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Fecal Coliform detected at handwash station sink


Best Answer Charles.C, 19 October 2013 - 06:22 AM

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

Some net info. on  well water evaluation / corrective actions below.

 

As per previous posts and for the ideal case of a controlled system / residual chlorinated water, one would expect that all 3 parameters being discussed would be undetected in routine samplings. If unknown, unchlorinated, unfiltered, any  prediction is inevitably more complex. However the local legal micro. requirements are usually well defined if the water is to be used for food-related purposes, typically the water must be "potable" as defined by local rules and/or via international / destination standards where relevant.

 

Five random but, IMO, reasonably coherent overviews  of  ground wells/drinking water capabilities, problems are linked/attached below.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/h...ls/testing.html

http://www.env.gov.b...q_grdwater.html

http://water.epa.gov.../well/index.cfm

 

IMEX, one practical difficulty  is that the reliable (ie validatable) measurement of certain relevant  micro. parameters, eg E.coli, requires quite lengthy  and precise control of specific conditions + proper sampling procedures. The methods available can vary which may complicate interpretation / comparison of data. Additionally quantitative microbiological data is almost invariably of significantly wide confidence limits, albeit never meaningless in the case of a positive detection of a specific species from a valid sample-technique.

 

Nonetheless, on basis of  previous posts so far, it is presumably logical to, at least initially, assume a worst-case scenario and act accordingly. :smile:

 

Interpretation of Results / Corrective Actions

 

Predictably these also vary in location, stringency and  detail. The environmental-usage situation, legal requirements, microbiological history of source and repeatability / specificity of data are 4 obvious parameters.

 

I have attached 4 (random) official responses and 1, more generic, example (cor5).

 

 

Hopefully of interest but it will obviously depend on the actual situation.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

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#1 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:15 PM

hello, there was detection of Fecal Coliform in the water at the sink.100ml of water tested and the result of <43 for Fecal Coliform.

I've been researching on the internet and can't find the answer I'm looking for.

I want to know what if there is an acceptable limit. 

I've seen for 100 ml it can't exeed >1 and for others that say 100 ml >500. I'm very confused on this topic.

The sink is the handwash station.

 

 



#2 Mark H

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:21 PM

Here in Washngton State, coliforms >1 means the water is not potable. Did you remove any hoses, aerators or other attachments before testing?



#3 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:40 PM

Okay so there is a note that says Most Probable Number/100 and then uncertainty +/- 1.46 and the result is 43.

Maybe that can help. I don't understand this.  



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:09 AM

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

Just as a general comment, if this is a (single) result for a sample from a properly installed Metropolitan water supply obtained by an unknown, eg arbitrary sampling / analytical procedure and the water has a significant level of residual chlorine, yr reported value may be unreliable. But IMO there is insufficient context in yr OP to give meaningful opinions.

If this is an official testing datum, it will necessary to evaluate accordingly.

 

Basically, more detail is necessary.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Tony-C

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 05:19 AM

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

Just as a general comment........

 

Basically, more detail is necessary.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

Agreed. Also the source of your water and how it is treated.

 

A positive result is unacceptable.

 

As Charles has indicated if the water is treated with chlorine and there is an acceptable level then it is likely that the sample/result was suspect.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#6 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

it's from mexcio, water is coming from well. I don't have much more information.



#7 Snookie

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:32 PM

it's from mexcio, water is coming from well. I don't have much more information.

While you need to suspect sampling.  This water is from a well in Mexico which has had many water quality issues.  You must treat the water as suspect.  Resample immediately and treat the water as contaminated and act accordingly until you can determine otherwise. 


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#8 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:49 PM

Thank you Snookie. 



#9 Charles.C

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:29 PM

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

Is this the same intriguing factory as referred in yr earlier thread ? -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...mal/#entry65326

 

If so, I suggest your post #6 is sort of  excellent self-advice.

 

If not, i suggest post #6 covers both locations. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#10 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:37 PM

Hi Charles,

It is the same facility. I requested they have another microbial test done. The chlorinated water for the gloves was not the tested water, it was the water that was not chlorinated that was tested. 

I'm not very familiar with Mexico's water practices. To wash your hands in water with coliform detected, then put gloves on and disinfect the gloves with chlorinated water, I guess that's how they prevent contaminant? Not sure if an auditor approves that, unless you can shed some light there. 



#11 Charles.C

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:01 PM

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

Thks for input. Few more pieces of the puzzle appearing. :smile:

 

I hv had both good / bad experiences with well water supplies. The quality can indeed vary due to contamination from the ground / environment, or along the way, or at the, often, huge and incompletely covered storage tank at the factory end, or any permutation of the previous.

