they can support the initiative with all their power.
4.2 Implementation team
At the first stage, it is recommended to organize a special “implementation team” to guide the implementation program, which may consist of employees from the main divisions: sales and marketing, purchasing, production, sales, technical and financial departments. Such a group should be headed by an employee with sufficient leadership experience who is accountable to the board of directors or directly to the head of the firm (enterprise). In the implementation team, an employee with representative functions should be defined who will be responsible for maintaining and monitoring the system in the future and will ensure the smooth processing of the documentation, as well as its analysis. The same employee may be responsible for the system of internal audit. This quality manager may have other functions within the quality management system, but this should not prevent him from exercising overall control over the operation of the system, including all its components.
4.3 The initial state
The implementation team should work in two key areas: a) identification of existing typical technological processes and b) on the basis of the information received, determine the desired “depth” of the implementation of the overall quality management system. This fundamentally important decision should be based not only on a deep understanding of the basic technological processes that ensure the delivery of food to consumers or customers, but also on the basis of all the support functions that ensure delivery (for example, financing, maintenance, etc.). After determining the “depth” of implementation, it is important to determine the effectiveness of the implementation of the overall quality management system, for which it is useful to perform costing. The calculation of the cost of ensuring product quality allows you to determine the operating costs caused by improper actions (production losses, losses due to product release, inappropriate technical conditions, equipment downtime, etc.). Based on this calculation, it is possible to roughly estimate the possible net profit from the implementation of a quality management system. The potential savings can then be analyzed by management and a firm decision is made to implement this system. If necessary, at this stage the “depth” of the implementation of the overall quality management system can be analyzed, which will allow it to cover areas of activity that will ensure maximum profit.
4.4 Planning
The implementation team must prepare an implementation plan and, in order for this plan to be implemented, agree on the deadlines with all parties involved. The plan should cover all elements of implementation - analysis of technological processes, documentation, implementation, personnel training and PR elements. Implementation of the implementation plan should be monitored. If during the implementation of the plan there are certain problems, the implementation team should have sufficient power to overcome them. If it turns out that the adopted plan cannot be implemented due to insurmountable obstacles, then the implementation team should submit a report to the head of the firm.
4.5 Quality management strategy
It is important that the head of the company has a strategy to ensure the quality of products in his enterprise in writing. In its simplest form, this document indicates that the firm is committed to meeting customer requirements. If the task is to work in accordance with one or another product quality management system, the document may indicate that the company's goal is to meet certain requirements - for example, ISO 9002; there may be provisions on the labor culture and strategic objectives of the company (for example, the tasks of improving the welfare of personnel, strategy in the field of environmental protection, market position, etc.). The corporate strategy document should not be too long and complex.
4.6 Working meetings
The responsibilities of the implementation team during the project include the organization of working meetings. At the initial stages, such a meeting can be devoted to reporting (from the manager) about the overall quality management system or ISO 9000 with an explanation of what it is and why this particular course of action was chosen at this enterprise. All employees may participate in such a meeting, and for some, depending on the level of their participation, such a meeting may be more detailed. The content of the working meeting depends on the composition of the audience.
Such briefings are recommended to be brief, on a specific topic; more detailed information can be carried out later. It is not necessary to speak with an extensive and solemn report - a brief informational message based on facts and the importance of innovation, without underestimating the amount of work to be done, more eloquently than any words will contribute to the achievement of the goal. The official position of the speaker itself will indicate the importance of the task.
4.6 Quality Management System Structure
It is desirable to agree on the structure of the quality system as early as possible and fix it in the relevant documentation. The following three levels of documentation are recommended, although for a small company they can be combined: strategies, procedures and work instructions. Strategy documents serve to describe the firm’s intentions regarding key elements of the system (for example, procurement agreements strategy or staff training). Procedures form the basis of the system; they contain detailed instructions for performing basic operations. This is a kind of “bible”, according to which the company should work, and it will be controlled by this document. Work instructions are instructions needed at the workshop level for personnel, and they must be formulated so that any new employee can effectively carry it out after a small workout. Examples of work instructions are the description of the rules for the invoice, the purchase order, or a customer order. With regard to production, the instructions should set out the rules of operation of the equipment or, for example, perform weighing.
For the implementation of work procedures, note forms may be required, which are attached to the procedures and work instructions, clearly separated from them and marked in a special way. A clear definition of the structure of the system, the numbering of documents and cross-references helps to avoid trouble and long searches for the necessary documents. It is clear that documenting a quality management system is a big job that needs to be carefully considered. Experience shows that the best systems are those whose documentation is written by personnel directly involved in the work described. Such a simple idea ensures the wide involvement of personnel in the development of a quality management system and helps to create the feeling among all that this is “their system”.
