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#1 noahchris97

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 07:08 AM

Morning All,

           A recently new employee at a Dairy facility ( frozen treats ). My observations on Drain swabbing ( environmentals),The swabbing is not done right after sanitation has completed their nightly tasks. the swabbing takes place about 3-4 hrs. into production. The facility is an old building, water on floor issues, condensation, ammonia tanks defrosting ( melting on the floor) and so on. The dedicated swab sights are sure to be contaminated in that time frame.  

           I'm looking on some advice on what is the standard way of doing environmental swabs. Do we do dedicated swab sights or is it suppose to be random sites. Do we swab during production as well? Do drains need to be cleaned every shift? or is once a shift good?

 

Any advice would help....

 

Thanks,


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 10:08 AM

Morning All,

           A recently new employee at a Dairy facility ( frozen treats ). My observations on Drain swabbing ( environmentals),The swabbing is not done right after sanitation has completed their nightly tasks. the swabbing takes place about 3-4 hrs. into production. The facility is an old building, water on floor issues, condensation, ammonia tanks defrosting ( melting on the floor) and so on. The dedicated swab sights are sure to be contaminated in that time frame.  

           I'm looking on some advice on what is the standard way of doing environmental swabs. Do we do dedicated swab sights or is it suppose to be random sites. Do we swab during production as well? Do drains need to be cleaned every shift? or is once a shift good?

 

Any advice would help....

 

Thanks,

 

I presume the primary target is Listeria ?

 

I also deduce that you are currently finding it ? (actions relate to findings)


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Setanta

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 11:57 AM

We use a rotating set of 30 sites. we do 10 sites each week.  If we have a presumptive positive for Listeria, we notify our sanitation crew and test that area weekly until we get 4 successful tests in a row


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#4 gfdoucette07

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 02:29 PM

Our facility does both standard sites and rotating, we swab a drain and another none zone 1 surface in each of our powder packaging rooms and then the balance are taken at random from other none zone 1 surfaces. Each group of swabs is taken by a different member of QA so the same sights and thought process is not used each time. Like Setanta mentioned we also run consecutive tests till 3 negatives are achieved. If other drains are swabbed they are taken on a composite and if the composite comes back then we break down and re-swab.

 

We swab both during and not during production so we get a good balance.

 

At our facility we clean drains only once a day by a dedicated person at the end of their shift (as so their uniform is not worn after they have been exposed to aerosols from brushing drains). Drains in our packaging room are only cleaned weekly when the rooms are wet cleaned.

 

I would love to hear from other in how to improve on current processes as well.

 

 

G


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#5 FoodChick

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 01:30 PM

You should do a list of all the swab sites.  The frequency will depend on your environmental monitoring program and risk assessment.  You should have some randomness to your system, but organized so you don't miss things.

 

If concerned about the frequency of cleaning the drams, you could do a trend of swabs throughout the day.  See if there is a time at which the drains needs to be cleaned based on this.  Although with listeria you want a negative, vs. an acceptable number. 

 

If the drain is considered a critical non-contact food surface, the swabs can be taken at any time according to the FDA:

(http://www.fda.gov/F...110.htm#monitor)

 

Critical food-contact surface swabs are the ones that should be taken mid-production. 

 

Environmental swabbing is all about finding what is there.... not swabbing when you know there is no contamination.  You want to swab when that tank is defrosted to see what type of risk it is exposing your facility to.


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#6 Mulan1010

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 05:29 PM

Food Chick's last statement above is the true basis for environmental sampling; you want to be aware if something is there so purposely search for it at the location and times you think are the problem.  If you are limited on the number of swabs you can take then it is best to take environmental swabs after at least 3 to 4 hours of production after things have been moving around and working to see what works itself out.  If you have a pretty open limit to swabs then you can always swab after sanitation and then again into production at different intervals as was suggested above. 

 

If you believe the water is transferring the microorganism to the drain then your priority should be to find the actual source that the water is coming from because you need to find the harborage area(s).  Every once in a while the root cause could be the drain itself if the pipe has a hole or is disconnected or if the drain is not being cleaned properly or enough.  If you determine that the drain is the root of the problem then you would want to put extra procedures in place to prevent cross-contamination and test regularly around the drain to ensure you are not cross-contaminating, until you can get it fixed.   

