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#60958 Micro. Guidelines for Food Contact Surfaces

Posted by Charles.C on 30 April 2013 - 03:03 PM

Dear All,

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.

Attached File  Compilation of International Micro. Guidelines for food contact surfaces, 2000 onwards.xls   993KB   5318 downloads

Rgds / Charles.C

#87813 Are you happy with your job?

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. 



#158542 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a hoax thread - the ONLY topic for discussing a...

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.

#158091 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a hoax thread - the ONLY topic for discussing a...

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.

#145926 How many Non-conformances did you get at your last audit?

Posted by The Food Scientist on 24 July 2019 - 07:21 PM

SQF in April, score: 95 


Was my first sqf audit. Next year is unannounced! Is it bad that I'm nervous already? 


My very first audit was unannounced. I was even only 2 months in the position, alone with no guidance or help, got a C,  how about that?  :roflmao:

#158116 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a hoax thread - the ONLY topic for discussing a...

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.


https://www.youtube....hie from boston

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.

#157352 During COVID-19 should we be cancelling visits and rescheduling them as a way...

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.


Thank you.


#157342 During COVID-19 should we be cancelling visits and rescheduling them as a way...

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.

#150301 SQF Audit Time -- ASK QUESTIONS, Don't Just Sit There!

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.




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

Be Prepared


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.

#91342 2.5.1 Responsibility, Frequency, and Methods

Posted by ChocoTiger on 14 July 2015 - 08:37 PM



Here are generic examples of what is needed for,,, and  The programs I included in this are the prerequisite programs required by SQF.


Let me know if you need any additional help.



#83519 BRC v 7 Gap analysis

Posted by agnes on 13 January 2015 - 02:47 PM

Hi there,


I am known to be impatient and I have done gap analysis between v6 and 7. Please help yourself to it. if any mistakes are found please let me know.



Attached Files

#158276 The first thing I’ll will do when the coronavirus outbreak is over

Posted by Simon on 07 April 2020 - 09:44 AM

I’ll visit my parents and the in-laws and give them a hug and then I’ll arrange a big family get together that we had planned for my wife’s 50th birthday on April 24. Then I’ll book a holiday in Nerja, Spain.  My son sent me a video yesterday he took from the balcony last year and we all miss it so much.


One day we’ll all be back to normal.  Let’s hope it is very soon and until then stay safe.


Let me what you’ll do.





#143928 Audit Template for FSSC 22000(2018)

Posted by Charles.C on 14 June 2019 - 07:39 PM

Noticed this basic template while browsing.


Includes "Checklists" for  iso22000(2018), iso2002-1(2009), Additional Requirements 2.5.1.to 2.5.9


Note that the layout does not  detail individual sub-clauses [eg covers 5.1 but not 5.1 (a)] but may be useful for overall layout.


Attached File  Audit Report Template FSSC-22000 - 2018.pdf   455.01KB   996 downloads


PS - just noticed this is same document as linked in a parallel thread -


#134918 Happy Christmas Everyone!

Posted by Simon on 14 December 2018 - 06:55 PM

Wishing all IFSQN members and lurkers a wonderful Christmas and a Happy & Peaceful New Year.  2018 has been a fantastic year for IFSQN and next year we are planning more webinars, networking events and of course developing our thriving discussion forums further.  


Thanks to you all and best wishes.


Simon :santa:

#90966 Does anyone know what PIGS stand for?

Posted by Wine Gum on 07 July 2015 - 07:22 AM

The PIGS diagram can be used to formulate hazards comprehensively:


P- presence (qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation of presence of hazards)

I-Introduction (Likely occurrence of hazards and severity of their adverse health effects)

G - Growth (Production or persistence of foods of toxins, chemicals or physical agents)

S- Survival (Survival or multiplication of micro-organisms of concern)


Hope this helps!


Wine Gum

#220 Example HACCP Manual and Procedures for Packaging Company

Posted by Simon on 06 June 2003 - 09:32 AM

The zip file below (approx. 228 kb) contains:

- 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

Please note:

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.

#158636 The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a hoax thread - the ONLY topic for discussing a...

Posted by LostMyMind on 15 April 2020 - 02:45 PM

To Admins:


I realize that traffic to your site is financially beneficial.  And I realize and appreciate that you strive to accommodate a wide range of opinions on this free and public forum.  I have issue with the fact that this topic is allowed to remain (anywhere) on this site.  It is the antithesis to a reliance on science that we, as food safety professionals, should be utilizing. Even more importantly, it has nothing to do with food safety.


People visiting to this site for legitimate reasons may well choose to leave because of threads of this nature.  There are lots of places on the internet where this person can tout and discuss their "statements".  A forum for food safety shouldn't be one of those places.  You are diminishing the good that this site does through its promotion of food safety in allowing this thread (or any others like it) to remain.  And putting the thread into a "general chat" area doesn't prevent it from showing up to everyone who visits the site.


Personally, I'll visit here less and rely more on other methodologies in the future.  If this isn't a professional forum focused on food safety, I don't have time to waste coming here.  


Thank you for your time.  I know that you have a difficult job.





#147441 Handling the arrogant yet inexperienced auditor

Posted by SQFconsultant on 27 August 2019 - 04:54 PM

Yes, there is an influx of inexperienced auditors, many of the experienced ones have left as the stress level of new requirements and accountability issues for errors have drastically increased.  When CB's focus on degrees more than experience this is what the result is.


I was fortunate that all my life's experiences contributed to being a firm but fair auditor, the issue is the current crop of auditors have little to no related or direct experience and many times even lack compassion.


The funny of the day for everyone -- I had a terrific work experience background coming into auditing food, packaging and logistic companies - the experiences and the experience in dealing with some nutso QA managers and owners made me an excellent Auditor.... the funny --- it was my FIRST audit that I ever did on my own way back 20 years ago, it was 8:58am and we were sitting in a conference room getting to review paperwork.... the QA Manager asked me when I started doing audits on food companies.... I look at my watch, looked at him and said 9:00am!


Yes, it was funny to me - he, on the other hand sat there in silence.


You had to be there!

#146144 How many Non-conformances did you get at your last audit?

Posted by The Food Scientist on 30 July 2019 - 12:56 PM

I never allow any types of caps or hats in my facility. If you need to wear one, cool. just wear it outside and not indoors.

#141710 Free of allergen claim

Posted by SQFconsultant on 07 May 2019 - 05:05 PM

So, your basic question is why would someone put gluten-free on a package of fruit?  -- It's a marketing thing.


This was also a marketing thing:  All corn used for popcorn in the US is Non-GMO.  One company that packages popcorn decided to get their product certified as non-gmo and everybody at all the other popcorn companies started screaming!  It's a marketing thing.


As to how someone can put a nutritional label for instance on a fruit in a country that does not require labeling - again, it's a marketing thing based on averages.


Actually I see that as pretty much being pretty effective in the marketplace, would most certainly standout.


Another one - when it comes to Gluten-Free, there are some packaging companies that use glue strips in their boxes and packaging with a certain amount of gluten in the strips and now we see packaging companies coming out with gluten-free certifications, makes sense actually and heightens the publics awareness that there is packaging that could contain gluten- nil chance of it transferring to product, but again a great marketing thing.

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