4.7 Quality Management Instructions
In rough, such an instruction should be prepared at an early stage of implementation, since it is in it that the structure of the system described above is specified in writing. The instructions usually describe the strategy and main procedures covering all key areas of the quality management system. This manual should be available to customers, and therefore it should not contain any confidential information. All divisions of the company must agree with its content, as it applies to their work. As already noted, it is best if employees themselves write sections related to their activities. At this stage, the organization of work and the authority of managers must be clearly defined.
4.8 Improving product quality
When the quality management system is implemented sufficiently to ensure a proper understanding of the technological processes in place at the enterprise, work should begin on quality improvement planning. The methods of such work are different and require adaptation to specific circumstances. The most important thing is the ability to make quantitative measurements based on inputs, outputs or performance. The methods used to improve quality are set forth in the standard. BS 7850 (ISO 9004-4). It should be remembered that some quality improvement methods may require long-term solutions and that their impacts on particular elements of the enterprise’s activities should also be considered. However, if it is not possible to maintain the pace of quality improvements, this will significantly affect the usefulness of the entire quality management system.
4.9 Staff training
Any developed quality management system will be completely useless unless sufficient time and resources are allocated for staff education and training. At the same time, it is desirable to combine training in acquiring new skills and mastering new methods of work, taking into account the possible impact of the new essence of the quality management system on all the activities of the company. This may be useful "quality circles", the work of rationalizers and their promotion, as well as the formation of staff loyalty to the ideals of the system.
4.10 The introduction of the system in action
A quality management system can be put into action when a sense of the operability of all key elements is achieved. This does not necessarily apply to all proposed improvements — remember that the system is designed to change constantly, and the transition to new procedures and methods should be natural. You should not worry too much if the individual parts of the system are still imperfect - with the development of the system, new moments will be revealed that require improvement. It is much more important that the existing technological processes are accurately reflected in your system. Often, the benefits of implementing a quality management system manifest themselves over time, when this system is used to collect data on the work of the company, and the collected data is used to identify and develop specific innovations. After the introduction of a quality management system, internal mechanisms for monitoring and controlling changes in the system (for example, an internal audit, control systems and document changes, etc.) should work.
As we have already noted, after the introduction of a quality management system, it is necessary to measure performance and look for opportunities for improvement. The main advantage of any quality management system is its ability to measure the current state of affairs and improve it with the help of some corrective actions. For this, a variety of tools are provided in the quality management system.
5.1 Internal audit system
An effective way to determine the effectiveness of a system is to continuously determine its compliance with an established system. Corrective actions based on the results of internal audit ensure the maintenance of the system in working condition, taking into account the actual needs of the company (enterprise).
5.2 External audit system
If formal certification and certification of a quality management system are necessary, then in order to ensure that it is always in compliance with current standards, your company will be regularly visited by inspectors (auditors) of the control body. These control checks provide useful information and implement corrective actions. It is also possible that the desire to test individual systems can be expressed by your most important customers (in order to gain confidence in your ability to produce safe and healthy foods). Such checks combine all the advantages of external verification with the ability to take into account the specific requirements of the customer.
5.3The release of low-quality product
Any cases of production of low-quality products should be carefully studied, and to prevent them, it is necessary to analyze the causes of non-compliance of quality indicators and to make adjustments to the quality management system and technological processes.
5.4Compliance with specifications
It is necessary not only to ensure compliance of all products with their specifications, but also to determine the proximity of all measured parameters (both product and process) to the target values. Obviously, this serves two purposes: to identify negative trends as early as possible and to identify persistent deviations from target values ​​while maintaining compliance with technical conditions. Both may cause corrective action.
5.5Complaints (complaints) of customers (consumers)
When complaints or complaints are received, customers (consumers) should be treated in the same way as in case of detection of a low-quality product - complaints and complaints should be carefully analyzed, and the identification of any dangerous trends should lead to corrective actions.
5.6Quality Improvement Initiatives
One of the key components of any quality management system is the personnel of a given enterprise (which is sometimes disrespectfully called the weakest link). The staff constitutes the main innovative resource of the company, and the involvement of all personnel in the development of new ideas, in discussion groups discussing technological problems, in the “quality circles” allows to increase the efficiency of technological processes, identify weaknesses and implement corrective actions.
5.7. Performance indicators
Having determined the main indicators of the current state of affairs in each key area of ​​the company's activity, it is possible to monitor the effectiveness and state of affairs in any aspect. You can track the increase in efficiency or its decrease, building a structure of the work of the company, which is measurable. Performance indicators can go beyond simple measurements and include such elements as control over energy consumption, organization of waste collection and disposal, sales efficiency, duration of new product development and analysis of customer satisfaction. All these sources of information on effectiveness should be analyzed by top managers, and it is important that they have the opportunity to carry out such analysis regularly and take appropriate measures.
In addition, performance information communicated to staff is an important means of encouraging employees to further improve. It sometimes happens that an employee is engaged in measuring efficiency, but he doesn’t imagine the whole picture, because he sees separate results, not trends. Informing within the framework of feedback can be carried out in the form of audit reports (for example, on the basis of a scoring system), trend schedules of compliance with technical conditions or informing of claims (complaints) of consumers.
