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Looking for regulations on mic. counts for washed fresh produce crates


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#1 Johan

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:54 AM

Is there international standards available for the allowable bacterial and fungal spore counts on washed crates used in the fresh produce retail markets? If there is standards what are the allowable counts and what do you need to test for?



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:04 AM

Dear johan,

Is there international standards available for the allowable bacterial and fungal spore counts on washed crates used in the fresh produce retail markets? If there is standards what are the allowable counts and what do you need to test for?


Do you mean wooden or plastic material ? Products like fresh vegetables ? Or meat ??

Cannot recall ever seeing such specs but somebody in this specific business might know. :smile:

(one purely rule-of-thumb idea I hv seen used for contact surfaces is that the cleaned/sanitised surface should maximally hv a plate count < 10% of the product on it :smile: ).

Rgds / Charles.C

PS, I shortened yr title slightly to get the word "crates" in. :smile:

BTW welcome to the forum! :welcome:

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Johan

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 11:13 AM

Charles

The specs I am looking for is on plastic crates that will be used in the fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) handling of retailers.

Regards


Johan


Dear johan,



Do you mean wooden or plastic material ? Products like fresh vegetables ? Or meat ??

Cannot recall ever seeing such specs but somebody in this specific business might know. :smile:

(one purely rule-of-thumb idea I hv seen used for contact surfaces is that the cleaned/sanitised surface should maximally hv a plate count < 10% of the product on it :smile: ).

Rgds / Charles.C

BTW welcome to the forum! :welcome:





#4 Erickx

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:25 PM

Hello,

We wash crates for many years now.
The product we handle is fresh poultry.
We use "Steri Keri" plates, small petri dishes abt. 1 inch in diameter which are filled with Plate Count agar.
With these plates we sample the surface of the crates after washing and desinfection
After 24h /37 degr. we do look for cfu's

Grading;
0-> 0-2 cfu's = good
1-> 3-9 cfu's = fair
2-> 10-29 cfu's=moderate
3-> 30-90 cfu's = poor
4-> more than 90 cfu's = bad

Average grading should not be higher than 1.0
If individual grading 3 or 4 is found inspect washer

If everry thing is OK you should find an average of 0 - 0,5

Kind regards
Erickx



#5 Johan

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:17 AM

Thank you ErickX. This will help me a lot in finding the correct procedures to work from.

Regards

Johan

Hello,

We wash crates for many years now.
The product we handle is fresh poultry.
We use "Steri Keri" plates, small petri dishes abt. 1 inch in diameter which are filled with Plate Count agar.
With these plates we sample the surface of the crates after washing and desinfection
After 24h /37 degr. we do look for cfu's

Grading;
0-> 0-2 cfu's = good
1-> 3-9 cfu's = fair
2-> 10-29 cfu's=moderate
3-> 30-90 cfu's = poor
4-> more than 90 cfu's = bad

Average grading should not be higher than 1.0
If individual grading 3 or 4 is found inspect washer

If everry thing is OK you should find an average of 0 - 0,5

Kind regards
Erickx



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:45 AM

Dear erickx,

thks yr comments.

I presume 1in diameter is approx 5cm2 surface area and yr data is referred to this.

I find yr criteria / results amazingly low for such a (I guess) high bacterial load product.

May I enquire how you wash/sanitise yr crates ? :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C

BTW, welcome to the forum ! :welcome:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 Erickx

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 08:04 AM

Hello Charles C.

Criteria for washing/ sanitizing:

Pre-rinse with water >45°-55°C
Washing / sanitizing with Ansep 1000 (Ecolab, alkalic /chlorine ) abt 0,5% / temp. >45-55°C
Rinsing with water >45°-55°C
Dry with air blowers
Check visually: if result not OK wash again (should not occur with more than 1 or 2% of the crates)

Hope this helps

Btw.
Steri Keri Plates are just a smaller version of the Rodac plates
Here in Holland there are serveral suppliers for this product.
Cost abt. 0.70 euro each

Kind regards

Erickx









Dear erickx,

thks yr comments.

I presume 1in diameter is approx 5cm2 surface area and yr data is referred to this.

I find yr criteria / results amazingly low for such a (I guess) high bacterial load product.

May I enquire how you wash/sanitise yr crates ? :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C

BTW, welcome to the forum ! :welcome:



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 12:52 AM

Dear Ericx,

Thks for info. Just shows what (presumably conveyor) heating can do.
OR are the incoming items all packed in plastic bags or similar.? :smile:

I deduce that "alcalic."(?)is the detergent part.

I am more familiar with Petrifilm plates but the one inch idea seems quite clever operationally speaking, except that you presumably need quite a lot of replicate plates (and money) to achieve externally comparable data unless yr surfaces are demonstrably / uniformly low (based on yr comments perhaps they are :smile: )(similar concept to using << 1ml samples on pour plates perhaps).

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 Erickx

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:30 AM

Hello Charles C.


Most crates we wash are heavily contaminated with bacteria because they contain fresh poultry meat without bags or anything.
And though the crates are not really "fresh" anymore our bacteria score after washing is very good.

Maybe I should give some more information about our washer:
It is equipped with a few hundred nozzles per section. Every nozzle gives water, or water with detergent, at high pressure.
The washer it self consists of 3 sections; pre-rinsing (4m), washing (6m) and rinsing again (4m).

Pouring plate technique is not suitable for the test.
Advantage of Ster Keri plates to Rodac plates is that it only contains 5 ml PCA while Rodac plates contain more 15 ml.
You could also use another type of agar plate named "Hygicult" (see google)

I think that the small steri keri plates give a good uniform result.

Kind regards
Erickx



Dear Ericx,

Thks for info. Just shows what (presumably conveyor) heating can do.
OR are the incoming items all packed in plastic bags or similar.? :smile:

I deduce that "alcalic."(?)is the detergent part.

I am more familiar with Petrifilm plates but the one inch idea seems quite clever operationally speaking, except that you presumably need quite a lot of replicate plates (and money) to achieve externally comparable data unless yr surfaces are demonstrably / uniformly low (based on yr comments perhaps they are :smile: )(similar concept to using << 1ml samples on pour plates perhaps).

Rgds / Charles.C



#10 Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:23 PM

Dear ericx,

Thks for the details.
Perhaps my previous post was misleading, Petrifilm plates can be used for direct contact applications also. In some locations, it's a question of product availability. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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