Sunday, January 02, 2011

"Kashrus"- Quality Assurance V. Quality Control Re: Kosher

Quality Assurance V. Quality Control

Kosher Assurance V. Kosher Control: There is a big difference between Quality assurance and quality control. Quality Assurance is prevention of anything that will compromise the quality or kosher status of the product. Quality Control on the other hand is controlling the damage that may compromise the quality / kosher status of the product.

When a food manufacturing company has a quality / kosher assurance in place, the probability of a problem in either the quality or kosher status is very unlikely. On the other hand if the goal is "control", problems will occur but they will attempt to  minimize the damage.

In a confectionery manufacturing facility that manufactures both "parve" and "dairy" candies, what is the possibility of a mix-up? If a proper quality assurance is in place, the answer is highly unlikely, & in the event that it does occur, an error would be caught before it leaves the plant. On the other hand if there is only a quality control in place, the mix-up will likely occur & it may not get caught before it leaves the facility.

In a state of the art candy manufacturing facility, the following recently occurred. We brought it to the attention of both of the kosher certifiers and the manufacturer as well. They did accept the facts seriously. A co-pak confectioner packaged a variety of fancy candy mints individually wrapped. On the outside of the box there appeared the kosher emblem & the word "parve". There was an additional label (special production) affixed to the box under the saran sealed wrap with an additional kosher certifier also with the word "parve". An astute consumer looked on the tiny word on some of the mints & noticed that some of them were in fact dairy.

NOTE: The dairy status was of the "non-supervised" [non-cholov yisroel] milk, which many scrupulous Jewish consumers do not use.

How did the problem happen? There was present a rabbinical supervisor who was supposed to be supervising during the entire process. The foil wrappers on the individual mints were supposed to have the name & emblem of the Candy Company for which they were being packed. Some had the imprint on the foil wrappers, while others did not have the name & emblem on the foil wrapping. The wrappers on the individual mints were identical designs for the dairy and parve.

There should not have been any employee access to any dairy mints when packing of parve is being made. The candy manufacture had in place "control" at best, not "prevention". Besides the kosher ramifications there are allergen concerns as well. The Kosher certifiers and their inspectors should be cognizant of these types of concerns & institute the proper controls in advance.

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