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FSQ4.2

Freshcare has updated the Food Safety & Quality Standard for growers and grower/packers to version FSQ4.2 to meet the requirements of the GFSI v2020 benchmark criteria.

Participating businesses are required to transition over to FSQ4.2 for audits occurring from 3 May 2021.

FSQ4.2 is not just an add-on to the FSQ4.1 Standard and therefore requires some adjustments to your existing system to identify the areas that have been updated and changes that have been made to requirements, to ensure they are in place for your audit.

Download the FREE resources below to assist in the transition process to FSQ4.2.

FSQ4.2 Standard (now incorporates the Freshcare Rules): Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard Edition 4.2 – 2020

Transition Guide: Freshcare Food Safety & Quality (FSQ4.2) Transition Guide – Nov 2020

Factsheets (in PDF): FSQ Resources – All Factsheets Combined (FSQ4.2)

Forms (in PDF): FSQ Forms – All Forms Combined (FSQ4.2)

Other resources including worked examples of Forms and word version files are available for download via your logon to FreshcareOnline.

 

Manual Purchases via eStore

Any business that has purchased a hard-copy of the FSQ4.1 Manual from the eStore will be sent the FSQ4.2 insert pages via post,  free of charge.

For businesses wanting to update their hard-copy manual, FSQ4.2 Manuals can now be purchased via our eStore.

 

Questions about FSQ4.2?

Refer to the below Q & A’s below for more information, or contact the Freshcare Team on 1300 853 508 or email: [email protected]

Q & A - FSQ4.2

How do I access the FSQ4.2 Standard and Resources?

The FSQ4.2 Standard and supporting resources including record keeping forms and factsheets can be freely downloaded from the Freshcare website: www.freshcare.com.au/standards/fsq4-2
Additional resources are available to participants from FreshcareOnline or hard copy resources can be purchased from www.freshcare.com.au/shop

I have more than one growing site, and the rules tell me these all must be registered, why did the rules change?

The Freshcare Rules around the application of a business to be certified to a Freshcare Standard and the requirement for all sites to be listed has not changed.

What we have given is a clarification around the maximum allowable distance between sites that can be visited as the audit and that all sites with infrastructure attached must be visited every Audit. Sampling by the auditor can then occur on other sites, based on risk.

This intent has always been in place, but Freshcare has responded to concerns from Participating Businesses, that not everyone is treated equally in the application of these rules, so we have sought to add further wording to be clear.

I have my own forms can I continue to use them?

It is not mandatory to use the Freshcare Form templates however, they are prepared to assist businesses in ensuring all required information as specified in the Standard can be captured.

You can continue to use previous versions of Freshcare Forms as long as they are reviewed annually and updated to capture all required information.

When you download the Freshcare Forms, review the form index to better identify the forms that have changed with the release of FSQ4.2. Changed forms will be in italics in the index, with an additional reference as to whether they are a new form (new) or just updated (updated).

**Don’t forget to remove all old versions from use once you have transitioned**

If I am new to Freshcare do I go straight to FSQ4.2?

Yes, new businesses will be able to undertake training and access resources to the FSQ4.2 Standard. Training is available via the Freshcare Trainer network or Freshcare eLearning. It is recommended that a minimum of 3 months’ records are in place prior to new businesses being audited.

If I was last audited to FSQ4, can I update straight to FSQ4.1?

Depending on your audit cycle, some businesses could progress straight from FSQ4 to a re-certification audit to FSQ4.2. If this applies to you and your audit is to take place prior to the 3rd May 2021, you will need to advise your Certification Body at the time of scheduling and request an FSQ4.2 audit. Some Certification Bodies will not offer audits to FSQ4.2 until the 3rd May 2021.

Minor CARs now must be closed to get my certificate, why?

In line with other GFSI standards, to be allowed to be certified, a business must have no outstanding corrective actions. We have aligned the CAR closure to make Major and Minor CAR closure timeframes the same (28 days).

We have also made a change that any CAR’s not closed within 6 months deems the audit invalid and a new one will need to be completed.

