I'm new and at a smaller cookie dough manufacturing company who is aiming at getting SQF level 2 certification in a few months. Previously, they have not done any sort of swabs or microbial testing that I am aware of, so I am working on putting together those programs in order to verify cleaning, allergen program, etc. I was originally thinking I would just buy a meter and do regular ATP testing to verify our general cleaning, and allergen, environmental, pathogenic testing (have someone come in a swab or I swab and send them off to a lab for plate counts) just a few times per year after the initial round of tests.
So I've started looking at swab kits and meters. The first one I looked at, the hygiena EnSURE looked great and even does pathogen testing! Great! So then I talk to someone representing the Biocontrol Lightening MVPIcon, which is way more expensive but does a form of allergen testing (and she said it would put all of my data in haccp plan format which sounded nice!) and she told me that the pathongen tests the EnSURE meter would do were not acceptable by FDA standards, which made me think they might not be acceptable for SQF and so I'm just not really sure about much at this point.
Also, since it has not previously been done here, I really don't know where to start on frequency of any of these tests. Our production room is only about 2500 square feet, so it's not a very big operation, which I feel like should make things a lot simpler than they could be (especially for someone just starting out ). I've read about doing a lot of ATP tests at first to find a starting point and then as you continue getting good results, you could back off to weekly or so. And then I thought I've read about people doing allergen maybe twice a year? I may have just made that up. I'm just trying to get an idea so I know what I'm talking about when I have to ask my boss to spend the money on all of this testing!
Feel free to comment on anything here. All advice, experience, or input is greatly appreciated! Thanks for everything!