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Environmental program for a bakery - Salmonella & Listeria


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beatlevi

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:30 PM

Hi guys, I don't know if someone is familiar with environmental program for a small bakery (ready to use pre-cooked pizza crust in MAP packaging): I don't know if we are too severe but for about 2 years from now and once a month, we swab for Listeria mono. and Salmonella spp. in the mixing area, around the oven and in the packaging area. Once a month we take 2-3 swabs for Listeria (for drains only) and 2-3 swab Salmonella (for non contact surfaces) for those room and twice a year we check for floor in lunch room and locker room, etc.... For a total of 6 to 9 swabs/ month . We found only 2 listeria mono in two drains of the packaging area when we start the program. Since we find nothing. With time, this is expensive for our company.

My questions are, Are we too severe for this kind of production ? or I 'll be better continue or focussing after the killing step (only packaging area),at two swab per month or a couple of swab per year ? which target I should take listeria, salmonella or both.


I would like your points of view.


thanks all


Beatlevi



George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:03 AM

Hi Beatlevi

It is really impossible to give you a definitive answer to your question(s) since any environmental monitoring program must be based on an in-depth knowledge of your operation. When developing any program a number of factors must be taken into account including products, plant layout, overhead structures, number of production lines/products, location of processing equipment, product flow, sanitisers used and history of use, standards of hygiene practices and so on...

Listeria mono. is a hardy bug and can withstand adverse conditions in food processing plant (even on smooth stainless steel surfaces). Its prevalence in RTE foods has been determined to be up to 5% in certain high risk products. Environmental monitoring is a commonly used tool to detect its presence and final product testing used as validation of conditions and practices.

When looking at your program it makes sense to trend and review the data history. Your results indicate that you have been clear for a significant amount of time and on that basis it would be reasonable to reduce the frequency of testing. However you need to assure yourself that your program is robustly designed to maximise detection if a problem does in fact exist.

For example, defining an adequate scope of contact and non-contact sample points and randomly testing from these points at a defined frequency is good practice. Within this you should have a number of points that are always tested based on HACCP risk assessment e.g. post kill / drains etc. The risk should assess the likely occurrence of biofilms on specific sites.

It is also recommended that in sites where resources are limited, the priority should be final product testing followed by environmental monitoring. The program should also detail progressive actions to be taken as positive samples are found and conversely as a history of negative samples accumulate. Keep clear records and trending data.

In short, look at the design of your program first (before the results). If there are weaknesses, make changes and then review your result history. Consider prioritising final product testing for your target pathogens if resources are an issue.

George.





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beatlevi

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:57 PM

thanks George


Beatlevi



Charles.C

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:55 PM

Dear beatlevi,

I guess you are basically asking about the verification/validation of a prerequisite activity and how to respond to the results thereof.
You don’t mention a specific standard but in yr location, I would anticipate that legislatory expectations are discussed “somewhere” for cases like yours.
I was recently browsing through some American, I think fsis, documents on this (hacccp verif. of prereqs) topic for meat. fsis seem to publish detailed, generic, SOP requirements for almost all meat processing so as to explain their regulatory procedures/inspection routines. I think one of them included environmental evaluation of L.monocytogenes. Such a document may well be a large overkill for your product area but some official coverage still seems likely IMO.
I did save a generic, readable, non-L.mono directed, sample from the fsis output on this topic to my archives if you are interested but maybe fsis too OT for you in Canada ?

Rgds / Charles.C

PS, yr original question is certainly not unique. But it may be elusive to find it specifically for bakeries. I didn’t know L.mono. is regarded as a typical threat in (bread) bakeries (??).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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