 

I assume you hv never actually visited the set-up ?

 

Do you know if there is any filtration / sedimentation units installed just prior to the factory.? IMEX, this is almost mandatory in any properly controlled facility. Together with a hypochlorite injection pump after the filters and before storage. Sometimes even at exit of storage also. If nothing at all, the water is a real gamble / potential hazard. After all, this water is presumably in semi-continuous contact with yr product.

 

Anyway, if you know the water is unchlorinated, the data is slightly more credible. Is there any existing monitoring history ?. If you decide data  is reliable (eg hygienic re-sampling / analysis by certified lab. / repeatable defects), it will probably be necessary to work yr way back along the line to identify the problem. If the source is the cause, may be a serious problem, eg some more drilling required, or decontamination exercise. And filters etc.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#12 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:03 PM

I have not been there to check their well pump station.

However I did tell them that they should have some sort of filtration system.

I requested a corrective action, have everything checked and retested. I'll update soon.

I'm looking it at an angle that there shouldn't be any detections.



#13 Snookie

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:41 PM

Hi Charles,

... I'm not very familiar with Mexico's water practices. To wash your hands in water with coliform detected, then put gloves on and disinfect the gloves with chlorinated water, I guess that's how they prevent contaminant? Not sure if an auditor approves that, unless you can shed some light there. 

The trouble with Mexico's water practices is while they do have them they are often not followed or applied uniformly. It really depends on the area as to what the practices are.   Hence my reaction to treat it as positive until confirmed otherwise.  I would think that disinfecting the gloves is a Band-Aid and think that most auditors would frown on it. 

 

Beyond hands, is this the same water that is used to clean the facility and any equipment.  Yes you can use disinfectants but starting with dirty water really lessens the chance for success and increases the risks dramatically.  I think most would agree with you that there should not be any detections. 

 

Hang in there


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#14 Charles.C

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:11 PM

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

I presume this is some kind of packinghouse process. The product risk status does have some relevance.

 

As far as significance of a genuine faecal coliform test result is concerned, it may relate to local statutory requirements. IMEX this particular parameter is now considered obsolete.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#15 Charles.C

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 06:22 AM   Best Answer

Dear CaliforniaFS,

 

Some net info. on  well water evaluation / corrective actions below.

 

As per previous posts and for the ideal case of a controlled system / residual chlorinated water, one would expect that all 3 parameters being discussed would be undetected in routine samplings. If unknown, unchlorinated, unfiltered, any  prediction is inevitably more complex. However the local legal micro. requirements are usually well defined if the water is to be used for food-related purposes, typically the water must be "potable" as defined by local rules and/or via international / destination standards where relevant.

 

Five random but, IMO, reasonably coherent overviews  of  ground wells/drinking water capabilities, problems are linked/attached below.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/h...ls/testing.html

http://www.env.gov.b...q_grdwater.html

http://water.epa.gov.../well/index.cfm

Attached File  gw1 - private wells.pdf   450.3KB   14 downloads

Attached File  gw2 - drinking water from household wells.pdf   1.6MB   14 downloads

 

IMEX, one practical difficulty  is that the reliable (ie validatable) measurement of certain relevant  micro. parameters, eg E.coli, requires quite lengthy  and precise control of specific conditions + proper sampling procedures. The methods available can vary which may complicate interpretation / comparison of data. Additionally quantitative microbiological data is almost invariably of significantly wide confidence limits, albeit never meaningless in the case of a positive detection of a specific species from a valid sample-technique.

 

Nonetheless, on basis of  previous posts so far, it is presumably logical to, at least initially, assume a worst-case scenario and act accordingly. :smile:

 

Interpretation of Results / Corrective Actions

 

Predictably these also vary in location, stringency and  detail. The environmental-usage situation, legal requirements, microbiological history of source and repeatability / specificity of data are 4 obvious parameters.

 

I have attached 4 (random) official responses and 1, more generic, example (cor5).

 

Attached File  cor1 (US) - Presence_of_Total_Coliform_at_Food_Service.pdf   35.01KB   10 downloads

Attached File  cor2 (US) - public_notice_for_fecal_coliform_or_e_coli.doc   43.5KB   9 downloads

Attached File  cor3 (Canadian) - total, fecal, E.coli bacteria in groundwater.pdf   194.98KB   13 downloads

Attached File  cor4 (Canadian) - safe_drinking_water_2011.pdf   108.91KB   14 downloads

Attached File  cor5 (US) - homeowner, evaluation, action, well water micro. results.pdf   347.09KB   12 downloads

 

Hopefully of interest but it will obviously depend on the actual situation.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#16 yasser

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:19 AM

A positive result is unacceptable at food factories

 

Yasser






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