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Stop people from meat production coming into RTE room?


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#1 SZY

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:21 AM

Our SQF consultant told me that we had to stop production workers in different setion (meat & RTE foods) coming across to the other area, because when the guy comes from meat production, he maybe carries some blood or meat strips into the RTE room which can cause cross contamination. I agree with him to some level, but my company is not a big factory, and sometimes the guy in RTE room needs help, for example, lift the tubs which is about 30kg. There is no way for him to do it by himself. And the same problem falling on me, the production chef and warehouse manager as well as we are always walking around the whole production area.

We have a choice that is we need to change uniform every time when we walk to different production areas. This is a pretty time consuming choice to me.

I just want to know if there is anyone coming from a factory similar like me with 2 or more different sections. How do you guys manage this cross contamination issue? Please give me some suggestion.

Thanks very much.


Edited by SZY, 14 December 2010 - 10:55 PM.

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#2 GMO

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:41 AM

Our SQF consultant told me that we had to stop production workers in different setion (meat & RTE foods) coming across to the other area, because when the guy comes from meat production, he maybe carries some blood or meat strips into the RTE room which can cause cross contamination. I agree with him to some level, but my company is not a big factory, and sometimes the guy in RTE room needs help, for example, lift the tubs which is about 30kg. There is no way for him to do it by himself. And the same problem falling on me, the production chef and warehouse manager as well as we are always walking around the whole production area.

We have a choice that is we need to change uniform every time when we walk to different production areas. This is a pretty silly and time consuming choice to me.

I just want to know if there is anyone coming from a factory similar like me with 2 or more different sections. How do you guys manage this cross contamination issue? Please give me some suggestion.

Thanks very much.


Silly? Are you serious? I have worked in a high risk factory with raw meat and cooked meat sections. I changed every time I went into each section. Sorry but that's the answer! Other factories manage it! I very much agree with your auditor. It's not silly at all. It takes about 2 minutes to change.
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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:15 AM

Dear Yvonne Sun,

I am curious what RTE products you are making ?

I deduce you hv already set up one of the major, risk assessed, validated, safety requirements for RTE production which is to physically isolate it from the non-RTE processes. The identical logic also appplies to the personnel vis-a-vis their clothing plus equipment, utensils (eg color coding) etc. Safety-wise ( esp.concerning microbiological contamination) I am afraid yr example is a perfect illustration of the reason.

You are corect, there are inevitably operational inconveniences involved but IMEX the principle / implementation tend to be “zero tolerance” as far as textbooks and auditors are concerned. Thousands of factories are following such RTE procedures. Many (all?) factories also partially / totally isolate the later stages (eg post-freezing) of raw final product production from the earlier steps for similar reasons.

I fear you are presently inviting an auditorial critical NC. What did yr consultant say ?

Rgds / Charles.C


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#4 Mike Green

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:53 AM

Silly? Are you serious? I have worked in a high risk factory with raw meat and cooked meat sections. I changed every time I went into each section. Sorry but that's the answer! Other factories manage it! I very much agree with your auditor. It's not silly at all. It takes about 2 minutes to change.

As above!!!!!
Not silly at all-When it goes wrong people can die!- see attached report from a rather high profile outbreak Wales in 2005

Regards

Mike

Attached Files


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I may sound like a complete idiot...but actually there are a couple of bits missing

#5 Inesa

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:50 PM

May I ask the question? Posted Image

Are those areas separated from each other? Are there doors? It feels like free, non-stop movement between areas and changing clothes feels like something "silly".

I had a short internship at a small "delicatessen section" raw meet handling together with RTE in supermarket, and they were walking freely everywhere. If you want to go to fridge room you pass slaughter room take things and come back through slaughter room to kitchen. Kitchen doors closes automatically only if to much smoke (else open all the time) . There would be impossible to find a place to hang extra changing clothes... Have no idea why it was allowed Posted Image They were always getting "Elite smile" (means excellent) after inspections (Danish system of evaluation of food establishments) I was always wondering about that. Maybe it's allowed to mini establishments?
Some of slaughter equipment was washed just beside the table for RTE.
I will not say more what I saw.. Posted Image


Edited by Inesa, 13 December 2010 - 12:52 PM.

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#6 GMO

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:21 PM

May I ask the question? Posted Image

Are those areas separated from each other? Are there doors? It feels like free, non-stop movement between areas and changing clothes feels like something "silly".