 

If you have a chance, I highly recommend you try to attend the NAMI Foundation's Advanced Listeria monocytogenes Intervention and Control Workshop.  This year it is scheduled for October 20-21, 2015, at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Missouri.  It is a very informative and helpful workshop.


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#7 svnh.bell

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 02:33 PM

Our facility does both standard sites and rotating, we swab a drain and another none zone 1 surface in each of our powder packaging rooms and then the balance are taken at random from other none zone 1 surfaces. Each group of swabs is taken by a different member of QA so the same sights and thought process is not used each time. Like Setanta mentioned we also run consecutive tests till 3 negatives are achieved. If other drains are swabbed they are taken on a composite and if the composite comes back then we break down and re-swab.

 

 

We swab both during and not during production so we get a good balance.

 

 

At our facility we clean drains only once a day by a dedicated person at the end of their shift (as so their uniform is not worn after they have been exposed to aerosols from brushing drains). Drains in our packaging room are only cleaned weekly when the rooms are wet cleaned.

 

 

I would love to hear from other in how to improve on current processes as well.

 

 

 

G

gfdoucette07, 

 

Could you tell me what chemicals you use for drain sanitation? Our sales rep wants us to use drain rings, which are convenient, but not cost effective at all. We are a small facility with only 6 drains in the production areas - so manually cleaning would not take up too much time. Any information would be so greatly appreciated :) 


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 05:21 PM

gfdoucette07, 

 

Could you tell me what chemicals you use for drain sanitation? Our sales rep wants us to use drain rings, which are convenient, but not cost effective at all. We are a small facility with only 6 drains in the production areas - so manually cleaning would not take up too much time. Any information would be so greatly appreciated :) 

 

there may be a delay, previous post is 1 year old.

 

Prob. easier to stick to one thread.

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ns/#entry102837


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 johntstuart

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 01:02 AM

Environmental swabs should reflect the conditions when the product has the highest risk of being contaminated.  This is typically about 3-4 hours into production.  If you have a suspicion about something happening in the off hours, it may be worth doing some swabs in addition to the standard program (special investigation or something)

 

It is alright to have a standardized set and rotation of sites to swab from, so long as the frequency for each site is based off of a solid risk assessment and each individual site's history.  For example, if you keep getting a particular site out of spec, it may be a good idea to reassess (and increase) the frequency of the swabbing.  Higher risk sites are swabbed more frequently.

 

While I am a fan of a set of dedicated sites on a schedule, I do believe in randomizing the day and/or shift that the swabs are taken on.  For example, your 10 swabs are simply scheduled for the first week of the month, you should pick the day and production shift randomly (within the limitations required by your particular procedures, laboratory, and sanitation requirements).

 

The sites, of course, should be audited at least yearly to see if the list accurately reflects current conditions in the plant (did a piece of equipment get added/removed, did you come across something as a result of one of your vectors that should be added to your regular swabbing schedule, etc.)

 

Dedicated swab sites should have a degree of flexibility to them.  For example, say the dedicated site is the case sealer, you should be able to swab anywhere on that sealer (within the limitations of your hygienic zoning of course) or the surrounding area.  Just be sure to accurately note exactly where you took your sample.

 

As someone who has also worked in a variety of old buildings, my advice is to keep swabbing faithfully.  The purpose of an EMPC program is not to show that the plant is clean.  Its purpose is, in a sense, to go looking for trouble.  You want to find those out of spec spots, as they will allow you to make and/or motivate positive change.

 

If the sites keep coming back contaminated, that should be sounding major alarms in your managements' heads.  If it doesn't sound those alarms, firmly advocate for corrective actions.  Patient persistence combined with showing respect frequently wins out in the long run.  


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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 03:49 AM

Hi All,

 

First, please note there is a parallel, partially overlapping OP to this one here -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ning-of-drains/

 

The above contains help with a lot of the queries in this thread.

 

Now, A few thoughts from the "Gurus" on some of the diverse items in this thread -

 

gfdoucette07, 

 

Could you tell me what chemicals you use for drain sanitation? Our sales rep wants us to use drain rings, which are convenient, but not cost effective at all. We are a small facility with only 6 drains in the production areas - so manually cleaning would not take up too much time. Any information would be so greatly appreciated :) 

(1) See the thread linked above.

