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Corrective Action when Staphylococcus Aureus Hand Swabs are High?


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#1 hygienic

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 01:59 PM

Dear All;



Just a quick question with regards staph, what you will do if you got twice a rsult of hand swab the staphylococcus aureus is above the acceptable level ?

50 and 40 cfu ?


PS. the two samples from one employee .



Please I need your advise in this case (corrective action )


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#2 hygienic

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 03:19 PM

Dear All;



Please tell me if there is any major corrective action has to do immediatly ?



Regards


Edited by hygienic, 25 September 2011 - 03:19 PM.

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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 04:09 PM

Dear hygienic,

I suggest to initially -

(a) validate yr procedure and result
(b) validate yr standard of acceptance

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C

 


#4 Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:57 AM

I agree with what Charles C has stated. Yopu should also review your procedures and modify them. Also introduce hand sanitiser alcohol gels to be applied after wshing hand and then validate the procedure.


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Dr Ajay Shah.,
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Managing Director & Principal Consultant
AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd
www.aasfood.com


#5 Erickx

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

Dear All;



Just a quick question with regards staph, what you will do if you got twice a rsult of hand swab the staphylococcus aureus is above the acceptable level ?

50 and 40 cfu ?


PS. the two samples from one employee .



Please I need your advise in this case (corrective action )


Hello,



In what type of food are you in? It makes a difference if you are in a slaughterhouse or

in a high care area.

Did you confirm the colonies found to be really S. aureus (serologically)



Normally Staph. aureus does not occur on hands as common flora.

If present it could come from nose picking or an infection.

Handwashing with soft sanitizing soap should be more than enough to get rid S. aureus.



But be aware that after handwashing you will still find Staphyloccus. This will not be aureus but S. alba which is common to be present on skin



Kind regards

Erickx
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#6 lovelin

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 11:11 AM

Hi!

Iagree with the above suggestions. The affected staff required to undergo "eradicationtherapy", like antiseptic washes and application of antibiotic ointmentsfor eg,neomycin to the anteriorof the nose.The use of disposable aprons and gloves also reduces the risk of cross contamination.

Regards,

Lovelin.


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#7 hygienic

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:18 PM

Hello,



In what type of food are you in? It makes a difference if you are in a slaughterhouse or

in a high care area.

Did you confirm the colonies found to be really S. aureus (serologically)



Normally Staph. aureus does not occur on hands as common flora.

If present it could come from nose picking or an infection.

Handwashing with soft sanitizing soap should be more than enough to get rid S. aureus.



But be aware that after handwashing you will still find Staphyloccus. This will not be aureus but S. alba which is common to be present on skin



Kind regards

Erickx



Dear Erickx;


Realy thanks for your input and I think you are right , as I read that the staph aureus can not survive or grow in the hands cause the acidity of the skin hands will kill this bacteria , as you said may be infection , so for that it is better to send the infected staff to the medical or to the clinic ,

what are you think? is it a good corrective action ?



Regards
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#8 hygienic

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:25 PM

Dear hygienic,

I suggest to initially -

(a) validate yr procedure and result
(b) validate yr standard of acceptance

Rgds / Charles.C



Dear Charles;


I am always taking your ideas and guidlines seriuosly , the validation has been done and going to issue a new procedure after amendements.



Regards

Edited by hygienic, 27 September 2011 - 02:26 PM.

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#9 hygienic

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:32 PM

Dear Erickx;


Realy thanks for your input and I think you are right , as I read that the staph aureus can not survive or grow in the hands cause the acidity of the skin hands will kill this bacteria , as you said may be infection , so for that it is better to send the infected staff to the medical or to the clinic ,

what are you think? is it a good corrective action ?



Regards


coming back to you Erickx regarding ur question if I am sure that the colonies are staph.eaureus or not, as I am doing the media what I have especially for identifying the aureus only and inhibit others .

Regards


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#10 Erickx

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:46 PM

Dear Erickx;


Realy thanks for your input and I think you are right , as I read that the staph aureus can not survive or grow in the hands cause the acidity of the skin hands will kill this bacteria , as you said may be infection , so for that it is better to send the infected staff to the medical or to the clinic ,

what are you think? is it a good corrective action ?



Regards

Dear Hygienic,

Sending staff to the medic will probably not solve the problem because S. aureus is hard to fight (could even be MRSA). Maybe it’s better to find the source of S.aureus. Is the staff member known to be in contact with farming or animals? How is his personal hygiene?

I would suggest the following corrective actions:

- Write a procedure for handsanitizing

- Give instructions to staff

- Observe handsanitizing on the spot.

