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How to clean floor or equipment after allergen spill?

Allergen spill Breakdown allergen protein

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#1 Anki

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 09:05 PM

Hello Guys,

 

I am writing an allergen spill clean up program for a grain processing and storage facility. The allergen we store is wheat flour and rest are non-allergenic grains. In case of allergen spill on the equipment or floor, I need to write down allergen spill clean up procedure. The way I have written this program is like a glass breakage procedure, where we isolate the area, clean, inspect and report the incident.

 

This is a dry cleaning facility and we can't use water to clean. I am not sure about what cleaning agent can be used to break down allergen/protein to prevent any further contamination due to a contaminated fork of a forklift or due to employees carrying allergen in their feet? Is there any way we can validate cleaning?

 

Thanks . 



#2 fgjuadi

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:53 PM

n to prevent any further contamination due to a contaminated fork of a forklift or due to employees carrying allergen in their feet? Is there any way we can validate cleaning?

 

Thanks . 

 

Wow, allergen specific spill clean procedure.  I'd no idea such a thing existed.  I am only used to chemical spill procedures and wet/leaking spills, or spills over/into product

 

But okay, let's say you have gluten all over your floor, you sweep it/maybe floor scrubber (but NEVER air) and tiny bits of gluten get on the bottom of an employee's shoes.

 

Do you have a food contact surface that is regularly exposed to your employee's shoes or forklift tires?  Does your product have enough contact with forklift tires and employee shoes to contaminate to the 20 ppm limit (or whatever your spec is)? Sure, maybe you have a mezzanine with a giant tank they climb into, but at that point the amount of gluten contamination would be undetectable.

 

I may be wrong (it's happened before), but having to break down protein from something that is waste on the floor sounds crazy.  I guess if you reused grain that fell on the floor you'd want to make sure there was no gluten on the floor. It doesn't reproduce and grow and take up house in crevices like a pathogen would. 

 

Make sure you have a part about taking the tools to the sanitation room and cleaning them I guess.  You're already segregating the area, so there shouldn't be foot traffic getting contaminated.  Maybe you could write a painfully specific and controlling SOP about employee decontamination, and force employees on the Allergen Spill Response Team to carry extra shoes to switch out once they are cleared of the danger zone.  

 

If your food contact surfaces are shared, what you have deemed appropriate as clean out chemicals (maybe alcohol, quat?  Purge?) would probably be as effective on other surfaces, say, the floor.  If a broom and brush procedure has been validated as sufficiently cleaning out your equipment, why isn't that procedure sufficient for the floor?


Edited by magenta_majors, 21 May 2014 - 11:57 PM.

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#3 Anki

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:18 AM

@magenta_majors

 

Thank you for your response.

 

Yes, we do have mezzanine where employees climb. Mezzanine has exposed food contact surfaces and any allergen contaminated employee may affect the product, however, overall level may be less than 20 PPM.

 

All points mentioned here are very valid. Thank you.



#4 fgjuadi

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:23 AM

@magenta_majors

 

Thank you for your response.

 

Yes, we do have mezzanine where employees climb. Mezzanine has exposed food contact surfaces and any allergen contaminated employee may affect the product, however, overall level may be less than 20 PPM.

 

All points mentioned here are very valid. Thank you.

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound facetious there.  You obviously have an actual problem and allergens are a real food safety concern.  It sounded odd to go to that level of detail on allergen spills, but we're all a little odd around here.  I empathize because I used to work in a flour mill with a crazed boss who would demand nonsensical  SOPs be written to fix serious problems instead of investing in the factory to redesign equipment.  I was devoting time to a fire extinguisher wipe down SOP instead of controlling the rampant Salmonella or correcting the haphazard foot control stations which were seemingly randomly placed throughout the factory.  Okay, here's a less mean answer -

 

Do you have Captive footwear or floor traffic control at points in your factory? Shoe covers, alcohol spray?  You could put on booties while you clean or spray afterwards, that's more for pathogens than for allergens though. 

