I previously posted a table of various micro. guidelines for food contact surfaces which were mostly issued pre-2000 at this link –
To update the earlier info., the attached excel file presents guideline data I have accumulated for 12 countries issued in the period 2000 – 2012. The compilation demonstrates that for a range of food-related scenarios, some “average” opinions for various (just) cleaned surfaces are –
(a) For Aerobic Plate Count (APC) - the majority of data suggests that, for routine cleaning/sanitising, surfaces typically have maximum APC counts in the range 10-100cfu/cm2 .
(b) For factors like Coliform, (generic) E.coli, Enterobacteriaceae, S.aureus, the expected maxima are, predictably, low, eg 1-10 cfu/cm2, or undetected. The latter requirement also invariably applies for “zero-tolerance” pathogenic microbial species.
Hopefully of some interest. Further input / comments welcome as usual.
Compilation of International Micro. Guidelines for food contact surfaces, 2000 onwards.xls 993KB 7080 downloads
Rgds / Charles.C
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Posted by Charles.C on 30 April 2013 - 03:03 PM
Posted by Nancy@Masser's on 14 April 2015 - 12:23 PM
I have been actively job searching for several months. While I believe in our products and love my co-workers; the top management in my company does not support food safety. A food safety culture has to come from the top. And if a vice-president of the company won't take the gum out of his mouth when he walks through the facility how am I supposed to tell the workers they can't chew gum?? And that's just one tiny example of how what I try to do gets sabotaged. I could go on and on. It's laughable.
Posted by GMO on 14 April 2020 - 11:46 AM
I never expected to see a thread like this on here.
There are interesting questions. One, for example is in 2015 the flu vaccine, at least in the UK was only about 30% effective and there were over 20,000 additional deaths that year, not all, but most due to flu. We didn't see that in the same way. Why?
Well there are good reasons not to. COVID 19 is more contagious, partly because some people are asymptomatic, partly because people who do go on to severe symptoms are initially asymptomatic. This means it spreads hard and fast. 20,000 may be where we get to in the UK but only because of the controls we've put in place.
I sensed a flippancy in my peer group team around it to start with. Estimates vary and will only ever be accurate once everybody is tested but initial reports had it at around 1-2% mortality. We have 1000 people on my site. I said to my team, are you ready for 10-20 of our team to die? You see, that's the problem. Low death rates are one thing in theory but when the 1-2% are people you care about, it's very different. When one of my team got it and was in hospital, I can tell you my fear and my tears were very real.
I get that this kind of lock down cannot continue forever and there is a difficult balancing act to be had. The economic impact of this close down is catastrophic and will kill people. Cancer operations and chemotherapy has been stopped. That will kill people. The isolation will drive up mental health disorders. That will kill people. It's not simple. It's really not simple at all.
In the meantime, I'm doing what I do, working as a key worker, making food for the nation and helping support people like my sister who works for the NHS. Let us not succumb, as sadly so many others have, to irrationality. We're scientists.
Posted by wtheriot on 02 April 2020 - 09:22 PM
Refer to New England Journal of Medicine.
A peer publication.
Dr. Fauci is pretty much telling the truth to his fellow doctors who are for the most part the reader of the NEJ.
Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci will then get on TV a number of times and tell people virtually the exact opposite of what he said in the well regarded NEJ.
He is afterall a government shrill.
I absolutely love listening to Richie from Boston, someone who I've listened to for quite a while now - way before this hoax pandemic thing started.
You'll find the NEJ article entry and the date of publication in one of this most recent videos.
Some folks are offended by what I write, and like Richie, I really don't care how people feel about what I have written here - I love my country, always have, I love the people and that is all I really care about.
I again have to state that this is the most unprofessional statement I have read on this forum. It gets even worse form someone who has continuously cited his experience as an "auditor" and now sells his consulting services.
Regardless of your personal opinion, the world has initiated a "pandemic" response, requiring all of us under a GFSI to work our programs to the max and help each other. This help may be to ensure employee safety (for those that feel this is a serious health risk) OR to pass the next audit following this situation. I assure you, audiotrs WILL BE REVIEWING CRISIS MANAGEMENT procedures.