- Apply immediate corrective actions on staff if handsanitizing is not followed for 100%

- Resample after one or two weeks



If non of this is successful you could always consider to use latex gloves…



Kind regards

Erickx


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#11 Charles.C

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:36 AM

Dear hygienic,

Regarding occurrence of S.aureus on the body, can try these links -

http://www.sproutnet.../safe_hands.htm
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Skin_flora

Were yr results from yr own internal lab.? And the procedure ?

I do hope that the coagulase test was performed on suspect colonies.

I am curious where you obtained the standard mentioned earlier for S.aureus .? What was it numerically?

Regarding monitoring / general interpretation of results, you may find this procedural extract interesting -

Attached File  monitoring hand hygiene.png   382.79KB   39 downloads

I presume you have repeated the original test on the suspect worker involved. What were the results ? How many total workers were tested ? All the others were negative ?

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C

 


#12 hygienic

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 02:16 AM

Dear hygienic,

Regarding occurrence of S.aureus on the body, can try these links -

http://www.sproutnet.../safe_hands.htm
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Skin_flora

Were yr results from yr own internal lab.? And the procedure ?

I do hope that the coagulase test was performed on suspect colonies.

I am curious where you obtained the standard mentioned earlier for S.aureus .? What was it numerically?

Regarding monitoring / general interpretation of results, you may find this procedural extract interesting -

Attached File  monitoring hand hygiene.png   382.79KB   39 downloads

I presume you have repeated the original test on the suspect worker involved. What were the results ? How many total workers were tested ? All the others were negative ?

Rgds / Charles.C



Dear Charles;

Thanks for the links.


We referred to the standard on this link below ,(page # 45) , mentioned the criteria for the hand and work surfaces swab.

http://www.ifsanet.c....aspx?tabid=236

I did many samples for different staff all result below the criteria only that sample which I repeated several times .Always we are monitoring the staff to see if they are washing their hands or not.



Regards
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#13 Charles.C

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:37 AM

Dear hygienic,

Thks for the reference. I recall you are very fond of this data source.

Personally I hv never searched for S.aureus in hand swabs however I hv now done some brief looking around on the net.

I regret that so far I hv not been able to find any support for the criterion in yr reference, or any other positive tolerance for that matter. The primary source quoted at bottom of yr reference contains no mention of this aspect AFAIK. Frankly, I hv no idea where this number “20” came from. :smile:

In contrast, all the references I found to interpretation of S.aureus in hand swabs used “detection” as a direct criterion of unsatisfactory hygiene, particularly for high risk products (which I understand is yr situation).

As 2 examples, can see these documents –

Attached File  bb1 - assessing microbial performance FSMS systems.pdf   952.18KB   93 downloads

Attached File  bb2 - EIC_guidlines.pdf   852.42KB   102 downloads
(pg 19)

And this comment –

2. Staff hygiene
Hand swabs are randomly taken from various food-handling staff members. Samples are
evaluated for the presence of Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli. The recovery of E.coli
indicates faecal contamination and means that staff have broken a basic hygiene rule,
like failing to wash hands after going to the toilet. Samples are also be tested for the
potential pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, which some people naturally carry and
which can cause a rapid form of food poisoning. (Due to the presence of large numbers
of natural, non-pathogenic bacteria on all peoples hands, there is no point in doing the
standard plate count).


Attached File  bb3 - FOOD-CONSULTING-SERVICES-COMPANY PROFILE.pdf   222.59KB   60 downloads

As a corrective action, the first attachment above offers some general comments. This extract is rather more tough.

Attached File  bb4 - hand swab, S.aureus.png   98.65KB   42 downloads

( Attached File  bb5 - CFA chilled foods, micro.testing and interpetation.pdf   572.3KB   73 downloads )

One other point to note is that the type of work may obviously influence the “ease” of maintaining clean hands or vice-versa. This is well data-demonstrated in the “sprouts” link of my previous post. (see the S.aureus detection frequencies for various food types etc, Table3)

Other swab interpretation data contrary (or otherwise :smile: ) to the above is of course only too welcome. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - actually, i subsequently found this sort of opposing concept to above but I suspect this viewpoint is considerably in the minority for the "typical" hand -

Attached File  hand swab 2, S.aureus.png   17.48KB   40 downloads

(from "Technology of Cheesemaking")
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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C

 


Thanked by 1 Member:
Conny DK

#14 hygienic

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 08:46 PM

Dear hygienic,

Thks for the reference. I recall you are very fond of this data source.

Personally I hv never searched for S.aureus in hand swabs however I hv now done some brief looking around on the net.

I regret that so far I hv not been able to find any support for the criterion in yr reference, or any other positive tolerance for that matter. The primary source quoted at bottom of yr reference contains no mention of this aspect AFAIK. Frankly, I hv no idea where this number “20” came from. :smile:

In contrast, all the references I found to interpretation of S.aureus in hand swabs used “detection” as a direct criterion of unsatisfactory hygiene, particularly for high risk products (which I understand is yr situation).