 

It sounds like you already stop the line and clean the fcs as per allregen clean out SOP.  If you have shock proof vacuums with filters, you can ask that spills be vacuumed from the edges of the mezzanine in. 

 

Maybe a preventative action could be covering the food contact surfaces so they are not exposed to foreign objects / stuff from shoes / allergens falling in or a solid mezzanine?  It's difficult to tell without seeing the set up, and I've never seen product flow over a walkway.  I've seen mezzanines made of grates, but the tanks they were over are covered.

 

I'm interested  to see what you end up with or if anyone else has similar procedures. 


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#5 Anki

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:37 AM

Certainly, we do have to  tackle odd situation sometimes. 

 

We have explosion proof shop vac which is part of clean up SOP . We don't have captive foot wear but shoe covers. Allergen is stored in a dedicated area far from production room. If spill has to happen, it will happen far away from production area in the warehouse. There is a dedicated traffic flow pattern to receive or ship allergens in the warehouse.

 

So I guess we can put shoe cover dispensers, trash cans and allergen cleaning tools in one or 2 areas on that route. This way employees can be easily trained on where to throw stuff. They are not reluctant to change shoe covers. 

 

I guess I personally took this scenario of FCS contamination through walking on the mezzanine a little too far because why would a warehouse employee (who may have cleaned the spill) will go to the production area and walk on the mezzanine? It is highly unlikely in our plant and it doesn't pose a serious risk. Additionally, we are assuming that after a spill, employee will change shoe covers. 

 

We have 3 hoppers near our mezzanine area and 2 of them are completely covered, however 3rd one is open. I am working with our operations head on getting this one covered as well. As you said, sometimes our bosses/functional heads focus on unnecessary stuff not on serious problems. That's what happening in my case as well. This guy needs SOP on every crazy stuff but when it comes to spending money on critical things, he is always reluctant. 

 

Again thank you for your less mean answer this time.  :giggle: . I appreciate your inputs. Initially it seemed like no one is going to answer this.questions. 



#6 Quality Ben

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:34 AM

Allergen spill clean up procedure for a dry clean area can still include water and soap IF it is well contained and done carefully.

I would also validate the cleaning with some lateral flow swabs etc to prove that the clean was effective. Contained water and soap clean down (very effective at removing most allergen protein) and then swab the are to verify.

If you are unable to use water / soap because of specific locational or logistical problems then I would suggest a controlled vacuum and then wipe down and then swab to verify. Verify, verify, verify!! :)



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#7 Anki

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:53 AM

Thank you Ben..

 

.Vacuum followed by wipe down may work in our case...



#8 Quality Ben

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:01 AM

Needs to be a contained vacuum...some vacuums will eject air out the back and if your containment bag is not dense / fine enough then you will actually end up aerosoling the issue. Also.....verify!! haha .....but seriously...I would be doing some swabbing afterwards to verify. and figure out the best way to vacuum in a controlled and accountable manner. :)



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#9 debaduttajayaprakash

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:50 PM

The best answer is given already . Clean it using a vacuum cleaner nicely and if possible wipe the floor. If you really want to practice it nicely, I will suggest get a dedicated allergen cleaning vacuum cleaner with some variable nozzles which will help cleaning the corners and  un reach  areas. I assume you store allergen in a separate aisles or area segregated from rest of the non allergen products so it is better to get some dedicated colour coded brush, hygiene mops , dust pan  with hand brush and a shovel . 

Label them accordingly and give the  training to the operator and supervisor on Allergen spillage and cleaning procedure. I prefer a small test with some question and discussion to make sure they understand what I want to make them understand and it is serious. 

 

Then draft the entire procedure into a written procedure and SOP , include checking of bottom shoes, changing the cover all and hand washing general GMP stuffs . No need to use water hos or air just a simple cleaning method . make sure you train staff on cleaning all allergen spillage as soon they spot it.  

 

We got a dry product processing and storage unit and we handle and store all sorts of allergens and it really works for us for our site BRC . Make sure you got the checking of the cleaning equipment , verification procedure part of your internal or GMP audit which will be a real exercise and makes the auditor easy to understand how you tackle with such an allergen spillage issue.



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