 

(2) For a deli/FSIS -

Use products formulated with antimicrobial agents (e.g., acetic acid, sodium diacetate, lactic acid, citric acid) when possible, to eliminate or prevent the growth of Lm in RTE products.  In some cases, the addition of antimicrobial agents may not be possible because of the adverse effect on the flavor of the products.  Retailers can read the ingredients statements on the labels to see whether the products in the deli have

antimicrobial agents and can contact their suppliers to determine whether products formulated with antimicrobial agents are available.

And a lot more –

Attached File  FSIS, control L.mono(Lm) in Retail Delicatessens,2015.pdf   319.75KB   38 downloads

---------------------------------------------------

For Sampling/FSIS

Sample Collection Considerations

Establishments should design their sampling programs so that they collect a combination of random and

discretionary samples.  Initially, samples should be collected at random, to ensure that all FCS have an

equal probability of being sampled.  Random sampling should be used after an establishment has started

production or begins processing a new product to verify that their system is effective.  The establishment should have plans in place so that all FCS will be sampled over a specified period of time.  

 

Once the establishment has generated data demonstrating that their control system is effective,

the establishment should adopt a more risk-based sampling program.  The risk-based

sampling should include discretionary samples that are collected along with the random

samples.  These samples can be collected at the discretion of the sample collector based on

positive results or other conditions at observed at the establishment.  For example, if the

establishment is collecting 3-5 samples per line as part of the routine sampling program, 1-2 of

the samples should be discretionary while the others should be collected randomly.

Discretionary samples should be collected if the sample collector observes conditions that could

lead to harborage or cross contamination in the post-processing environment (e.g., backed-up

drains, sanitation issues, and condensation dripping over equipment).  Establishments should

also sample more frequently in areas where sanitation issues have been identified, and use the

results of their sanitation monitoring testing (e.g., APC or bioluminescence) to identify sampling

sites. Discretionary samples can also be collected to demonstrate the effectiveness of the

establishment’s corrective actions. The results from the discretionary samples can be linked to

the sample collector’s observations, providing more information about sources of harborage or

cross contamination in the establishment.

And a lot/lot more -

  Attached File  FSIS Listeria Guideline,Chapter 3 of 4, 2012.pdf   221.88KB   39 downloads

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From 1st reference -

 

This guidance (2015) provides practical recommendations that retailers can use to control Lm

contamination and outgrowth in the deli area based on the findings of the Interagency Retail Lm

Risk Assessment, available scientific knowledge, the 2013 FDA Food Code, as well as lessons

learned from controlling Lm in meat and poultry processing establishments.  Retailers can use

this best-practices guidance to help ensure that RTE meat and poultry products in the deli area

are handled under sanitary conditions and are not adulterated as defined in the FMIA and PPIA. 

While these practices are designed to control Lm specifically, they also may help control other

food borne pathogens that may be introduced into the retail deli environment and other facilities

where consumers take possession of food.

The best practices are divided into four sections:  (1) product and product handling, (2) cleaning

and sanitizing, (3) facility and equipment controls, and (4) employee practices.  Practices

identified by the risk assessment that can significantly decrease the predicted risk of foodborne

illness are highlighted in each section.  The other practices that are based on scientific

knowledge or lessons learned also will help retailers increase Listeria control in the deli area.  

For example, although floors and drains were not considered as a source of cross-

contamination according to the Interagency Retail Lm Risk Assessment, FSIS data has shown

that floors, drains, and items like floor mats tend to be harborage points in FSIS establishments

Providing this information can assist retailers in controlling Lm in the deli area.  A self-

assessment tool, starting on page 14 of this guidance, is provided for deli operators to help

them identify the best practices they are using and to assess whether they need to adopt others. 

By following the best practices in the guidance and the 2013 FDA Food Code, retailers can help

ensure that RTE products are not adulterated with Lm, and that the potential for listeriosis is

decreased. 

---------------------------------

 

Designing the Routine Monitoring Program 

 

The objective of the routine monitoring program is to detect niches in order to initiate corrective

actions  before  L.  monocytogenes  can  contaminate  product  contact  surfaces  (PCS)  or  product. 