I had a short internship at a small "delicatessen section" raw meet handling together with RTE in supermarket, and they were walking freely everywhere. If you want to go to fridge room you pass slaughter room take things and come back through slaughter room to kitchen. Kitchen doors closes automatically only if to much smoke (else open all the time) . There would be impossible to find a place to hang extra changing clothes... Have no idea why it was allowed Posted Image They were always getting "Elite smile" (means excellent) after inspections (Danish system of evaluation of food establishments) I was always wondering about that. Maybe it's allowed to mini establishments?
Some of slaughter equipment was washed just beside the table for RTE.
I will not say more what I saw.. Posted Image


That is terrifying and exactly the kind of stuff which was going on in the Welsh establishment Mike is referring to. I never think killing kids is silly personally.
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#7 Inesa

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 02:09 PM

Of course you're right GMO.

I need to find out a bit more about my internship place. I don't get it why it's allowed to build delicatessen in such way that kitchen stuff have to go to fridge through the slaugters? (there is no other way) Danish rules and control are generally very sharp...
Could it be that meat handling time is very short? They take it cold from fridge, cut, mince, pack it in certain time and put in fridge (point-of-sale) ? And if there are "don't touch" and "if you touched- wash hands, change clothes" rules, it might be ok?

I was so much concerned about handwashing and cleaning that forgot to ask about zoning Posted Image Posted Image

Am I off topic now? Posted Image


Edited by Inesa, 13 December 2010 - 02:10 PM.

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#8 GMO

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:42 PM

Am I off topic now? Posted Image



Nah, I still think you're talking about the same thing.

Of course restaurants and cafes handle raw and cooked all of the time but they don't serve a lot of people and generally things are cooked and served hot rather than cooled and processed or stored further. The small processors in the UK who do still do this are often causes of food poisoning outbreaks. In fact from memory in the case Mike mentioned I believe it was a slicing machine which was used for both raw and cooked. When you hear that, it makes you think "well duh! Couldn't you have seen that coming?" I suppose in the situation the poster stated, if (when?) food poisoning occurs, the court would hear how the same staff could handle raw and cooked food without changing clothing nor going through a changing procedure which encouraged handwashing. I think that would also be a "well duh" moment.

One factory I worked in which converted to use raw meat was then barred by the retailer from using a room with a high solid bench as a communication room between high and low risk because they saw that as too much of a risk; let alone actually having traffic between the areas!

Also things are changing even in shops. In many good quality butchers in the UK who sell both raw and cooked produce and in supermarkets, different staff in different coloured clothing will serve at the raw and cooked counters. You will not see them covering each other for breaks even though they are normally only 20-30 metres apart in supermarkets. Now UK retailers are normally not great at practising what they preach but if they consider it a real risk not to have complete change then I'd really think twice!
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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 05:28 PM

Dear All,

Here is the detailed report of the Public Inquiry into the (2005) E.coli incident referred earlier. Distressing reading on many levels.

Attached File  E.coli O157 Inquiry (2009).pdf   2.15MB   36 downloads

Rgds / Charles.C


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#10 SZY

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:35 PM

Silly? Are you serious? I have worked in a high risk factory with raw meat and cooked meat sections. I changed every time I went into each section. Sorry but that's the answer! Other factories manage it! I very much agree with your auditor. It's not silly at all. It takes about 2 minutes to change.



Hi, GMO

I can be wrong, but IMO, footwears have the highest risk. Blood and meat strips are always adhering to shoes not uniform. It doesn't make sense if we just change our uniform.
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#11 SZY

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:41 PM

Dear Yvonne Sun,

I am curious what RTE products you are making ?

I deduce you hv already set up one of the major, risk assessed, validated, safety requirements for RTE production which is to physically isolate it from the non-RTE processes. The identical logic also appplies to the personnel vis-a-vis their clothing plus equipment, utensils (eg color coding) etc. Safety-wise ( esp.concerning microbiological contamination) I am afraid yr example is a perfect illustration of the reason.

You are corect, there are inevitably operational inconveniences involved but IMEX the principle / implementation tend to be “zero tolerance” as far as textbooks and auditors are concerned. Thousands of factories are following such RTE procedures. Many (all?) factories also partially / totally isolate the later stages (eg post-freezing) of raw final product production from the earlier steps for similar reasons.

I fear you are presently inviting an auditorial critical NC. What did yr consultant say ?