Absolutely nothing helpful about the above comment or other posts concerning COVID-19.
Today our city ordinances increased and now required us as an essential business to remain open, we must do health screening in the form of respiratory test or temperature test. We have been assessing our document needs as well as testing our protocols once someone is sent home with a high temperature. Again, we have our local and state government requiring us to do this and now are being inspected by any one of several city departments to ensure we are compliant. we aren't real interested in tin hat theories about hoaxes, we are seeking solid risk based assessments and documentation.
Posted by Scampi on 16 September 2021 - 07:51 PM
I object to the amendments wholeheartedly (and already cover all of them--we can't have emergency suppliers in my commodity)
Then allegedly spend months and months nitpicking the code prior to release.............only to turn around and amend
As soon as retailers got involved in food safety it's been a rapidly downword spiral, and no appreciable reduction in recalls see link http://blog.globalfo...mber-of-recalls
If these "schemes" worked, there would be a direct reduction............instead they revise the code in ridiculous ways, and the bad actors still pass and still infect consumers
Posted by majoy on 02 April 2020 - 05:22 PM
Glen, you have the exact same idea as some people i know all citing the Event 201 as justification of what was happening in the world.
At this point, it is not up to what WE (or as an individual person) believe anymore.
If you are working in a food manufacturing facility and under government oversight (USDA, CFIA etc.) and they are telling you that you should put a procedure in place for the "outbreak", are you going to tell them NO and that this is a hoax? this is a planned event and argue that more people die from seasonal flu?
You cannot just choose to ignore the GOVERNMENT as an employee or even as business owners - our hands are tied.
I respect other people's opinion on this "pandemic", but to operate a business in this time, you have to comply with the government regulations - you simply cannot impose what you PERSONALLY believe anymore.
Now, if this is really staged event and there is a group or people who made up all this pandemic -- good for them, they are so good to put all the countries to its knees. Its done, no turning back on this.
Let's just share our professional advice here on what we are doing to address the requirements of the government to be able to operate our businesses and make safe food available for the public.
Posted by SQFconsultant on 25 October 2019 - 02:57 PM
As an SQF Consultant I've sat in on several first time (and second, third, etc etc) certification audits.
Not as an active participant, but as an observer.
Some of the audits I've sat in on were ones that we had no prior engagement, but most we either had developed their entire SQF system for them/working in conjuncton with them or had contributed heavy consulting time to the company to develop or recover (or what we call getting Humpty Dumpty back on the wall again consulting.)
Now to the meat of things...
As Consultants we can not jump in during an audit to run block for the client - we can observe and discuss things with our clients at breaks, lunch, etc.
The idea is to prepare clients for audits - well before the audit occurs.
To have them become quite knowledgable about the code, standards, everything and to bring sets of the code to the audit for everyone as well.
You want to be prepared and not look at the Consultant for help, becuase if you do there is a possibility you will be gig'd for lack of knowledge by the Auditor.
This posting however is about lack of knowledge by Auditors and how you as the auditee should behave during the audit -- at the conference table, etc.
As an SQF Consultant there is nothing more sinking (feeling) than watching an SQF Auditor repeatitly miss-call items, make gigantic errors and then watch the facility personnel sit there and take it without saying anything.
IT'S OK TO CHALLENGE AN AUDITOR!
If you are fully up to speed as the SQF Practitioner and know the code you have no reason whatsoever to not challenge a finding that is wrong.
Some folks feel that challenging an Auditor is a bad thing - I find that not challenging an Auditor that is 100% wrong is the really, really, really BAD thing.
Look, I was one of the first SQF Auditors in the US and I will admit having made a couple of errors, all of which I corrected - but I was never, ever challenged.
And I think the reason why people don't challenge Auditors is due to fear of the unknown.
It's not always an easy thing to challenge an Auditor, for all concerned included the Auditor, but if the Auditor is wrong the question is - Are you willing to take the gig because you are afraid to say something?