As 2 examples, can see these documents –

Attached File  bb1 - assessing microbial performance FSMS systems.pdf   952.18KB   93 downloads

Attached File  bb2 - EIC_guidlines.pdf   852.42KB   102 downloads
(pg 19)

And this comment –



Attached File  bb3 - FOOD-CONSULTING-SERVICES-COMPANY PROFILE.pdf   222.59KB   60 downloads

As a corrective action, the first attachment above offers some general comments. This extract is rather more tough.

Attached File  bb4 - hand swab, S.aureus.png   98.65KB   42 downloads

( Attached File  bb5 - CFA chilled foods, micro.testing and interpetation.pdf   572.3KB   73 downloads )

One other point to note is that the type of work may obviously influence the “ease” of maintaining clean hands or vice-versa. This is well data-demonstrated in the “sprouts” link of my previous post. (see the S.aureus detection frequencies for various food types etc, Table3)

Other swab interpretation data contrary (or otherwise :smile: ) to the above is of course only too welcome. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - actually, i subsequently found this sort of opposing concept to above but I suspect this viewpoint is considerably in the minority for the "typical" hand -

Attached File  hand swab 2, S.aureus.png   17.48KB   40 downloads

(from "Technology of Cheesemaking")



Dear Charles;


I realy learned much from this great reference,so always qouated, as mentioned in the above links (mentioned first) the staph in high risk areas should not be detected , so the detection of staph from hand is very important , but in your last paragraph is different , but realy you are posting very rish sources , learned much .

Regards
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#15 Charles.C

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:44 AM

Dear hygienic,

I hv been doing a little more net scanning regarding yr topic so can make a few more comments.

I believe that the number "20" in yr original ref. for S.aureus was probably a detection limit for a particular (unspecified) procedure. (The cfu/g is probably an error).

The earlier comment that S.aureus is not normally a "resident" species on hands is apparently only partially correct since for some people S.aureus can colonise the hands from the nose or other sources and subsequently not be removed by washing/sanitising procedures as typical for "transient" species. The result is a natural or derived "carrier". Such characteristics reinforce the importance of initially setting up a baseline for a group of workers before making specific conclusions.

Another comment is that, although a very high concentration of S.aureus colonies (eg approx 10sup5/gram) is required in food to generate the toxin which represents the main hazard, any cut on a "contaminated" individual will be likely to represent a heightened risk situation.

I hv noticed a few other publications which contain some useful results and will upload later however I think, as Erickx pointed out earlier, that you should not forget the option to use gloves. This is not a guarantee to eliminate the potential problem being discussed but can simplify the uncertainty and maybe facilitate monitoring. A quite readable "glove" document is attached below (PT 2 is mainly a comparison of different glove materials).

Attached File  Gloves, Food Safety Magazine.pdf   434.94KB   68 downloads

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C

 


#16 foodsafetyboy

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:42 AM

Dear All;



Just a quick question with regards staph, what you will do if you got twice a rsult of hand swab the staphylococcus aureus is above the acceptable level ?

50 and 40 cfu ?


PS. the two samples from one employee .



Please I need your advise in this case (corrective action )



There are several corrective actions you can do hygienic, in my opinion:


> you either review your hand washing procedure & staff practices - employee might not be washing his hands properly, and could either touch other things whilst inside the production area
> you can either change your hand soap chemicals - the hand soap you are using might probably be ineffective.

regards,
food safety boy


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#17 Conny T

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:19 PM

We have had 2 employees who have had high counts. We followed their counts after having a little "talk" with them about importance of handwash and desinfect - but counts were still high.
Both employees had very dry skin on their hands (from al this washing and desinfecting) - we found that after taking care of this problem the couonts fell to normal/acceptable. Now we have a good handcream at the tables in our kitchen and the employees use handcream at home and after work :smile:




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#18 Charles.C

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 06:37 AM

We have had 2 employees who have had high counts. We followed their counts after having a little "talk" with them about importance of handwash and desinfect - but counts were still high.
Both employees had very dry skin on their hands (from al this washing and desinfecting) - we found that after taking care of this problem the couonts fell to normal/acceptable. Now we have a good handcream at the tables in our kitchen and the employees use handcream at home and after work :smile:


Dear ConnyDK,

Thks for the input.

Do you mean high counts of S.aureus, or some other species, or just total plate count ? If S.aureus, can you indicate what you consider a "normal" count (previous comments here suggested "detectable" was already considered too much if validatable [eg potential carrier by hand]).

I hv also occasionally encountered use of hand "creams" where allergenic reactions were a problem however the safety / acceptability of such a process action obviously depends on the specific "situation" and particularly any subsequent function, eg bare handling of RTE finished goods might be a problem. Maybe this is not relevant in yr process ?. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C
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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C

 





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