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#1 Gaskit

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 02:49 PM

Dear All,

After carrying out random hand swabs on personnel and machinery over the last 2 years I / we are now going to remove this as a monitoring procedure, we have moved from monthly swabs to quartrely, six monthly then anually without having any adverse results on the tests:

Presumptive entro-bacteriaceae cfu/swab always :dunno:

We shall be left (initially) with monitoring infeed of product by:

Ongoing visual inspection / monitoring staff hand washing, food hygiene training / qualification (reviewed every 3 years) and monthly hygiene audits.

Kind regards,

Steve


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#2 yorkshire

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:15 PM

Steve,

I'm not sure if the Packaging Standard is the same as the Food Standard i.e. 6.2.2 "Where appropriate the effectiveness of hygiene procedures with regards to hands shall be checked periodically". I work in a low risk food business and I don't believe it is appropriate to carry out hand swabbing. We did the same as you and were finding no issues (whether staff washed their hands or not). Now we rely solely on routine monitoring of staff handwashing, training and auditing. I believe that this is sufficient and our last auditor agreed!

By the way our next training session will involve the use of a "Glowgerm" kit (Simon you ought to sell these!). You cover peoples hands in a powder or gel, they wash their hands and put their hands under a UV light, areas not cleaned fully glow blue!


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#3 Gaskit

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:46 PM

Steve,

I'm not sure if the Packaging Standard is the same as the Food Standard i.e. 6.2.2 "Where appropriate the effectiveness of hygiene procedures with regards to hands shall be checked periodically". I work in a low risk food business and I don't believe it is appropriate to carry out hand swabbing. We did the same as you and were finding no issues (whether staff washed their hands or not). Now we rely solely on routine monitoring of staff handwashing, training and auditing. I believe that this is sufficient and our last auditor agreed!

By the way our next training session will involve the use of a "Glowgerm" kit (Simon you ought to sell these!). You cover peoples hands in a powder or gel, they wash their hands and put their hands under a UV light, areas not cleaned fully glow blue!


Dear Yorky,

Thank for your input, anyone else??

Regards,

Steve
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#4 Simon

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:57 AM

Hi Steve,

I'm saying this without looking at the Standard, but I don't think there are any requirements for micro testing in BRC/IOP Packaging Standard; there's certainly nothing like 6.2.2 (BRC Food) mentioned by Yorky.

For you to be doing it I'm guessing it was a requirement from your customer(s) at some point. Regardless of the BRC/IOP Packaging Standard might those customer(s) want to see micro results at some point in the future, maybe during an audit?

Steve you've done the right thing by reducing the frequency of tests and the natural next step is to stop testing altogether. However, you say you tested personnel and machinery - what about product? At the end of the day the product is the end result of your process and what really matters.

I would consider sending random samples away for micro testing on an annual basis. Nobody would have to come on site so this would keep costs down and you should still get your useful 'all clear' report.

For info FDA approval - International Milk Shippers List (direct contact packaging) includes monthly micro testing of product samples.

By the way our next training session will involve the use of a "Glowgerm" kit (Simon you ought to sell these!). You cover peoples hands in a powder or gel, they wash their hands and put their hands under a UV light, areas not cleaned fully glow blue!

I've not seen them; are they widely available and come on would you buy them from me? :spoton:

Regards,
Simon
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#5 Gaskit

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:20 AM

Hi Steve,

I'm saying this without looking at the Standard, but I don't think there are any requirements for micro testing in BRC/IOP Packaging Standard; there's certainly nothing like 6.2.2 (BRC Food) mentioned by Yorky.

For you to be doing it I'm guessing it was a requirement from your customer(s) at some point. Regardless of the BRC/IOP Packaging Standard might those customer(s) want to see micro results at some point in the future, maybe during an audit?

Steve you've done the right thing by reducing the frequency of tests and the natural next step is to stop testing altogether. However, you say you tested personnel and machinery - what about product? At the end of the day the product is the end result of your process and what really matters.

I would consider sending random samples away for micro testing on an annual basis. Nobody would have to come on site so this would keep costs down and you should still get your useful 'all clear' report.

