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Navigating the Path to Food Grade Compressed Air Quality

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#1 Simon

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 04:38 PM

Navigating the Path to Food Grade Compressed Air Quality

Co- Presented by:
Dick Smith, 
Laboratory Director/Owner, Trace Analytics, LLC
Ruby Ochoa, President/Owner, Trace Analytics, LLC

This Live Webinar is taking place: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 (03:00 PM - 04:00 PM GMT).  This is a 10 a.m. EDT Start.
 
Navigating food grade compressed air quality for SQF, BRC, or your custom specification can be difficult. In this webinar we will discuss the various contaminants that can create a problem for your final product. We will explain ISO 8573-1 compressed air testing and why other specifications are not adequate for food and beverage manufacturers. We will also discuss ISO 8573-7 microbiological compressed air testing. Then we will dig deeper into a few ways these contaminants can occur and why they may exist in one line of piping and not another. We will close with tips on creating a monitoring program. 

 

 


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Simon Timperley
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#2 Simon

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 02:13 PM

Here are some of the questions that were not answered during the webinar.  I will ask Dick and Ruby if they will follow-up here:

 

 

Colleen

When one carries compressed air in tanks on trucks, should one have a testing programme.?
 
Ehsan
How we can sterilize the compressed air?
 
John
Is it true that microbiological concerns are not present with ultra dry compressed air?
 
Ana
I have a question one of our sites uses electric air compressor to clean products prior shipping ( obviously not a good practice). What standards can I review to go over with associates and ensure this practice stops? or what other extra steps should I performed if this is suitable? Please advise. Thanks.
 
Ehsan
What tests to be carried out for air quality
 
Paul Kuma
Since most food companies are not equipped with suitable air testing facilities, is it advisable to sub-contract this to external analytical laboratories?
 
Anon
If compressed air comes in contact with conveyor belt and belt in turn comes in contact with food product, would it be considered as direct contact or indirect contact?
 
Kim Wegmeyer
Can anyone share there sanitary testing technique or procedure when taking samples for testing.
 
Bob
How is a sample collected?
 
Evangelos
What's the most common cause of samples not meeting the ISO req?
 
Kristy
When I asked "HOW CAN I MEET THE SQF AIR QUALITY STANDARD? This was what I got: The SQF auditor looks to make sure manufacturers have the proper point- of-use filtration in place to ensure clean, safe air. That means that the air coming in contact with food or food contact surfaces should present no risk to food safety. Using sterile grade air is one of the most effective ways of reducing food safety risk. Every compressed air installation needs to ensure removal of particulate and coalescing contaminants down to a safe level. Monitor your compressed air line regularly to ensure integrity of the filtration system. By installing proper compressed air filtration at the point-of-use, you will meet or exceed GFSI, CFR Title 21, and the SQF standard for compressed air.
 
Mariana
If you blow empty packagings from the inside do you consider that direct contact?
 

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Best Regards,

Simon Timperley
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Need food safety advice?
Relax, you've come to the right place…

The IFSQN is a helpful network of volunteers providing answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts on food safety management systems and a wide range of food safety topics.

 
We could make a huge list of rules, terms and conditions, but you probably wouldn’t read them.

All that we ask is that you observe the following:


1. No spam, profanity, pornography, trolling or personal attacks

2. Topics and posts should be “on topic” and related to site content
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5. Enjoy your stay!


#3 Trace Analytics

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 09:23 AM

Apologies for the delay in responding and thanks once again for your participation and interest in the webinar.

 

Colleen: When one carries compressed air in tanks on trucks, should one have a testing programme.?

 

Yes. If compressed air or gas touches your product directly or indirectly it should be tested.  

 

Ehsan: How we can sterilize the compressed air?

 

You should work with a reputable compressor manufacturer to get your system producing the quality of air or gas needed for your process. Regular PM programs are a must!

 

John: Is it true that microbiological concerns are not present with ultra dry compressed air?

 

They are far less likely in a dry environment. The dryer the better.

 

Ana: I have a question one of our sites uses electric air compressor to clean products prior shipping ( obviously not a good practice). What standards can I review to go over with associates and ensure this practice stops? Or what other extra steps should I performed if this is suitable? Please advise. Thanks.

 

This would not be an advisable source of compressed air for food processing. The practice should fall under the same scrutiny as any other part of your process. HACCP protocols should apply.

 

Ehsan: What tests to be carried out for air quality?

 

We recommend particle, water, oil, and microbiological air or gas testing to appropriate ISO 8573 limits for your product.

 

Paul Kuma: Since most food companies are not equipped with suitable air testing facilities, is it advisable to sub-contract this to external analytical laboratories?

 

This is an excellent alternative and often preferred because it is 3rd party validation. However, ensure the lab you choose is ISO 17025 Accredited and has the ability to provide analysis to actual ISO 8573 limits.

