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Environmental Monitoring SOP for Food Packaging


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#1 ctzinck

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 06:38 PM

does anyone have an example of their SOP for Micro testing I can look at, I'm struggling to wrap my head around this, never had to deal with it before.

Just got a minor on an audit, we had testing done and risk analysis but had not yet put a written SOP in place.



#2 Teaners26

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:47 PM

I am trying to write is up also.  We just got a minor at our unannounced as well.  I would like to see an example to build off of.



#3 ctzinck

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:56 PM

still working on mine but here is what i have so far



#4 ctzinck

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:57 PM

still working on mine but here is what i have so far

 

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#5 bbrown

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 06:29 PM

citzinck,

 

I also come from a food packaging company. What is the basis for testing only for Enterobacteriaceae ? I know that this is an indicator organism. Is there any other testing you do?


BBROWN

Food Safety Coordinator

Food Packaging Company


#6 ctzinck

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:48 PM

ok, so we have our SOP in place, done some swabbing and got the results back....what do these results mean? how do i interpret, testing for EB a result of 9100?

 

what does that mean, is it good, is it bad? the results are color coded, green = in spec, which is good and all but what would be bad?

 

anyone know of any training that can be taken to help understand this? Our testing lab wasn't much help.



#7 Scampi

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:12 PM

FROM SQF 

 

Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP) A program which includes pathogen or indicator swabbing as appropriate to detect risk in the sanitary conditions in the processing environment. A verification of the effectiveness of the pathogen controls that a management facility has in place for high risk foods

 

So if you perform a risk assessment and you find that your at risk for ecoli, test for that  (FYI, ecoli should be zero, always) salmonella, test for that (also zero)

 

My suggestion would be to test for indicator organisms unless the RA shows otherwise..If your lab wasn't much help, perhaps try and industry association or another lab

 

if you google your raw material and the words pathogen risk you should get some clear answers



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:17 PM

I'm not a Packaging person but, based on auditing a few Packaging manufacturers and previous threads in this forum, I wonder if people are excessively worrying about this topic.

 

The reason for using environmental monitoring (EMP) programs should be based on risk assessment (of contamination X) with respect to the finished product. Compared to many food processing facilities I anticipate that the risk for packaging is likely to be very low due (a) the presence of a high temperature step in most processes, (b) the presumably(?) much lower likelihood of introducing high microbial loads of pathogenic microbial species into the Production Environment.

 

The only previous EMP related threads for SQF Packaging I could find was -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...tal-monitoring/

 

The thread contains mentions of Enterobacteriaceae, APC procedures respectively. No specific quantitative limits are mentioned.

(Note that a detailed EMP "surface" survey for food processors covering APC values/limits and some other microbes like E.coli(generic) exists in another thread here-

http://www.ifsqn.com...ces/#entry60958

 

 

I also found two BRC EMP Packaging threads which only refer APC/Y&M counts -

http://www.ifsqn.com...t-on-packaging/

http://www.ifsqn.com...cks-in-brc-iop/

 

PS - some reasons for using indicator organisms (which are typically non-pathogenic, eg APC, coliform, generic E.coli) is that attempts to detect the real "nasties" eg zero-tolerant pathogens like Salmonella are frequently ineffective due their low levels, sampling logistic limitations and limited detection capabilities. Indicators are (hopefully) relatively easier/safer to work with and likely to be more easily quantitated.

 

PPS - The UK limits for Enterobacteriaceae in various surfaces in a food processing environment are illustrated in the excel file in link given above. The numbers inevitably vary with the "status" of the surface sampled (see the link). A general comment  is  that  Enterobacteriaceae and (generic) E.coli should not be detected however the specific detection limit can vary with the methodology used. For example the UK method for a just cleaned surface resulted in an acceptable limit of < 100cfu/cm2. For comparison, the US limit in same link is given as < 10cfu/cm2 but this may well equally mean not detected by the US's procedure.

 

@Ctzinck - more details are required, eg surface sampled =?, units =?, method=?, but offhand 9100 sounds HIGH.


Edited by Charles.C, 24 March 2018 - 04:46 AM.
edited

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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