The routine monitoring program will typically focus on surfaces in the processing area(s) where

at-risk product is exposed to the environment.  Sampling locations are typically designated into

zones based on the proximity to the food (Table 1).  The number of samples collected will differ

by zone, the risk to exposed product and the complexity of the production system.  The majority

of  the  sampling  locations  are  typically  focused  in  Zones  2  and  3  to  obtain  early  indication  of

Listeria  spp.  presence  in  harborage  sites  or  transfer  points.

 

In  order  to  make  the  best  use  of resources  and  collect  relevant  data,  it  is  important  that  processors  perform  their  own  facility specific  evaluation  to  determine  the  selection  of  number  of  samples  and  frequency  of  sample collection in each of the zones.  Recommendations for sample numbers and frequency exist in other guidance, for example the USDA FSIS Listeria Guidance (11).

 

For at-risk products, it is recommended that facilities consider including Zone 1 testing in their

LEMP program.  In order to make this decision the facility should assess whether there is a risk

of  harborage  of  Listeria  on  PCS  and  whether  information  from  other  verification  activities

questions   the  hygienic   status   of   a   processing   line   or   an   increased   potential   for   cross

contamination  of  the  line.    Zone  1  sampling  should  be  representative  of  all  product  contact

surfaces  on  that  line.    The  number  of  samples  to  take  would  be  determined  by  the  size  and

complexity  of  the  line.    Under  most  conditions  Zone  1  testing  for  Listeria  spp.  can  be

implemented  without  the  need  for  holding  finished  product  (see  section  on  Investigation  and

Corrective  Actions).    This  allows  facilities  to  more  aggressively  test  for  the  indicator  while

minimizing disruption to production.  

Typically  Zone 4 monitoring is conducted less frequently or for investigational purposes.  The

sampling locations typically include surfaces outside the production areas in order to determine

if there is a potential for Listeria spp. to be present in the non-production areas. Sampling non-

production  and  raw  areas  may  also  help  to  assess  the  effectiveness  of  preventive  controls

between production areas with different level of risks (e.g., hallway between raw and or at-risk

product areas).

In most circumstances  a  LEMP  should not  extend into raw processing areas (e.g., ingredients,

raw  meat  and  fish,  and  unpasteurized  dairy  products)  as  it  is  assumed  these  areas  are  likely

contaminated.  Some facilities may not have truly defined raw and RTE areas, in this case the all

production room with exposed at-risk may be included (e.g. fresh cut produce, salad assembly).

 

In the risk evaluation, thorough consideration should be given to the process flow and nature and

intended use of the product.  The sampling of interfaces, transition areas or barriers between raw

areas and at-risk product areas is recommended to verify the effectiveness of preventive controls

at maintaining separation.  Some examples include the curing area in raw milk cheese production

or a the floor in front of a single door oven

 

Refer to Table 1 for examples of surfaces to include in a plant program.

 

Attached File  Zoning.png   168.17KB   1 downloads

 

The  food  safety  team  (e.g.,  a  cross-functional  team  with  technical  knowledge  of  the  plant’s

programs, processes and practices) may develop a list of sites that could be sampled in rotation

and be completely covered in a given timeframe, for example, monthly or quarterly. The trained

technician  taking  the  samples  should  also  have  the  freedom  to  sample  additional  sites.  As

mentioned  earlier,  the  sites  should  be  selected  based  on  the  potential  to  harbor  Listeria  spp.

Examples of sites and potential sources of Listeria spp. are provided in Table 3. 

 

Routine sampling should be performed during production.  It is recommended that sampling of

Zones 1-3 take place at a minimum of three hours after the beginning of production, and should

be varied to cover times and shifts across the entire production schedule.  Sampling days should

also be varied to represent the entire production schedule.  Some samples can only be collected

safely  when  equipment  is  not  running.    In  such  a  case  sampling  could  be  done  at  the  end  of

production/before cleaning, or any other time the equipment is idle and can  be locked out and

safely accessed.

 

Attached File  GMA - L.mono - Guidance on Env. Monitoring, 2014.pdf   334.03KB   47 downloads

---------------------------------------------------------------


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Charles.C


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