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Any point taking twice yearly environmental samples?

raw poultry single ingredient

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#1 Scampi

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 06:50 PM

Ok, so I am in the middle of a reassessment and the owners are wanting to remove the twice yearly environmental swab samples (packaging room only, food contact surfaces)

As far as I can find, there is no requirement to sample (we do not process chicken/turkey or duck so USDA swabbing does not apply). Can anyone give me a good reason to keep these in the program?   For my money, they are virtually useless when we run 5 days a week, what to 2 swabs a year tell me

 

Thanks for all input


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#2 GMO

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:41 AM

Ok, so I am in the middle of a reassessment and the owners are wanting to remove the twice yearly environmental swab samples (packaging room only, food contact surfaces)

As far as I can find, there is no requirement to sample (we do not process chicken/turkey or duck so USDA swabbing does not apply). Can anyone give me a good reason to keep these in the program?   For my money, they are virtually useless when we run 5 days a week, what to 2 swabs a year tell me

 

Thanks for all input

 

It's difficult to know without knowing what you process or whether it's ready to eat or not but IMO food contact swabbing is vital as verification that your cleaning procedures are effective.  There seems to be a strange attitude to this in Northern American plants, like factories are fearful of finding contamination so they don't always swab for it?  Your swabbing schedule should be designed, IMO to actively seek out pathogens or poor cleaning before it results in massive product contamination.


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#3 anna898

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:51 AM

HI

I had similar problem but in my case the previous QA had swabbing program based on monthly checks for food contact surfaces, which cost a fortune. So when I took over the management asked me to reduce some lab testing costs. I think it is good idea to have it done twice a year to check and prove effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection procedures. and if there is something wrong you will know and be able to review your cleaning procedures or chemicals .  


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#4 pooled

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 11:47 AM

Swabbing 2/yr does not really seem like it is verifying your sanitation unless you have records showing that previous tests proved demonstrated that testing more frequently was not necessary. 


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#5 Scampi

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 12:42 PM

we are processing ready to COOK poultry not ready to eat. processing whole birds only, no cut up/deboning etc. There is no requirement for swabbing by either the MOP or the FSEP manual. We are small, can swab but takes at least a week to get results back from a 3rd party lab


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#6 GMO

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 01:59 PM

we are processing ready to COOK poultry not ready to eat. processing whole birds only, no cut up/deboning etc. There is no requirement for swabbing by either the MOP or the FSEP manual. We are small, can swab but takes at least a week to get results back from a 3rd party lab

 

It always takes a week to get the results back from 3rd party labs, that's why it's verification not monitoring.  

 

Ok, I understand your process more now and I take pooled's point that twice yearly seems infrequent.  Personally I would ignore what it says you legally have to do and think about what is the right thing to do.  Is it right to verify your cleaning?  This is still important IMO and twice yearly seems a low frequency.  Despite the product being something which is cooked at home, presumably you would also want to limit pathogen levels present.  There is a lot of chat going on in the UK about Campylobacter levels in raw chicken.  Apparently UK consumers can't be trusted to wash their hands and cook a chicken properly(!)  However, I also have been told that rinsing and brining chicken in the US is more common, not sure about Canada which may increase risks to your consumers.

 

So that garbled stuff was all to say, it comes down to HACCP.  You are verifying your cleaning.  I would decide as a HACCP team whether you need to do so and, if so, how often.


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#7 Anika

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 03:09 PM

Hi, I don't know if it will help but we are a confectionary and we have the following testing frequency:

 

 

Tests

Frequency

Coliform (zone 1, 2 ,3)

1/month(in house)

Salmonella (zone 1,2)

2/month(in house)

Salmonella (Zone 3, 4) e.g drains

2/yr(external lab)

Aerobic plate count/air sampling

1/month(in house)

Zone 1-Contact, Zone 2-Processing close to contact, Zone 3-Processing but not close to contant surface, Zone 4-non processing

 

We had higher frequency and we brought it down and I guess, if you keep following the past trends and see what is appropriate for your HACCP plan, you can bring down your frequency too.

 

we used to send Coliform and E coli for Zone 1-3 to the external lab too and simultaneously carry them out in house but decided to just do in house and save money.


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#8 w.weber

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 12:21 PM

Hello,

I don't know, how many swabs you have in each session. But why not spread the swabs over the time. Eg. if you have 12 swabs 2 times a year, why not take 2 swabs every month, so you could show up, that you have a closer look on the situation.  So why not checking in Jan the floors, in Feb. the wall, in March the tables .... I check for example usually floor and vacuum cleaner not within the same week. I do it on different weeks, to show up, that I take regular checks on these sites.

 

Yours

Werner


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