On the last Audit that I sat in on the SQF Auditor miss-called 10 (yes, ten) items and gave a major where it should have been a minor - the company personnel froze up and would not challenge - they were willing to take a failure because they were afraid of the Auditor and what he (as they said ) might do to them the next time around if they challenged him.
In this case I challenged him - technically speaking it was not my place to do so. But I knew there was no way there was going to be a failure on my watch.
So, I challenged him on each point.
We got back all 10 and the major was made a minor.
It disturbed me greatly that there are a number of incompetent SQF Auditors out there - it disturbed me that our client froze up even though going into the Audit they were in good form.
And I am not tooting my horn here, beleive me I really thought about not saying anything, but I just could not sit there and let the situation happen.
All of this comes down to this ----
Know the SQF Code
Know your facility
Let the Auditor know that you and your team know the code
Let the Auditor know that you will challenge him/her on any items that you feel are miss-placed, wrong, etc.
It's OK to put them on guard, they will certainly be a lot more careful in application.
Stay on task - don't volunteer information to an Auditor unless asked.
Don't let the Audtor nor you get into banter about family, about how this other company did badly or well on their SQF Audit, etc.
Get a good nights sleep and have food and coffee service brought in - everybody appreciates that and it is not seen as a bribe.
Be SQF at your Audit.
Ask questions - don't be a sitting duck waiting for the bullets.
Thank you for your time.
Posted by The Food Scientist on 24 July 2019 - 07:21 PM
Posted by ultramar2010 on 01 August 2014 - 08:09 PM
I have something that could be usuful:
Companyhas established, documented and implemented a foreign body detection policy for the site, which is maintained in order to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Quality Management System and ensure the safe production of products.
Glass and Brittle Plastic:
Companyis committed to reduce, and where possible eliminate, the potential of Glass, Brittle and Hard Plastic, Ceramics and Similar Materials contamination in the products, which are being processed or handled at the company’s processing and storage areas.
Companywill take all possible precautions to prevent such contamination. As a consequence, the aim of this policy is to introduce preventive measures and good manufacturing practices to ensure that risks of such contamination are minimized.
Companyhas not permitted the use of glass, plastic and ceramic items in processing and storage areas. Glass windows are not used within production and storage areas. Lighting fixtures installed within production and storage areas have appropriate shelter in case of accidental breakage of lightening source.
In areas where a risk assessment has identified the potential for product contamination from wood, the use of wood will be excluded. Where the use of wood cannot be avoided, and the risk is managed, the condition of wood is regularly checked to ensure it is in good condition and clean.
The use of sharp metal implements, including knives, cutting blades on equipment, needles and wires will be controlled. This includes suitable controls both into and out of the plant and warehouse, and safe disposal.
Snap-off blade knives are not permitted in processing and storage areas.
Procedures will be developed and implemented that non-production equipment and maintenance tools would not be left in a position that allows them to contaminate the product.
The scope of the Foreign Body Detection Policy only applies to machine product items. Some hand packed items are subject to manual inspection.
- Legal definition
A physical hazard in food is any extraneous object or foreign matter that may cause illness or injury to the consumer.
- Foreign objects smaller than 7 mm rarely cause trauma or serious injury except in special high-risk groups, such as infants, surgery patients and the elderly.
- Glass is the most frequently reported foreign material in food to cause illness or injury.
- FDA Health Hazard Evaluation Board conclusions in cases of foreign materials (1972–1997) found that 56 percent of objects 1–6 mm in size might pose a limited acute hazard. For objects greater than 6 mm, only 2.9 percent were judged to present no hazard.
- Types of Physical Hazards
The type of foreign objects in food affects the technology needed to detect it:
- Glass: Sharp glass contamination often occurs during filling processes in glass containers if a container is accidentally broken. Another source, but less frequent, is light bulbs broken during building maintenance.
- Metal: Sharp metal objects may include screws and equipment splinters, blades, broken veterinary needles, fragments and clippings of prior processing procedures.
- Plastics: Soft and hard plastics may come from packaging material of an intermediary production phase.
- Wood: Wood splinters may have their origin at the farm or may come from handling wooden pallets.
