Mascot Pecan Food Safety and Quality Program
This document is intended for current and prospective new customers of Mascot Pecan Shelling Company, Inc. Recipients are asked not to distribute or duplicate the information. Information contained within this document should be maintained as confidential and should not be shared with third parties unless and mutual confidentiality agreement exists between Mascot and the third party or the third party and Mascot’s customer. This document use is not intended for product specification. The information herein is believed to be true and accurate at the time of response. It is not, and should not be construed as, a guarantee or warranty not part of Mascot’s contractual or other legal obligations.
This document has been prepared to summarize the Food Safety and Quality programs in place at Mascot Pecan Shelling Company, Inc. Mascot has one processing facility located in Glennville, Georgia at 819 South Veterans Highway. The intent of this document is to answer customer inquiries about Mascot’s programs and assist in the customer’s supplier approval and annual documentation process.
If you have any questions about this packet or any others provided to you please do not hesitate to contact the following:
Kristin MacSorley, SQF Practitioner - [email protected]
Stuart Strickland, Plant Manager - [email protected]
Lab Manager - [email protected]
Danna Rogers, Office Manager - [email protected]
Ruth Tracy, Commercial Sales and Marketing - [email protected]
Cindy Burkhalter, Sales - [email protected]
Tim Tarver, Operations - [email protected]
Kenny Tarver, President - [email protected]
Mascot Pecan Shelling Company, Inc. sells shelled pecans. Shelled pecans are divided into 2 categories: pecan halves and pecan pieces. Pecan halves are divided into 7 subcategories defined by count per pound. Pecan pieces are divided into 8 subcategories defined by screen size. Pecan pieces are conveyed along screens with perforated holes. The pieces ride over certain size screens and fall through others. To see a general guideline that contains counts and sizes of all pecan halves and all pecan pieces click here.
Mascot’s specification sheets for each pecan half subcategory and each pecan piece subcategory contain the following information and can be found below:
- Handling and storage
- Shelf Life
- Allergen declaration
- Country of origin
- Physical standards
- Microbiological specifications
- Date coding
- Packaging and label information
PECAN HALVES SPECIFICATION SHEETS
- Mammoth Halves
- Junior Mammoth Halves
- Jumbo Halves
- Extra Large Halves
- Large Halves
- Medium Halves
- Topper Halves
*Specification sheets for choice grade are the same as fancy grade. Choice grade pecan halves are darker in color.
PECAN PIECES SPECIFICATION SHEETS
- Mammoth Pieces
- Extra Large Pieces
- Large Pieces
- Medium Pieces
- Small-Medium Pieces
- Small Pieces
- Midget Pieces
*Specification sheets for choice grade are the same as fancy grade. Choice grade pecan pieces are darker in color.
Other documents with product information include:
FACILITY SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Specific information regarding Mascot’s facility’s programs can be found below:
- General facility information
- Number of employees: 75
- Facility Size: 140,000 square feet
- Construction details: Brick and Metal Masonry
- Agencies that regulate and regularly visit the facilityAllergen Management programs
- FDA & Georgia Department of Agriculture
- Certifications held
- Kosher Certification
- SQF Level 2
- Extraneous matter controlsHACCP
- Glass and Foreign Materials Control Program
- Mock Recall
- Pest Control
- Security and food defense
- Water Source Certificate – City of Glennville
BREAKABLE MATERIALS AND GLASS
Mascot prohibits the use of breakable materials such as glass, brittle and hard plastics, and ceramics in production and product storage areas except where absolutely necessary.
The Breakable Materials Program procedure defines what steps should be taken if breakable materials break in specific areas of the facility. Each facility also has a list of all essential breakable materials that are located within the facility. This list is reviewed and updated at least annually.
Documented visual inspections of these items and areas are completed at least quarterly. Breakable materials incidents that occur in Critical Production and Non-Production Areas are to be reported to the facility’s SQF Practitioner.
Affected product shall be placed on hold and segregated from non-affected product. Disposition of the affected product shall be determined after the event investigation and inspection of the product is complete.
BUSINESS CONTINUITY & CONTINGENCY PLANNING
Mascot shares the concerns of customers regarding stability in the supply chain and business continuity. In order to address this concern, Mascot’s manufacturing facility has prepared a Business Continuity Plan, which deals with response and recovery programs specific for our facility. This Business Continuity Plan is supported by insurance provided by Frankenmuth Insurance Company. A copy of the policy is available upon request. The Mascot Business Continuity Plan is reviewed annually.
CERTIFICATE OF LIABILITY INSURANCE
A Certificate of Liability Insurance is available upon request. To submit a request for this certificate, a form will need to be completed. To request the form please email [email protected] with the subject line “Certificate of Liability Insurance Request”.
CONTINUING GUARANTEE & IDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT
A copy of Mascot’s Continuing Guaranty and Indemnification Agreement is Available upon request.
CUSTOMER COMPLAINT AND INQUIRY RESPONSE
Each customer complaint or finding of adverse quality is responded to in its own unique way. These resolutions are kept in a corrective action manual, and each resolution is maintained and tracked within a file, which is monitored by the Customer Service Supervisor, Plant Manager and SQF Practitioner. These three coordinate with line crew leaders and management to implement the corrective action. Mascot strives to acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 24 hours and provide a preliminary report of findings within 3-5 business days. Upon request, Mascot will provide a final report of findings to the customer as soon as the investigation has been completed.
ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING FOR PATHOGENS
Mascot exercises effective manufacturing and process controls to assure that all products manufactured are in full compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and are free from pathogenic microorganisms.
Control of pathogenic microorganisms in the processing environment and associated areas serve as a safeguard against finished product contamination. Mascot recognizes that the microbiological safety of industrially manufactured foods requires effective design, implementation of GMPs and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems.
