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Micro limits for personnel hand swabs in food manufacturing?


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#1 althene

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:29 AM

hello everyone!

another question again...does anyone have any limit or reference standard for microbial load in personnel's hands during swabbing.

the current standard i am using right now is at 100cfu for total plate count, negative for e.coli/salmo/staph and <1 for coliforms, this was what i was used to when i worked at a hotel before or should i set it higher? :unsure:

how about your companies? what are your limits for personnel swabs? could anyone suggest a standard which would be applicable to food manufacturing?

cheers!



#2 cazyncymru

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:21 AM

hello everyone!

another question again...does anyone have any limit or reference standard for microbial load in personnel's hands during swabbing.

the current standard i am using right now is at 100cfu for total plate count, negative for e.coli/salmo/staph and <1 for coliforms, this was what i was used to when i worked at a hotel before or should i set it higher? :unsure:

how about your companies? what are your limits for personnel swabs? could anyone suggest a standard which would be applicable to food manufacturing?

cheers!



That looks about right as to the levels i use in a dairy

Caz x

#3 Biss

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:42 AM

Hi,


please see the internal standard we used for our company.

regards

Attached Files


Biss

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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:02 AM

Dear Biss,

Thank you very much for the data.

The TPC (temperature / time ?) figure for gloves (inter alia) frankly seems rather amazing to me. Is this for new re-usable gloves prior to use or gloves after cleaning with ??? I hypothesise that you hv a very "clean" product / process as compared to, for example, a slaughterhouse. Please elaborate a little if possible.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Charles.C

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 03:40 PM

Dear Althene,

In practice, I believe many people use a generalised set of limits for assessing “food contact surfaces”. If this can be extended to include hands, I submitted a quick survey in Walabies thread as –

Attached File  micro._surfaces.jpg   48.06KB   814 downloads
(thread http://www.ifsqn.com...?showtopic=9365 )
I can now add one more -
Attached File  micro.surfaces2.jpg   21.31KB   711 downloads
taken from this interesting project –

Attached File  cleanliness_survey.pdf   419.57KB   1466 downloads

The latter swab area is, I think, 100cmexp2 so divide the cfus by 100 to compare to first jpeg.
(the second picture seems to approximately agree with yr own current settings :thumbup: )

As noted in first thread, the exact product / process is of relevance.

The large variations shown maybe explain the scarcity of official standards. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#6 okido

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:16 PM

Dear Althene,

I use the standard less than 100cfu and need to review this shortly.
An official standard would be nice, is there one???

Have a nice day, Okido



#7 cazyncymru

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:27 PM

Dear Althene,

I use the standard less than 100cfu and need to review this shortly.
An official standard would be nice, is there one???

Have a nice day, Okido



Campden do "Hand hygiene in the food industry" review 18 (2000) for £30 (if your a member)

c x

#8 Biss

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:26 AM

Dear Biss,

Thank you very much for the data.

The TPC (temperature / time ?) figure for gloves (inter alia) frankly seems rather amazing to me. Is this for new re-usable gloves prior to use or gloves after cleaning with ??? I hypothesise that you hv a very "clean" product / process as compared to, for example, a slaughterhouse. Please elaborate a little if possible.

Rgds / Charles.C


Dear Charles,

Single use gloves we are using. swabing is done after the fumigation activity, thats why our limits are very low. we are manufacturing microbial sensitive products like 'green tea'

regards
Biss

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#9 BVRC

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:12 PM

Thanks folks! Whenever I come here I learn something.
Great job!
Bennii



#10 okido

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 06:36 AM

Campden do "Hand hygiene in the food industry" review 18 (2000) for £30 (if your a member)


Hi Cazyncymru,

Can you explain a little further about Campden do...... a google search did not help me further.

Have a nice day, Okido

#11 Charles.C

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 05:38 AM

Dear Okido,

In advance of Caz replying in more detail, I guess she was referring to this -

http://www.campden.c...ubfiles/r18.htm

The organisation involved is the very well-known CCFRA who issue documents over a huge range of food related aspects as detailed on their site. Very sadly, money is required. :smile:

You refer to seeking "official" standards. IMO, this is similar to microbiological limits, they exist but they vary :biggrin: . Do you mean for a "typical" food packaging production environment ? Strangely, I think the only recommended limits I saw so far were solely for food handling situations. Anybody ?

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - have a nice day also :thumbup:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#12 AS NUR

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:35 AM

hello everyone!

another question again...does anyone have any limit or reference standard for microbial load in personnel's hands during swabbing.

the current standard i am using right now is at 100cfu for total plate count, negative for e.coli/salmo/staph and <1 for coliforms, this was what i was used to when i worked at a hotel before or should i set it higher? :unsure:

how about your companies? what are your limits for personnel swabs? could anyone suggest a standard which would be applicable to food manufacturing?

cheers!


Dear Althene...

You can use standard from EU GMP (pharmacetical grade).. there are :



Hope the data can help you.... :thumbup:

Attached Files


Edited by AS NUR, 19 August 2008 - 07:39 AM.