- Stones: Small stones are more common in crops like peas or beans contaminated during harvest.
- Metal Detection
Based on risk assessment the Food Safety Team has confirmed that metal detection is a crucial control measure to some processes to prevent any metal which may come in contact with the product (loose nuts and bolts etc.) from being sent out to the customer. Metal in product will affect the company’s reputation and may seriously injure the consumer if swallowed. A sensitivity and timing check is carried out before starting production and every hour throughout production to ensure the metal detector continues to work effectively. This procedure describes the testing procedure of metal detectors.
- Ferrous is both magnetic and conductive so easily detected.
- Non-ferrous is non-magnetic but a good or excellent conductor so relatively easily detected.
- Stainless steel is the most difficult contaminant to detect as it is usually non-magnetic and a poor conductor. Stainless steel comes in various grades, some of which are magnetic varying to totally non magnetic. Their conductivity also varies, but is generally low. Both of these factors contribute to poor detectability.
The test sticks used are:
3.0 mm ferrous test stick
3.0 mm non-ferrous test stick
4.0 mm stainless steel stick
The QC technician and the production operator are responsible for carrying out metal detection checks every hour. The metal detection checks are audited every month by the Quality Assurance Manager.
Monthly inspections, maintenance and calibration are done by the equipment manufacturer, authorized factory representative or trained contractor.
- Place the wand or stick on the on the tubular plastic holder. In the same direction that the conveyor runs.
- Pass the wand and the tubular holder through the metal detector and verify if the system is activated.
- Repeat the same process with the rest of sticks.
- Record the test on to the Micro-Baggers Metal Detector Log or Tunnel Heater Metal Detector Log.
- Rejected Products
- Rejected packs must be investigated.
- Pass the rejected products through the detector positioned in the same way as they were when they originally went through the search head.
- Then pass the same products through the search head twice more, each time positioned in different ways.
- If at any stage the products are rejected again, it is essential to find the contaminant and identify it, and take any necessary action to ensure similar contamination does not recur.
- Fill out the Incident Report.
- In case of false positives due to high moisture in the sample, record the number of rejected packs per shift in the comments section, form QMR025.
- If the metal detector fails to reject the testing wands
- Stop the line and notify immediately to the supervisor.
- Isolate all products produced since the last satisfactory test and re-screen them, using another detector functioning to the same standard as the original system on test, or the same detector after being recalibrated.
- If the product cannot be rechecked, it will be put on hold to be metal detected later.
- Additionally, all products produced since the last clear metal detection check must be placed on hold and rechecked. The details must be recorded on to the Micro-Baggers Metal Detector Log or Tunnel Heater Metal Detector Log.
- The stock may be transferred to the warehouse if there are stored, but must be retained in a segregated area.
- The pallets must be clearly labeled with “do not use” tape and the notation NOT METAL DETECTED written on the Pallet Label.
- As product from each pallet is prepared for passing through the detector, the existing pallet label must be removed and the pallet number, product and best before code information, transferred to a new label.
- When the complete pallet has been passed through the detector the operator must sign the new label and enter the date and time. The completed label is then attached to the pallet.
- A master list of pallets must be completed indicating sequential pallet numbers, product description, date inspected (metal detection check) and signed by supervisory management.
- Any product failing the metal detection check must be isolated and retained for inspection by the QA Manager.
- Metal Detector Operation and Training
- Only authorized personnel are permitted to operate the Metal Detector when they have fully completed their training.
- Only authorized and trained engineers are permitted to adjust metal detector settings.
- Records of training are fully documented and held in the Training Program Log.
Posted by George @ Safefood 360° on 09 August 2011 - 04:00 PM
Posted by Simon on 06 June 2003 - 09:32 AM
- Hygiene management procedures (with index and list of supporting documents)
- Supporting Documents
- Example HACCP study manual
- BRC/IoP Gap Analysis Checklist
This documentary system has achieved certification to the BRC/IoP Packaging Standard - category B. Obviously all of the procedures were in place and fully implemented.
zipped hygiene documents
1. Although in the procedures microbiological auditing (swabbing etc.) is not a requirement of the standard but was always carried out by this company as a customer requirement.