 

Anon: If compressed air comes in contact with conveyor belt and belt in turn comes in contact with food product, would it be considered as direct contact or indirect contact?

 

In our experience that would be considered indirect contact. From what our customers tell us, direct contact air actually touches the product.

 

Kim Wegmeyer: Can anyone share there sanitary testing technique or procedure when taking samples for testing.

 

We have videos of the sampling process on our website.

 

ISO 8573-1: https://www.aircheck...uctional-video/

 

ISO 8573-7: https://www.aircheck...microbial-video

 

Bob: How is a sample collected?

 

See above links please.

 

Evangelos: What's the most common cause of samples not meeting the ISO req?

 

Failure for particulate content is the most frequent failure we see at our lab. 

 

Kristy: When I asked "HOW CAN I MEET THE SQF AIR QUALITY STANDARD? This was what I got: The SQF auditor looks to make sure manufacturers have the proper point- of-use filtration in place to ensure clean, safe air. That means that the air coming in contact with food or food contact surfaces should present no risk to food safety. Using sterile grade air is one of the most effective ways of reducing food safety risk. Every compressed air installation needs to ensure removal of particulate and coalescing contaminants down to a safe level. Monitor your compressed air line regularly to ensure integrity of the filtration system. By installing proper compressed air filtration at the point-of-use, you will meet or exceed GFSI, CFR Title 21, and the SQF standard for compressed air.

 

We would add to use compressor professionals to work and maintain your system. Regular air testing will tell you if your filtration is working as expected. It can also alert you to a potential problem before it becomes catastrophic.

 

Mariana: If you blow empty packagings from the inside do you consider that direct contact?

 

In our experience that would be considered indirect contact because the air is not touching the product. However, we are not a regulatory organization with any say so on the definition of direct and indirect contact air. We would be interested in hearing your opinions on what constitutes direct or indirect contact air. What are your auditors saying? Please provide examples.


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 03:15 PM

Hi Dick / Ruby,

 

Much appreciate all the CA information generously  presented on yr website and this Forum.

 

My IT connection failed at time yr webinar and I have not yet viewed the file so my apologies in advance if any of the comments below were already answered within.

 

I would like to add some comments to the query submitted by "Kristy" -

 

Kristy: When I asked "HOW CAN I MEET THE SQF AIR QUALITY STANDARD? This was what I got: The SQF auditor looks to make sure manufacturers have the proper point- of-use filtration in place to ensure clean, safe air. That means that the air coming in contact with food or food contact surfaces should present no risk to food safety. Using sterile grade air is one of the most effective ways of reducing food safety risk. Every compressed air installation needs to ensure removal of particulate and coalescing contaminants down to a safe level. Monitor your compressed air line regularly to ensure integrity of the filtration system. By installing proper compressed air filtration at the point-of-use, you will meet or exceed GFSI, CFR Title 21, and the SQF standard for compressed air

Seemed to me that this was the only feedback which directly approached FS as compared to "Quality" queries which most of the literature seems to not directly interpret  from  a safety POV, eg ISO Air Quality Standards

 

Regarding oil contamination -

I  am unaware of the basis of , for example, ISO stated Quality levels of ("acceptable") oil contamination however IMEX the most common HACCP requirement for such a contaminant  is "not detectable". Perhaps the ISO limits have some foundation with respect to LOD/LOQ.

 

With respect to micro. standards -


(a) (Stated), FS, Risk Assessed guidelines as to appropriate filter installations for certain Food Process Categories such as  RTE exist, eg Campden, but these are mainly only accessible in Books or subscription.

(b) BCAS have attempted to formalise/generalise FS requirements via contact/non-contact scenarios but seemed to me to avoid full committment, notably (at least in 1st Ed.) for micro.hazards.

(c) Cleanroom standards, offer some empirical, generic, "acceptable" (micro.) sterility levels. This approach is apparently popular in the Pharmaceutical arena and, i suppose, is worth considering in  food processes like aseptic packaging but as to the less sensitive food processes ??.

(d) Some NASA-originated, Environmental Air Standards developed/implemented by the Dairy Industry have been variously utilised and may have been a reference source  for (micro)FS purposes by some commercial labs (speculative).

 

Referring to Kristy's query, I have no idea about CFR 21 but I am unaware of any defined, validatable, micro, quantitative CA Safety standards referenced within the GFSI benchmark scheme or the SQF Standard. Definitely like to be wrong though. :smile:

 

"Sterile"  CA as delivered by a "sterile" filter at the the Point of Application (POA) presumably represents the nearest "quality" delivering  micro. safety "Nirvana" but would probably be regarded in the literature / many commercial CA system guides as simply  "overkill" for a lot of  FS situations.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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