Rgds / Charles.C



Hi, Charles

We make dips & sauces. And we frozen the RTE foods in freezer which is -18 degree. That is why I don't understand why we need to change the uniform from top to footwear when we come into the other area if a CCP
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#12 SZY

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:55 PM

Sorry, don't know how to edit.

Let me continue. That is why I don't understand why we need to change the uniform from top to footwear when we come into the other area if a CCP exists.


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#13 Charles.C

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:29 AM

Dear Yvonne,

[To edit, you click the edit button under yr post. This should bring back yr original typing so you can make changes. After you finish editing, click on the “save changes” button which should now be visible and the modified post will replace the previous version. I always select/copy all the text which first appears before editing and paste it into a blank word document as a backup just in case something goes wrong and you lose all the post (has happened to me a few times!). If you wish to delete a (double) post (yr own) can click the delete button under the relevant post and an option box will appear.]

Thks for yr reply. I’m a little confused, I deduce that yr RTE room is handling some (all?) products totally unrelated to the meat business ? or ?

As an example of handling the interface hygiene of a mixed low/high situation, can see the (abbreviated) generic advice below –

Attached File  barrier hygiene b.png   566.61KB   7 downloads

Despite the comment in attachment, IMEX many factories do use footbaths to separate H/L risk areas. I guess the meat business may hv its own, risk based, preferences.

One observation from the tragic episode discussed in my / other peoples previous posts is that even a small (volume / staffed) operation can do a lot of damage, healthwise, by not seeing the "big" picture.

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


#14 GMO

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:36 AM

Hi, GMO

I can be wrong, but IMO, footwears have the highest risk. Blood and meat strips are always adhering to shoes not uniform. It doesn't make sense if we just change our uniform.



I agree. Footwear should also be changed but I disagree that your other items of clothing will not be contaminated.

"Let me continue. That is why I don't understand why we need to change the uniform from top to footwear when we come into the other area if a CCP exists."

I have no idea what you mean by that. "A CCP exists?" What CCP? Will this CCP eradicate cross contamination from raw meat?
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#15 QLD

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:19 PM

I mean no offence but really this is a text book example of how not to make safe food as can be seen in other members strong views and supporting evidence.


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#16 GMO

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:45 PM

I mean no offence but really this is a text book example of how not to make safe food as can be seen in other members strong views and supporting evidence.



Sorry, have I been stroppy again? I do get far too opinionated sometimes. :whistle:
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#17 Charles.C

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:38 PM

Dear Yvonne,

I’m sure you know the basic HACCP formula –

Risk of Incident = Likelihood of Occurrence of Hazard x Severity of Consequence

So, for example, pathogen-contaminated surfaces directly contacting food are inevitably a high risk. Experience of specific organisms also has relevance within a generic program, for example prevention of L.monocytogenes in the factory environment has been found to be significantly enhanced by achieving close control of floor conditions. It is thus possible to make some prioritisations but, operationally speaking, a Sanitation Program needs to be installed as a complete package.

I don’t know what yr technical support system is like but here are a few (hopefully helpful) links which particularly focus on control of environmental L.monocytogenes although much of the content is effectively general. First one is designated for seafood but is virtually multi-functional in first 3 attachments, 4th attachment (almost a treatise!) contains valuable small / large size factory sampling examples of general applicability.

http://foodscience.c...ing-program.cfm
(pictorially / included tips are generally excellent IMO, especially for the cross-contamination item)
(I uploaded the content for convenience, all are available from URL)
Attached File  ListeriaAllEmployee.ppt   5.16MB   7 downloads
Attached File  Cleaning-Smoked-Fish.ppt   5.41MB   3 downloads
Attached File  PreventX-Contamination-1.ppt   2.82MB   9 downloads
Attached File  Smok.Seafd.Work.Group,LMono.Manual.pdf   7.81MB   6 downloads

http://gov.mb.ca/agr.../cfs02s134.html
(condensed but well presented plus some valuable x-links)

http://foodsafetymag...d=3815&sub=sub1
(2010, zoning principles nicely explained)

http://www.extension...ersonal_hygiene
(classic reprint but still a valuable resource,very practically oriented)

Rgds / Charles.C


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#18 SZY

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:22 PM

Thanks you guys for correcting my misconception.

I will organise it straight away.


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#19 Charles.C

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:42 AM

Dear SZY,

Thks for the response.