** All corrective actions raised at an audit MUST be closed for your business to be Freshcare Certified**

My audit currently occurs in my quiet time, outside peak harvest, why did the rules change?

The Freshcare Rules around audits occurring during harvest period have not changed. It has always been a requirement that audits occur during (or as close) to harvest as possible.

If your audit does not cover your harvest period, then you are in breach of the Freshcare Rules, and you will need to contact your Certification Body to get your audit due date reset and aligned to harvest.

If you currently produce more than one crop with differing seasonal timing, refer to Freshcare Rules – R1 Scope, Clause 8, as found in the introduction of the FSQ4.2 Standard.

What has changed in the update to FSQ4.2?

Specific changes in the FSQ4.2 Standard are outlined in the Transition Guide and can be identified in italics in the Standard.

The changes in summary include:

  • Freshcare Rules now found in Section 1 of the FSQ4.2 Standard.
  • Freshcare Rules now provide guidance on Unannounced Audits; and the Two-Part Audit Process.
  • Greater emphasis and focus on Food Safety Culture – see Factsheet M1.
  • Updates to M3 Training and development, requiring annual reviews of workers’ training needs.
  • Updates to F13 Product identification and traceability, requiring dispatch records to be maintained and a test of traceability.
  • Updated M4 Internal Audit Report Form.

 

 

What if I just purchased FSQ4.1 resources and FSQ4.2 is released?

Any business that has purchased a hard-copy of the FSQ4.1 Manual from the Freshcare eStore, you will be sent the FSQ4.2 insert pages via post, free of charge.

For businesses wanting to update their hard-copy manual, FSQ4.2 Manuals can now be purchased via our eStore.

Freshcare Training Manual resources are also freely available for download from FreshcareOnline.

Please note: it is not mandatory to use the Freshcare Manual or Form templates however, they are prepared to assist businesses in ensuring all required information as specified in the Standard can be captured. You can continue to use previous versions of Freshcare Forms as long as they are reviewed annually and updated to capture all required information.

What if I need assistance with the update to FSQ4.2?

If you require any assistance with the changes to the FSQ4.2 Standard, please contact the Freshcare Office on 1300 853 508 or email [email protected]

The Freshcare Trainer network is also available to provide local, tailored assistance to help with the update to FSQ4.2. For trainer contact details visit: www.freshcare.com.au/training/trainers

What if I’m currently enrolled in a FSQ4.1 course on eLearning?

Trainees who are currently enrolled in the FSQ4.1 full course or FSQ4.1 transition course with Freshcare eLearning, will have an FSQ4.2 module linked to their course accesses freely to assist them in updating requirements to FSQ4.2.

If you have any questions or require assistance with course access please email: [email protected]

All new trainees that register from December 2020, will enroll directly into the FSQ4.2 course options.

What is an unannounced audit?

An unannounced audit is the same as your standard re-certification audit, with the exception that you will not know when the auditor will arrive to your site. With the release of FSQ4.2, all sites will now have to undergo an unannounced audit of 1 in every 4 years.

Your Certification Body is required to give you a date range in which the audit will occur, in line with the requirement that it must be within harvest period and no more than 60 days ahead of your “re-certification audit due date”.

You can tell your Certification Body of up to 10 days of non-operational periods within this timeframe to allow for days that you know you don’t have activity in the business (i.e. every Monday is a non-harvest day). Businesses with a very short harvest period can nominate 5 days of non-operational activity.

Contact your Certification Body or Freshcare if you would like to know more.

Why has Freshcare updated the Standard to FSQ4.2?

In 2019, Freshcare was benchmarked against the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), to ensure ongoing domestic and global market acceptance of the Freshcare Standards.

The Global Food Safety Initiative released GFSI v2020 benchmark criteria in February 2020 and set a maximum period of time that Certification Program Owners (such as Freshcare) had to update the Standard and supporting program.

The Freshcare Food Safety & Quality Standard has therefore been updated to FSQ4.2 to ensure Freshcare certification remains compliant with the GFSI requirements.

For information on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the Freshcare benchmark process visit: www.freshcare.com.au/gfsi