Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

Acceptable Limits for Micro Swabbing


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 JesseG

JesseG

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 30 posts
  • 6 thanks
0
Neutral

  • New Zealand
    New Zealand
  • Gender:Female

Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:11 AM

I work at a large bakery that produces doughs that are flash frozen and delivered to in-store bakeries. I microswab for APC in several places. It is measured by: cfu/cm2 APHA 4th edition 2001 ch 7.

I am in New Zealand.

Am having trouble clarifying what “acceptable limits” are.

Can anyone help?



#2 Jean

Jean

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 429 posts
  • 6 thanks
3
Neutral

  • India
    India
  • Gender:Female

Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:44 AM

Dear Paulajgr,

What are the tests you check for?


Best regards,

J

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient. Eugene S Wilson

#3 JesseG

JesseG

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 30 posts
  • 6 thanks
0
Neutral

  • New Zealand
    New Zealand
  • Gender:Female

Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:17 PM

Hi Jean,
Aerobic Plate Count
Thanks,
Paula



#4 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,360 posts
  • 4835 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 16 February 2010 - 12:54 AM

Dear paula,

what were yr results ?

A lot of variation can be found in practice. A common ball-park limit for various situations is 100cfu/cm2 but some products / locations hv specific regulations which are much tighter.

One rule-of-thumb is that the surface levels after treatment must be substantially better than the typical levels for the products on them :whistle:

There is an extensive data resource(s) here for this topic. try search "swab" :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Tony-C

Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,361 posts
  • 992 thanks
263
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 16 February 2010 - 04:20 AM

A lot of variation can be found in practice. A common ball-park limit for various situations is 100cfu/cm2 but some products / locations hv specific regulations which are much tighter.


This ball park figure sounds about right but do you not want to test for typical spoilage organisms - moulds ?

Regards,

Tony

#6 Aegean

Aegean

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 32 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Turkey
    Turkey
  • Gender:Female

Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:58 AM

Hi Tony ;

As all we know ( if its still like that ) there is no regulatory giving some limits for micro swabs , and I would lough if it was given :))

here the key point is the mico targets/limits for your product. Agree Charles that ; in order to minimise contamination to dough ; your environmental area or doughing equipment should be cleaner than the product . So , you can start with this .
Do not forget that ; you will decide on your micro swab limits depending on your product type and process conditions .

For mould or any other specific organisms; you find the answer from your previous test results. If you come across mould or any other specific microorganisms on equipments ; please take an average of your finding values . So that you can specify a limit for those ..Having monitorings on some microorganisms is a good practise ; even you do not have such a target micoorganism in your final product.

hope these would make a sense :)

best regards ,

Aegean



#7 Tony-C

Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,361 posts
  • 992 thanks
263
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 20 February 2010 - 11:28 AM

Hi Tony ;

As all we know ( if its still like that ) there is no regulatory giving some limits for micro swabs , and I would lough if it was given :))

here the key point is the mico targets/limits for your product.

For mould or any other specific organisms; you find the answer from your previous test results.

best regards ,

Aegean


Although you may find some guidance it is better to validate your own levels based on history.

If moulds are a spoilage organism and can affect the quality of your product then I am surprised that you do not routinely test for them. For example in yogurt manufacture we would test the environment for moulds and if we found that we were seeing increased levels then we would fog to reduce the levels in the environment.

Regards,

Tony

Edited by Tony-C, 20 February 2010 - 11:29 AM.


#8 Esther

Esther

    Member

  • IFSQN Member
  • 232 posts
  • 16 thanks
1
Neutral

  • Spain
    Spain
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:La Coruña- Spain
  • Interests:Local and international food law; food industrial processes; food safety management systems;GMP; lean manufacturing; share knowledge

Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:33 PM

Dear Paulajgr

Here in Europe, and for most of the companies, the commonly accepted criteria is ( for APC on surfaces):

< 1 ufc/cm2----- excellet
2-10 ufc/cm2-----good
11-100 ufc/cm2 ---- surface needs to be cleaned
>101 ufc/cm2 ---- stop production

This is not regulatoru but a recommendation.

I remember once looking for a criteria for moulds. I cold not fng anything and the answer was what other member already said: the answer is in your previous test results.

Regards
Esther



#9 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,360 posts
  • 4835 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 22 February 2010 - 06:21 PM

Dear Esther,

Thks for the interesting numbers.

Can you give an accessible link for any of yr data ? Specific for bread or ?? The particular situation may hv relevance of course.

I did a semi-literature search for a previous thread and the fact is that an enormous variety of data / opinions exists in the global sense.

The only "general" accessible UK data I found at that time is quoted here -
http://www.ifsqn.com...m...ost&p=22352

Subsequently, I think Caz mentioned that Campden (not publicly accessible) suggests max. 100/cm2

Personally, the use of a sub-division within 1-10 cfu/cm2 seems rather meaningless to me considering the usual reliability of microbiological data.

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 JesseG

JesseG

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 30 posts
  • 6 thanks
0
Neutral

  • New Zealand
    New Zealand
  • Gender:Female

Posted 23 February 2010 - 07:00 PM

Hi All,
Thank you for your answers, it gives me a guideline.
Cheers,
Paula



#11 abbie

abbie

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 13 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Philippines
    Philippines

Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:39 AM

Here in Europe, and for most of the companies, the commonly accepted criteria is ( for APC on surfaces):

< 1 ufc/cm2----- excellet
2-10 ufc/cm2-----good
11-100 ufc/cm2 ---- surface needs to be cleaned
>101 ufc/cm2 ---- stop production

This is not regulatoru but a recommendation.

hi..i would like to use this as a basis for our company also, i'm just wondering where you got this is criteria, just in case they ask me. thanks:)



#12 Tony-C

Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,361 posts
  • 992 thanks
263
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 26 February 2010 - 04:19 AM

Here in Europe, and for most of the companies, the commonly accepted criteria is ( for APC on surfaces):

< 1 ufc/cm2----- excellet
2-10 ufc/cm2-----good
11-100 ufc/cm2 ---- surface needs to be cleaned
>101 ufc/cm2 ---- stop production

This is not regulatoru but a recommendation.

hi..i would like to use this as a basis for our company also, i'm just wondering where you got this is criteria, just in case they ask me. thanks:)



Since APC is retrospective I don't see many people having stop production at > 100 cfu, maybe schedule extra cleaning. I much prefer a proactive system to be in place like ATP swabbing where a pass is needed prior to the start of production.