Microbiological surveillance for pathogens or appropriate indicators provides supporting information to assess whether the environment is under control. Mascot requires that our manufacturing facility consider control measures that are appropriate for the conditions of operation, the food, the process and the pathogen of concern to minimize in-process contamination.
The AOAC research center has performance tested and certified all the assays used in our lab in conjunction with the 3M Molecular Detection System. These certifications can be found here. Mascot’s lab personnel have completed training by 3M Company and are approved to operate the lab testing equipment. Their certifications are available here. Mascot provides a Certificate Of Analysis (COA). A sample document of our COA, which displays the layout and includes an explanation of all pathogen lab testing, is available here. (Available on customer request.)
FDA FACILITY REGISTRATION PERTAINING TO BIOTERRORISM ACT OF 2002 AND FSMA
In compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Mascot’s facility is registered with the FDA.
Mascot’s manufacturing facility follows standard operating procedure of our Food Defense Plan. This procedure represents our position on food defense strategies and appropriate measures that shall be taken by Mascot to minimize the risk of food being subjected to tampering, criminal or terrorist actions.
THE TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS PROCEDURE INCLUDE:
- Food defense plan management
- Processing and storage security
- Outside and inside security
- Shipping and transportation
- Staff training
FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY PROGRAMS
Mascot’s facility utilizes a variety of programs to assure the highest level of quality and food safety to our customers.
SOME OF THESE CONTROLS AND PROGRAMS INCLUDE:
- A thorough HACCP program
- A documented GMP program and self-inspections
- A corrective action and preventive action program
- A foreign material controls program
- An allergen management program
- Standardized sanitation operating procedures
- A document control and management process
- Environmental monitoring programs for pathogens
- A vendor qualification and quality assurance program
- A documented training program for employees
- A documented traceability and recall procedure
- Programs to address hold and release of nonconforming product
GSFI COMPLIANCE THROUGH SQF CERTIFICATION
Mascot has achieved Safe Quality Foods (SQF) certification of its manufacturing facility. SQF is a recognized Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) platform. To maintain its certification, Mascot must comply with SQF standard requirements and must successfully pass an annual SQF certified third party audit.
You can search on the SQF website for Mascot’s manufacturing facility. Mascot is certified SQF Level 2 under Global Standards, an SQF certified third party auditor.
GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICES (GMP)
Mascot’s manufacturing facility follows the standard operating procedure for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) training, which is in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 21 CFR 110 – Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing or Holding Human Food.
As required by the GMP Training procedure, the SQF Practitioner or another qualified designee conducts GMP training on an annual basis. Following the presentation of materials, a question and answer session takes place and participants of the class complete a GMP quiz. Attendance is taken during training sessions. A summary of attendance, the quizzes and training materials are maintained for review by third parties. All new employees are trained on GMP’s during their orientation.
HOLD AND RELEASE OF FINISHED
Mascot performs daily microbiological testing of shelled pecans. Pecans remain on hold until testing is completed and product is released for shipment. Physical characteristics and sensory evaluation are done at the same time as microbiological testing is done.
SAFETY DATA SHEETS (SDS)
All shelled pecans from Mascot’s facility are excluded from the requirements under OSHAs “Hazard Communication” regulation as provided in 29 CFR 1910. 1200(b)(5)(iii).
PEST CONTROL PROGRAMS
Mascot uses the following to augment our in-house pest control program. Dixon Pest Control is our third party pest control supplier.
Mascot requires pest control providers to adhere to the following conditions to service Mascot’s manufacturing facility. Dixon Pest Control provides a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management System, including:
- Evidence of liability insurance
- A pest control operator (PCO) who is licensed in the state of the business
- Scope of their program to assure prevention of pest issues
- Record-keeping requirements for electronic and paper records
- Special request and emergency service availability
- Entire facility inspection service
- Insect control
- Program evaluation on a quarterly basis
- Conformance to safety ad health policies, including that pesticides and rodenticides are not stored at Mascot’s facility
- Adherence to all state and federal regulations, while at Mascot’s facility
RECALL AND TRACEABILITY
Mascot conducts mock recall and traceability testing on a minimum bi-annual basis. This mock recall is defined in our SQF manual.
- Define team roles and responsibilities associated with the program
- Establish expectations for the mock recalls that are conducted twice a year at the production facility.
- Require the formation and training of a recall team at the facility
- Trace raw materials and packaging materials to finished products
- The recall program is maintained and managed by Mascot’s SQF Practitioner and Plant Manager.
Mascot’s manufacturing facility follows Standardized Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOP’s), which include:
- Pre-operational and Post-operational Inspection Programs
- Master Sanitation Program
- Cleaning Chemical Solution Monitoring Program
Mascot develops specific SSOPs. All SSOPs are reviewed and updated on an annual basis or whenever a change is warranted. Sanitation effectiveness is verified through visual inspection as well as protein swab testing prior to production.
VENDOR (SUPPLIER) APPROVAL PROGRAM
Mascot works with all vendors to maintain compliance and quality assurance of all supplies from vendors. This is done through:
- Establishing official vendor specification of goods and services that Mascot and the vendor agree upon.
- Using effective supply complaint and corrective action programs
- Building strong vendor relationships
The Vendor Program includes the following types of documentation:
- Verification of FDA approved materials used in primary packaging.
- High quality standards for secondary packaging
- COA/Continuing Product Guaranty for incoming raw material suppliers
- SDS sheets for all chemical supplies obtained.
- Incoming vehicles are inspected for cleanliness, odor, temperature, and packaging integrity. Suppliers’ goods are inspected for quality.