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Air Quality Testing to comply with Ed.7, Section 11.5.7


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#1 Marshenko

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 02:58 PM

Does this sound reasonable as an air testing program to comply with Ed. 7 ... section 11.5.7 ?

The quality of the air in productions areas is extremely important to be able to see how the working environment is and to see if there is a chance that the air could be a possible contributor in contaminating product. Furthermore compressed air that contacts food product either directly or indirectly is also a potential source for contamination. It is essential that the compressed air that touches product directly or indirectly is filtered properly with a minimum of .01 micron filter. Both the production room air quality and the compressed air quality shall be monitored on a weekly to ensure the working environment is clean as well as verifying the effectiveness of the air filters. The procedure for measuring the quality of the air will be by using 3M petrifilm. The film shall be set in the department exposed to the air for a minimum of 15 minutes after which it shall be sealed and sent to lab for analysis. The compressed air shall be sprayed right onto the petrifilm for approximately 10 seconds. The production areas shouldn’t have a total air TPC of more than 500 per sq inch. Whereas the compressed air shall register no growth, which would be indicative of the filters working properly.



#2 Snookie

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:22 PM

Does this sound reasonable as an air testing program to comply with Ed. 7 ... section 11.5.7 ?

The quality of the air in productions areas is extremely important to be able to see how the working environment is and to see if there is a chance that the air could be a possible contributor in contaminating product. Furthermore compressed air that contacts food product either directly or indirectly is also a potential source for contamination. It is essential that the compressed air that touches product directly or indirectly is filtered properly with a minimum of .01 micron filter. Both the production room air quality and the compressed air quality shall be monitored on a weekly to ensure the working environment is clean as well as verifying the effectiveness of the air filters. The procedure for measuring the quality of the air will be by using 3M petrifilm. The film shall be set in the department exposed to the air for a minimum of 15 minutes after which it shall be sealed and sent to lab for analysis. The compressed air shall be sprayed right onto the petrifilm for approximately 10 seconds. The production areas shouldn’t have a total air TPC of more than 500 per sq inch. Whereas the compressed air shall register no growth, which would be indicative of the filters working properly.



It addresses the micro issues, but don't think it is complete as is does not address the other issues such as particles, vapors and oil. In essence the purposes of this test is to demonstrate that your filter is working. The link below is an article that helped me understand the issues. While it references the BRC, the BRC is also based on ISO standards and the SQF often follows the BRC. But in any case think following these standards is defendable to an auditor.

http://www.iandmindustrials.com/pdf/hitachi_three_types_food_industry_compressed_air_systems_white-paper-1.pdf



There are several lab's in the US which specifically tests the air and they send out a kit to use to take the sample and then you send it back and they analyze the results.


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#3 Marshenko

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:15 PM

It addresses the micro issues, but don't think it is complete as is does not address the other issues such as particles, vapors and oil. In essence the purposes of this test is to demonstrate that your filter is working. The link below is an article that helped me understand the issues. While it references the BRC, the BRC is also based on ISO standards and the SQF often follows the BRC. But in any case think following these standards is defendable to an auditor.

http://www.iandmindustrials.com/pdf/hitachi_three_types_food_industry_compressed_air_systems_white-paper-1.pdf



There are several lab's in the US which specifically tests the air and they send out a kit to use to take the sample and then you send it back and they analyze the results.



Thanks for the insight. I'll guess I know soon enough how acceptable it is, as the guy who let me "borrow it" is having his SQF audit this week :o

#4 SQFconsultant

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:43 PM

There are some excellent sources for compressed air filtation testing, procedures, etc - check out:


CEMAG

I say this as an SQF contract auditor with 24 categories, if the information that your friend provided to you is the only information that he/she is going to show to an SQF Auditor they need to be ready for corrective actions.


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#5 Snookie

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:55 PM

Thanks for the insight. I'll guess I know soon enough how acceptable it is, as the guy who let me "borrow it" is having his SQF audit this week :o



I would be really curious to hear how your friends audit went. I would agree with Glenn that I don't think it is quite sufficient.
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#6 Ruby Ochoa

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:20 PM

The BCAS Food Grade Compressed Air - Code of Practice identifies Particles, Water, and Oil as the 3 primary areas of potential contamination. It offers the following guidance: Compressed air quality shall be tested and verified at least twice per year or per the manufacturer's recommendations. Additional testing is also warranted whenever maintenance work or any activity that may affect the air quality is performed on the compressed air system. The risk for microbiological contaminants shall be assessed per ISO 8573-7 and the level of microbial contaminants shall not be detectable.

For direct contact with product, use ISO 8573-1:2001 Purity Classes 2:2:1, for indirect contact, use 2:4:1. The Code is currently under review since ISO 8573-1 Purity Classes were revised last year. The BRC review should be complete in 2012.



#7 Tony-C

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:24 PM

Does this sound reasonable as an air testing program to comply with Ed. 7 ... section 11.5.7 ?
The quality of the air in productions areas is extremely important to be able to see how the working environment is and to see if there is a chance that the air could be a possible contributor in contaminating product. Furthermore compressed air that contacts food product either directly or indirectly is also a potential source for contamination. It is essential that the compressed air that touches product directly or indirectly is filtered properly with a minimum of .01 micron filter. Both the production room air quality and the compressed air quality shall be monitored on a weekly to ensure the working environment is clean as well as verifying the effectiveness of the air filters. The procedure for measuring the quality of the air will be by using 3M petrifilm. The film shall be set in the department exposed to the air for a minimum of 15 minutes after which it shall be sealed and sent to lab for analysis. The compressed air shall be sprayed right onto the petrifilm for approximately 10 seconds. The production areas shouldn’t have a total air TPC of more than 500 per sq inch. Whereas the compressed air shall register no growth, which would be indicative of the filters working properly.


The extent of testing should be based on risk.

I would be interested to know what products you have that are 'directly in contact' with the compressed air and how they are treated afterwards.

Regards,

Tony

#8 hchristopher

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:51 PM

The extent of testing should be based on risk.

I would be interested to know what products you have that are 'directly in contact' with the compressed air and how they are treated afterwards.

Regards,

Tony


I agree with Tony. It should be risk based.

Perhaps you could just include it in your preventative maintenance program?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no US Standards for compressed air quality. I think there is some grey area here




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