Regards,

Tony

#13 GMO

GMO

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 2,694 posts
  • 686 thanks
176
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom

Posted 27 February 2010 - 08:26 AM

I know a lot of people like ATPs but I think they're expensive and not that accurate. I would rely on validating your cleaning process and then doing verification swabs, inspection and auditing. I once had an employee tell me "the ATP swab says it's ok but it looks dirty" I said "so get the guy to clean it again!" People forget to use their eyes sometimes!

We use TVCs at max 100 cfu over a 10cm2 swab area. This has been consistent in nearly every ready to eat or cooked factory I've worked in and is achievable. We also swab for yeasts, moulds, Listeria and Salmonella.



#14 Tony-C

Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,361 posts
  • 992 thanks
263
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 27 February 2010 - 09:03 AM

I know a lot of people like ATPs but I think they're expensive and not that accurate. I would rely on validating your cleaning process and then doing verification swabs, inspection and auditing. I once had an employee tell me "the ATP swab says it's ok but it looks dirty" I said "so get the guy to clean it again!" People forget to use their eyes sometimes!

We use TVCs at max 100 cfu over a 10cm2 swab area. This has been consistent in nearly every ready to eat or cooked factory I've worked in and is achievable. We also swab for yeasts, moulds, Listeria and Salmonella.



Fairly sure this has come up before.

Fair comment regarding something looking dirty, I have always instructed my staff not to swab any thing that looks dirty and request that it is recleaned.

For high risk foods I would expect to see a system in place to verify that the cleaning has been effective prior to start up. I have always seen a significant correlation between high ATP results and poor product quality which would probably expalin why I am quite keen on this type of system.

Regards,

Tony

#15 cazyncymru

cazyncymru

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • Banned
  • 1,604 posts
  • 337 thanks
125
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 February 2010 - 11:06 PM

You also have to be careful with ATP swabs in that sanitisers, particularly Hypo, can give false results.

the first test should always be visual, if there is remnants of food debris etc, then rewash!



#16 Tony-C

Tony-C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,361 posts
  • 992 thanks
263
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 01 March 2010 - 03:38 AM

You also have to be careful with ATP swabs in that sanitisers, particularly Hypo, can give false results.

the first test should always be visual, if there is remnants of food debris etc, then rewash!


Agreed and this should be assessed in the validation process. I avoid hypo except for floors and drains as I have seen too many taint problems. Normally I would expect to see a flush with water after using hypo on a food contact surface.

Regards,

Tony

#17 FM Pang

FM Pang

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 2 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:59 AM

Hello....

I joined as a member couple of days ago. My search here is really fruitful, indeed.
I am working in a powder creamer company (QA Dept).
It's newly established that I need to start everything from zero.:helpplease:
Currently I am working on the hygiene monitoring program; need to set the control limit for air swab and surface swabs..
Prior to that, I need to clarify:

For air swab (open plate method), what is the exposure time required ? 15 min exposure is a norm? How about 30min's ?

For surface swab, how do we determine the area swab ? Is it restricted by the targeted area? Coz it ranked from cm2 to 100cm2.

I have limited micro knowldege and hope that I can get some advice here...Thanks..





#18 GMO

GMO

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 2,694 posts
  • 686 thanks
176
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom

Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:06 AM

I'm no microbiologist but we do settle plates for 30 mins and we swab a 10 by 10 cm (so 100cm2) area. Consistency is key. I would suggest asking the lab which will test your samples for advice on this, they should be able to help.



#19 FM Pang

FM Pang

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 2 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:11 PM

Thanks... GMO...
I am waiting for the reply from the lab...


I'm no microbiologist but we do settle plates for 30 mins and we swab a 10 by 10 cm (so 100cm2) area. Consistency is key. I would suggest asking the lab which will test your samples for advice on this, they should be able to help.



#20 Pavan.rcr

Pavan.rcr

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 2 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • India
    India

Posted 13 February 2016 - 05:55 AM

Hi to all...

I work in the spice mixes and masala curry mix processing industry. need to set the critical limits for both equipment hygiene and also personnel hygiene. i have searched for the swab limits and i got it as 100cfu/cm2. is this limit same for all kinds of food processing industry???

 



#21 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 17,360 posts
  • 4835 thanks
943
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 13 February 2016 - 06:10 PM

Hi to all...

I work in the spice mixes and masala curry mix processing industry. need to set the critical limits for both equipment hygiene and also personnel hygiene. i have searched for the swab limits and i got it as 100cfu/cm2. is this limit same for all kinds of food processing industry???

 

Hi Pavan,

 

It may depend on the textual context of the limit, eg Regulatory.

 

The ability for a given surface to comply with such a limit after cleaning/sanitizing may relate to factors such as sampling chronology / surface composition  / initial microbiological condition of the surface / applied  cleaning procedure, eg highly contaminated surfaces may be more difficult to clean than lthe opposite

 

Some comparitive data is compiled here -

 

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


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

EV SSL Certificate