2. You are welcome to do what you want with these documents (apart from sell them). They are provided free, 'as is' and with no warranty. They are provided solely as examples to give you ideas. They must be reviewed and amended as appropriate to your own organisation, product and process etc.
If documents are missing or anybody wants a specific document just ask in here. Also if you want to talk about documents again we can do it in here.
Posted by Simon on 11 October 2021 - 02:50 PM
Hi all, after spending the day reading through all the stories and comments I've come to realise I cannot select the top three let alone rank the positions. You are all awesome and have unique and varied stories so I'm proposing in the spirit of the forum we share the prizes between all those who interacted with this competition. I'll only do this if there is a majority that agree. So this would mean that the 17 members mentioned below would receive.
$25 amazon voucher and you all get a t/shirt.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and email.
If you are really against this proposal please say below or send me a message.
Posted by TylerJones on 26 August 2021 - 02:53 PM
Hi all, just passed a SQF Food Manufacturing 9.0 unannounced audit with a 99. A few pointers from this audit for anybody interested: Food Safety Culture results need to be given out to all employees. Best way I did that in my operation was to post in the breakroom. Auditor was specifically calling out posting of results over what was specifically in the culture plan. Did check that the company policy stated food safety culture was implemented. EMP cannot just be risked away. Seems like there will be no way in the future to have a low risk product over a 4.0 pH level without testing for a pathogen unless you have scientific data such as an industry standard. Really seemed to like having cyber attack as part of CM. Ingredients imported from developing countries- have plenty of supporting documents to back up your RA for Food Fraud. Other than those few areas nothing stood out. Best of luck!
Posted by Simon on 25 August 2020 - 08:07 AM
I voted YES: I hate "blue sky thinking" as it doesn't add value. On the other hand, "firefighting" sounds to me more like troubleshooting - which doesn't demonstrate right approach to food safety system improvement. Something in the middle would be just as good:)
Maybe those were not the best terms to use olenazh. I don't like management buzzwords, but I tend to use them a lot Where I don't agree with you is that "blue sky thinking" doesn't add value. To me it means taking the time to stand back and really look deeply into a problem and get creative with solutions. If it means kicking back on your chair and thinking about your next vacation then definitely not.
"continual improvement is a requirement of ISO and GFSI benchmarked standards"
Then I must be....
Because it's a requirement it doesn't necessarily mean you do it well or enough though.
You can pass an audit and be so-so. Not saying you are.
What is your level of complaints, defects, waste, non-conformance, internal/external audit NC's? Are your processes lean, efficient and effective? Are your objectives tough and SMART and on track? Do you have a fantastic food safety culture?
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Posted by Simon on 16 March 2020 - 08:47 PM
I am aware that Coronoavirus is a very emotive topic, but can we please stay 'on topic'. wherever possible.
The original question was.
During COVID-19 should we be cancelling visits and rescheduling them as a way to protect our staff from potential exposure?
We have to remember that discussions are not just for those posting in the topic, but probably more so for those who come here looking for answers to their questions.
If we want to have a "What is the root cause of Coronavirus (facts and conspiracy theories)?" then no problem, but start it in the "Community General Chat" sub-forum.
Posted by wtheriot on 16 March 2020 - 07:08 PM
So now, FSSC is in the BS as well by requiring an impact statement for CV.
I dont think this is a very professional response. Since all of our jobs are in the "risk managmeent" area, calling a virus "BS" is about as unprofessional as you can get.
If nothing else, business contingency plans must be worked in case of supplier shortages that cause disruption.
Posted by SQFconsultant on 18 October 2019 - 05:37 PM
I like what my client Oscar did to several of his suppliers that got their pants in a bunch over asking for list of items.... he dumped them, contacted the owner/president of each supplier and told them we are dumping you as a supplier because your representative (QA, Sales, whatever) will not provide us with the Approved Supplier information that we need.
He then hung up the phone on each one and waited.'
With the exception of one, all complied. The one was actually dumped for for failure to have anything on food safety.