International Produce Training

Appeal Inspections

One of the most interesting reactions I receive during my training classes, is the discussion that follow questions about appeal inspections.  To begin with, appeal inspections are used when a receiver or a shipper of produce feel the inspector errorred in judgement.  They request an appeal inspection, on the chance the new inspection will supersede or reverse the original inspection.

Most industry members (receivers and shippers alike) feel the process is geared to protecting the original inspector.  I am not going to defend or trash the process, but I will admit during my 30 plus years with the inspection service I have witnessed some amazing decisions regarding appeal inspections.  Most of the training participants have no faith in the system at all, pointing out the inspectors performing the appeal inspection have the previous results in hand and are going to score or not score defects to keep the results very close, thereby resulting in very few reversals of the original inspector.

To be fair, when an appeal inspection is requested the follow-up inspectors are supposed to consist of two different inspectors, and at least one being a supervisor or a more seasoned inspector.  Unfortunately, due to the budget woes, many offices are being downsized leaving fewer options for choosing capable inspectors to handle appeal inspections. But the comment I hear most often is, “The two inspectors performing the appeal inspection are from the same office as the original inspector, most likely friends and will protect him or her.”  And my answer to that comment is “Yes, the appealing inspectors are most likely from the same office as the original inspector,” and I leave it at that.

But all is not lost.  If you feel you have a legitimate disagreement with the appeal inspection results, you can always opt for the next step, request a formal review.  A formal review will consist of two inspectors from a different office to handle the inspection.  But beware, win or lose, you will be responsible for the expenses for the two out-of -towners, paying for mileage, overtime, and possibly airfare, rental car, per-diem and hotel expenses.

In a future post I will offer some advice as to the best times to request an appeal, as well as advice as to how to head off a disagreement with an inspector, avoiding the appeal process altogether.

13 Comments on “Appeal Inspections”

oldentimer Says:

What a can of worms you have opened. I remember the time when two of my bosses in D. C. reveresed each other, neither one of them knew what they were doing. I am still itching my rear on that one!!! CYA

oldentimer Says:

Just do like most of the applicants I dealt with, move 40 boxes around the corner and the lot is not intact. NO APPEAL, refrence it and move on, no harm, no foul!! We are not the produce police.

Dog Bonz Says:

The inspection rules for appeals are changing, for the worse. Most of the times the appeal inspections in our office are handled by equal pay grade inspectors, sometimes with less experience than the original inspector. The Officer in Charge and Assistant stay in the office, and very rarely handle any inspections at all, much less the appeals.

runforit Says:

Dog you must work in the Bronx. I was reversed there once on a half a pallet of onions. I was told later that it wasn’t even the same product I looked at. I would suggest on every appeal done the origanal inspector go out and at least ID the lot first.

hendrik Says:

Runforit, why do you place the blame on your incompetent work on an inspection?

The Truth Hurts Says:

hendrik – Perhaps you should reserve “incompetent”
for those responsible for supervising and managing
Runforit. Maybe, just maybe that is the root problem
systemic throughout the entire FPB. Then again,
you may be part of the problem yourself.

hendrik Says:

I am not even an inspector. Just an observer. I doubt very much if when an appeal is called that the appealing supervisor is not taking his time and
doing a very fair and knowlegable appeal on the inspection in question.
If the original inspection was done right then the appealers will find similar results. However, in Runforits scenario, the original inspection was most likely incompetent. Don’t blame it on the appealers.

The Truth Hurts Says:

Trust me hendrik, those that participate in appeal
inspections can be incorrect with their results too.
If runforit is being straight forward about the story
of being reversed off a 1/2 pallet of onions that wasn’t
even part of the original lot of onions, that was a very
sloppy job on the appealing inspector(s) part for not
determining if the onions, second time around, were
part of the original lot. Determining whether or
not if the product involved in an appeal inspection
is part of or all of the original lot is of paramount
importance. If the appeal inspector(s) are not
100% certain that the product that they are looking
at is not part of or all of the original lot, then the
appeal inspection is worthless. If they (appeal inspectors)
fail to follow through on a basic appeal inspection
proceedure prior to starting the actual inspection, how
can anyone have any confidence in their findings?

Anonymous Says:

If the appeal inspectors are not following procedures then they should be removed from their duties.

C Says:

I am in support of appeal inspections and feel they add value to the service. I have been on them when an inspector was reversed, but most of the time that is not the case.

Anonymous Says:

Ask T. Spinale about HP appeals! LOL

A Produce Person Says:

Anonymous from July 25th, why should we ask
Spinale about HP appeals? You give the impression
that you can tell us all we need to know. So have
at it. We have plenty of time.

brian jones Says:

t. spinale has passed away. there are many ways to get around the actual appeal process all depend on the region you are located in. i have seen many reversals but i have also seen some decisions that you just have to laugh at. either way the best way to argue your point is to actually know what your talking about when it comes to requesting inspections, and/or actually appealing if you are not happy with the results. lets face it most applicants have no idea what there looking at.

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