For info FDA approval - International Milk Shippers List (direct contact packaging) includes monthly micro testing of product samples.
I've not seen them; are they widely available and come on would you buy them from me? :spoton:

Regards,
Simon


Dear Simon,

Thanks for your remarks, I shall bring the sampleing of product to the attention of the HACCP team, and use a copy of this thread as a starting point for our Hazard Analysis in relation to ending random hand swabs.

Many thanks to you and Yorky.

Kind regards,

Steve
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#6 okido

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 06:01 AM

Hi Steve,

We did frequently random hand swabs in the past but reduced them to once a year. We reduced hand swabs because it takes a too long before you get results and secondly I doubted several times the accuracy of the results.
The cost of testing is not an issue for me if food safety is involved.
Now we monitor staff hand washing, training etc. The focus on the hand washing process itself should raise awareness and a secure a hygienic environment.

No worries, Okido

Remember to share good fortune with your friends :bye:


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#7 yorkshire

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 12:14 PM

I've not seen them; are they widely available and come on would you buy them from me?



I can get them from Arco, but I would buy them from you if the price was right. :beer:
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#8 Simon

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Posted 23 May 2006 - 06:48 AM

I can get them from Arco, but I would buy them from you if the price was right. :beer:


I will look into it.

Thanks,

Simon
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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 02:17 PM

Dear All,

I just noticed this thread and was rather intrigued at the choice of parameters discussed. Traditionally TVC counts were the usual routine despite having frequent queries regarding limits for surface areas in diferent situations. I am curious as to the source of the limits quoted in the thread for S.aureus and presump. Enterobacteriaceae (= not detected in something mls or surface area??) and the logic of seemingly omitting TVC.
I don't remember ever seeing any details of the usual major components of high TVC counts and I have some intuitive doubts regarding the efficiency of standard mic. procedures to detect the above parameters in swab samples but am quite willing to be proven wrong.
(I recently tried looking around the net so as to help on a similar thread and got more or less nowhere).
The BP60 quoted seems incredibly expensive since I saw a figure of I think BP 20-30 for Salmonella in food samples in another thread although it may be a case of special (swab) samples lifting the cost?
Just a thought regarding the UV, I once tried a method for E.coli requiring the use of uv scan tubes and I subsequently found there was a recommended max strength of uv light relating to safety factors.
I presume the ‘glowgerm' intensity is calibrated against some other reference standard or is it just arbitrary ?

Rgds / Charles.C


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#10 yorkshire

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 11:43 AM

Just a thought regarding the UV, I once tried a method for E.coli requiring the use of uv scan tubes and I subsequently found there was a recommended max strength of uv light relating to safety factors.



Charles the "Glogerm" kit is not a microbiological test, it is just a hand cream that glows under UV light. We use it as a training aid, rub into hands - wash hands - uv light shows where you have missed (between fingers, around fingernails, etc. ). It is used just to show how bacteria can also bypass handwashing.

Glogerm
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#11 Gaskit

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 04:57 PM

Charles the "Glogerm" kit is not a microbiological test, it is just a hand cream that glows under UV light. We use it as a training aid, rub into hands - wash hands - uv light shows where you have missed (between fingers, around fingernails, etc. ). It is used just to show how bacteria can also bypass handwashing.

Glogerm


We used to utilise something quite similar in the Forces, to see if you had decontaminated yourself prior to stepping into a clean area / change of NBC clothing, very effective training aid.

Regards,

Steve
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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 05:26 PM

Dear Yorkshire/Steve,

Ah, I see, interesting idea. Thanks for the knowledge.

Actually I may have expressed myself unclearly in that my comment on UV safety factor referred to possible injury to the operator's eyes (I seem to remember being surprised at the lowness of the safe level). Something like in my youth I can remember going to the shoe shop and putting my feet into a 'magic' box which produced a picture on a screen to show whether one's foot properly filled the shoe. Children loved it! I presume the picture was produced by radiation (Xrays?). From memory the method disappeared not long after its introduction! The watches that glowed in the night were another similar case.
Sorry for all the memory lane wanderings, especially if they are wrong! :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


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#13 carine

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:40 AM

hi Okido,

i know that u have swab test on your worker, may i know what is you Microbiological Standard, or what standard r u referring to?? Many thanks...


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