The work of the overall quality management system is an endless process of improvement. Those who have already embarked on this path have received a number of useful results.
6.1 Economic sphere
Usually, the activity of an enterprise becomes more cost-effective, which is achieved by implementing the “do it right from the very beginning” principle. The amount of waste is reduced, as a result of streamlined technological operations, productivity increases, the number of complaints is reduced. The efficiency of the equipment is increasing and production capacity is increasing.
6.2 Marketing
Constant satisfaction of the customers '(consumers') needs makes it possible to ensure constancy of the contingent and sales success. Consumers are becoming more confident in the quality of the product and see the desire of the manufacturer to achieve the best quality.
6.3 In-house benefits
A number of useful results are also achieved within the company - the morale of the employees improves, as they understand what is expected of them, there is a growing understanding of product quality problems and a desire to achieve the best quality, improved information exchange and staff training. Control by managers is significantly improved, confidence is increasing, the need for urgent “fire fighting” is reduced, a uniform approach to procedures is achieved, and a mechanism for continuous improvement of product quality is formed.
6.4 Compliance with regulatory requirements
The product quality improvement system demonstrates that this company pays great attention to meeting regulatory requirements (especially those requiring special measures). The quality management system provides documented confirmation of its work due to the written procedures, its success, confirmed by registration records, and ability to improve, confirmed by audits and examinations.
Publication in the 2000 BS Series of Standards ENISO 9000 brought about major changes. ISO standard 9000 (as amended by 2000) is a new version of the old standard / 50 9000, which marks significant changes. First, significant changes relate to the use of a process model - now firms (enterprises) are able to adapt the standard to their activities, rather than having 20 “imposed” key elements of the system. Secondly, the new edition of the standard is based on the principles of continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. In this regard, it is necessary to determine the necessary parameters of the enterprise in the field of quality and the ability of the enterprise to fulfill the requirements of customers (no matter how they are defined). The new standard includes requirements for the availability of effective communication with consumers and the organization of relevant intra-company information flows. And finally, the new version of this standard should help the company to preserve existing customers by focusing on their needs, and not on the internal needs of the company.
It can be predicted that in the future the involvement of customers (especially retail) in the work of the sales chain will grow. The production requirement to ensure that the products obtained correspond to the needs of the retail industry is vital, and steps should be welcomed to form close business relationships between suppliers and retailers. The use of “third parties” for testing and evaluating the production premises will naturally continue, and the standards currently used will evolve over time. The task of all participants in this process is to ensure that auditing standards for ensuring safe and reliable food production are demanding but technically feasible.
The inevitable consequence of increasing media attention to any food safety problems is the reaction of the authorities to tighten their requirements on the basis of legal and regulatory acts. In the UK, this process will be facilitated by the organization of a new “food standards agency” (FSA — Food Standards Agency).
And finally, the whole society (including enterprises producing chilled and frozen products) will be affected by environmental problems. The introduction of quality management systems aimed at solving problems of production management and the environment should be most welcome. The European Union is committed to developing integrated food strategy ideas in all sectors of the food industry (IPP - Integrated Product Policy), which is based on a more holistic approach to food products based on their shelf life. This takes into account the impact of products on the environment as a whole, including all elements of their production, packaging and delivery. This ensures that an acceptable level of influence of individual elements on the environment is achieved and that any changes will not be made in the interests of one sub-sector at the expense of another. Supporting such an integrated strategy through targeted environmental audits and certified food labeling can help focus the consumer market on this critical area.
1. BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM, (2000) Technical Standard and Protocol for Companies Supplying Retailer Branded Food Products. - London: BRC, 2000
2. CHILLED FOOD ASSOCIATION, (1995) Class A (high risk) area best hygienic practice guidelines. - London: CFA, 1995.
3. CHILLED FOOD ASSOCIATION, (1997) Guidelines for Hygienic Practice. - 3rd ed. - London: CFA, 1997.
4. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, (1989) Chilled and Frozen. Guidelines on cook-chill and cook-freeze catering systems. - London: HMSO, 1989.
5. FAO CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION, (1997) Food Hygiene Basic Texts. HACCP Principles. For any inquiries, We're here to answer you. Rome: FAO / WHO, 1997
6. INSTITUTE OF FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, (UK), (1990) Guidelines far the handling of chilled foods. - 2nd ed. - London, IFST, 1990.
7. INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON MICROBIOLOGICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR FOODS (ICMSF), (1988) Microorganisms in Foods. 4: Hazard Analysis Control System (HACCP) system to ensure microbiological safety and quality. - Oxford: Blackwell Scientific, 1988.
NATIONAL COLD STORAGE FEDERATION, (1989) Guidelines for handling and distribution of chilled foods. - London, NCSF, 1989

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