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#13 althene

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 11:33 AM

Dear Althene...

You can use standard from EU GMP (pharmacetical grade).. there are :



Hope the data can help you.... :thumbup:



Thank you AS NUR. But isn't the standard for particulate content for pharmaceutical companies rather than hand and equipment swabs?

#14 althene

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 11:51 AM

Dear Althene,

In practice, I believe many people use a generalised set of limits for assessing “food contact surfaces”. If this can be extended to include hands, I submitted a quick survey in Walabies thread as –

Attached File  micro._surfaces.jpg   48.06KB   814 downloads
(thread http://www.ifsqn.com...?showtopic=9365 )
I can now add one more -
Attached File  micro.surfaces2.jpg   21.31KB   711 downloads
taken from this interesting project –

Attached File  cleanliness_survey.pdf   419.57KB   1466 downloads

The latter swab area is, I think, 100cmexp2 so divide the cfus by 100 to compare to first jpeg.
(the second picture seems to approximately agree with yr own current settings :thumbup: )

As noted in first thread, the exact product / process is of relevance.

The large variations shown maybe explain the scarcity of official standards. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C



Thank you for the information charles! you and everyone here have been of great help!
i agree, it seems that the standard would have to fit the type of food and process involved, for pharmaceauticals (since I've worked in one before) we've had stricter limits set at <50cfu/2.5cm2 for equipment and 100 cfu for personnel.

Since we are producing low water activity and moisture products such as biscuits and instant noodles, shouldn't i increase the limit for equipment? or should i just set it as is?

Last question to the auditors here, since majority of swabbing is done for personnel and equipment validation, is a standard really necessary? or should a company just establish one for which would be more applicable to them?

Based from our current results here, the RLU which is from the Accupoint Rapid Swab kits that we use to measure organic debris together with the micro swabs, the current limit is at 300RLU and most of the time, if the RLU fails, the micro result fails also.

Is this then enough as justification?

best regards,

hahz

#15 gogogo888

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:44 PM

I still can not find answer



#16 Charles.C

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:18 PM

Dear gogo,

What was the question ?

Rgds / Charles.C

BTW - Welcome to the forum !


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#17 Abdul Qudoos

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:30 AM

For surface, hands swabs:

Aerobic colonycount & Coliforms 100 CFU/50cm2 (according to US Public Health ServiceRecommendation)

CFU –Colony Forming Units


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#18 althene

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 02:13 AM

@abdul: can you give me a copy of the link on the public health service site? is this an actual standard? i think this can also be used in food service and catering establishments as well am i right?

to everyone:
just wanted to let you know that the validation and verification procedures from my last company when i started this thread went on smoothly. They got their certification for ISO22000, and the validation and verification limits for hand swabs were actually honored, our justification during audit was that it was based on what we deemed fit for our process, the standards for pharmaceauticals and dairy which were posted here also helped alot.

kudos everyone!



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#19 Abdul Qudoos

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:46 PM

@abdul: can you give me a copy of the link on the public health service site? is this an actual standard? i think this can also be used in food service and catering establishments as well am i right?

to everyone:
just wanted to let you know that the validation and verification procedures from my last company when i started this thread went on smoothly. They got their certification for ISO22000, and the validation and verification limits for hand swabs were actually honored, our justification during audit was that it was based on what we deemed fit for our process, the standards for pharmaceauticals and dairy which were posted here also helped alot.

kudos everyone!


copy of the link on the US public health service site: http://www.hhs.gov/

Here we follow the same, yes it may used in food service and catering establishments.

CONGRATS! for getting ISO 22000 certification and being with us in IFSQN Family.
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#20 Simon

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 07:25 PM

Congratulations Althene. :clap:


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#21 clenette

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 10:56 AM

hello everyone!

another question again...does anyone have any limit or reference standard for microbial load in personnel's hands during swabbing.

the current standard i am using right now is at 100cfu for total plate count, negative for e.coli/salmo/staph and <1 for coliforms, this was what i was used to when i worked at a hotel before or should i set it higher? unsure.gif

how about your companies? what are your limits for personnel swabs? could anyone suggest a standard which would be applicable to food manufacturing?

cheers!

In my previous company we were using <10 cfu/hand as limit for coliforms and <100 for APC. =)

 

I think <1 result/ limit for conventional testing of hand swabbing is wrong since in this procedure swab samples are being diluted to at least to 10-1 (dilution factor=10).  

So the minimum result that we can declare using this method of testing should be <10 cfu per area swabbed. 



#22 Charles.C

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 04:49 PM

In my previous company we were using <10 cfu/hand as limit for coliforms and <100 for APC. =)

 

I think <1 result/ limit for conventional testing of hand swabbing is wrong since in this procedure swab samples are being diluted to at least to 10-1 (dilution factor=10).  

So the minimum result that we can declare using this method of testing should be <10 cfu per area swabbed. 

 

Hi clenette,

 

Thks yr input and Welcome to the forum ! :welcome:

 

This link may give some idea of the Global variations -

 

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

 

The  level of detection limit might relate to the methodology used perhaps.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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