I can only speak for myself but I do believe this subject is a constant learning curve for all of us. A recurring difficulty IMEX is to determine the optimum route to safe food within economic constraints as typically imposed by "Top Management". :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


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#20 Tony-C

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:00 PM

In fact from memory in the case Mike mentioned I believe it was a slicing machine which was used for both raw and cooked. When you hear that, it makes you think "well duh! Couldn't you have seen that coming?"


Amongst many issues in that establishment I believe the main area of concern was a vacuum packer that was used for both raw and cooked meats that was situated in the raw meat area. Your comments still apply and I'm sure Prof P agrees too although in quite a few more words !

The dips are probably less vulnerable being possibly pH protected and frozen but I do agree this is textbook how not to.

Regards,

Tony
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#21 Tony-C

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:13 PM

Our SQF consultant told me that we had to stop production workers in different setion (meat & RTE foods) coming across to the other area, because when the guy comes from meat production, he maybe carries some blood or meat strips into the RTE room which can cause cross contamination.


Hi SZY

Your SQF consultant should perhaps have explained the requirements of the standard:

5.5.4.1 High Risk Foods
The processing of High Risk Food shall be conducted under controlled conditions such that:
i. Sensitive areas in which High Risk Food has undergone a “kill” step, a “food safety intervention” or is subject to post process handling, are protected/segregated from other processes, raw materials or staff who handle raw materials to ensure cross contamination is minimized;
ii. Areas in which High Risk Processes are conducted are only serviced by staff dedicated to that function;
iii. Staff access points are located, designed and equipped to enable staff to don distinctive protective clothing and to practice a high standard of personal hygiene to prevent product contamination; and
iv. Product transfer points are located and designed so as not to compromise high risk segregation and to minimize the risk of cross contamination.

Regards,

Tony
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#22 GMO

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 05:37 PM

Amongst many issues in that establishment I believe the main area of concern was a vacuum packer that was used for both raw and cooked meats that was situated in the raw meat area. Your comments still apply and I'm sure Prof P agrees too although in quite a few more words !

The dips are probably less vulnerable being possibly pH protected and frozen but I do agree this is textbook how not to.

Regards,

Tony


Ah I knew it was a machine related cross contamination. You could argue then that the vacuum packing machine was similar as no contents were exposed? It doesn't take the dips to be contaminated, if only the exterior packaging is, that could be enough if it survives to get to the consumer.
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#23 Tony-C

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:14 PM

It doesn't take the dips to be contaminated, if only the exterior packaging is, that could be enough if it survives to get to the consumer.


I wouldn't want to take the risk but I suspect that any E.coli would be killed if frozen. Maybe I would validate my theory. :secret:
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#24 GMO

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:48 AM

I wouldn't want to take the risk but I suspect that any E.coli would be killed if frozen. Maybe I would validate my theory. :secret:



Even if that's the case then effective freezing would become a CCP. Not sure you'd want that? Personally I wouldn't want to take the risk either, especially if there is free movement between areas the dip pots could become recontaminated on removal from the freezer.

A can of worms methinks...
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#25 GMO

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:55 AM

Our SQF consultant told me that we had to stop production workers in different setion (meat & RTE foods) coming across to the other area, because when the guy comes from meat production, he maybe carries some blood or meat strips into the RTE room which can cause cross contamination. I agree with him to some level, but my company is not a big factory, and sometimes the guy in RTE room needs help, for example, lift the tubs which is about 30kg. There is no way for him to do it by himself. And the same problem falling on me, the production chef and warehouse manager as well as we are always walking around the whole production area.

We have a choice that is we need to change uniform every time when we walk to different production areas. This is a pretty time consuming choice to me.

I just want to know if there is anyone coming from a factory similar like me with 2 or more different sections. How do you guys manage this cross contamination issue? Please give me some suggestion.

Thanks very much.


Just had another thought. Is it worth seeing if you could use smaller tubs, e.g. 15kg or even better, supply lifting equipment for that job so there isn't the need for people to move between areas?

It's amazing sometimes if you take away one option, you find alternatives. Perhaps if you do a trial where you don't permit traffic between the raw and cooked areas, you will see what needs to change and perhaps you may find it's not as much as you think or the changes may improve things like manual handling or efficiency; ie if you only need one person to lift a tub using equipment designed for the purpose that frees up the other person to concentrate on their job and also removes the manual handling hazard.

I'm a pragmatist and have worked in production. I understand if you bring in a rule which makes it hard for an operations person to do their job it will be at best done resentfully if not ignored but sometimes there is a way of making the production better as well as improving technical standards.
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