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Allergen swabbing program advice

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Quality Ben

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:23 AM

Hi all,

 

Firstly - thank you in advance for the responses...this is a great site and I am late to the boat but enjoying the ride :)

 

I am after any advice / ideas regarding an allergen swabbing program.

I am putting one in place in our factory and want to know what others have done.

How often? How many? etc etc.

We have  a bacterial program (petrifilm) that runs after cleaning and also our Listeria program that will all be a part of this in a broader sense. I am looking at the allergen swabbing program to just be a verification of these other programs and also to back up our work with VITAL and associated labelling. 

At this stage I am looking at a fairly basic program (due to numerous factors) that involves swabbing each room in the factory once per month and the swab points would be based on risk. also I am wondering how you coordinate the timing - I would like to swab in between product changes (after the clean) to prove production scheduling plans and cleaning work.

 

Cheers,

Ben


Edited by Quality Ben, 29 May 2014 - 05:25 AM.


Tony-C

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:19 AM

Hi all,

 

Firstly - thank you in advance for the responses...this is a great site and I am late to the boat but enjoying the ride :)

 

I am after any advice / ideas regarding an allergen swabbing program.

 

Also I am wondering how you coordinate the timing - I would like to swab in between product changes (after the clean) to prove production scheduling plans and cleaning work.

 

Cheers,

 

Ben

 

Hi Ben,

 

As you have indicated your programme should be based on risk.

 

If you are producing products with and without allergens on the same production line then that would be the high risk and most people would focus on checking food contact surfaces after allergen production to ensure the allergen has been removed (reduced to a safe level).

 

Regards,

 

Tony



Quality Ben

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:24 AM

Hi Ben,

 

As you have indicated your programme should be based on risk.

 

If you are producing products with and without allergens on the same production line then that would be the high risk and most people would focus on checking food contact surfaces after allergen production to ensure the allergen has been removed (reduced to a safe level).

 

Regards,

 

Tony

Hi Tony,

 

Thank you for your reply.

I agree it should be risk based...I guess my concern is 'Am I doing enough'?. We use Soy, Milk, Gluten, Mustard.

Through extensive calculations we have determined that since Soy is our main offender - we will base the allergen program off this. ie: if there is no traces of Soy then it will follow that there would be no traces of the others as the amounts are so much lower.



Tony-C

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:40 AM

Hi Ben,

 

There are a number of other factors to consider as well as levels in the products:
Cleaning
Form
LOAEL
Sensitivity
Labelling

Cleaning - if you have different type of products cleaning may be more effective on some products

Form - the form of the allergen, e.g. milk in the form of cheese is harder to clean that liquid milk

LOAEL* - Lowest-observed-adverse-effect level

 

Attached File  alrgn2_054.png   255KB   6 downloads

 

Sensitivity* - variation in sensitivity of consumer

*This may be of use to you: Approaches to Establish Thresholds for Major Food Allergens and for Gluten in Food (FDA)

Product labelling - Declarations on the product label**

 

**The Australian/New Zealand Allergen Bureau has developed the VITAL (Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen labelling) procedure to assist with decisions relating to allergen precautionary labelling.

Validation & Verification
For validation I would want to check for each allergen. You should also consider supplementing allergen swabs with challenge testing of non allergen product after an 'allergen clean'.
Verification of cleans a single swab type may be acceptable, this would be demonstrated by your validation.

Testing
ELISA test kits are available from several manufacturers and are commonly used.
Lateral flow test devices also use an ELISA-based method and are also effective in detecting specific allergens.
Where there are no test kits available, the use of the highly sensitive protein swabs may prove to be an acceptable alternative. These tests are usually sensitive to 5-10 ppm of total protein.

 

Apologies if you are familiar with parts of this but I post for the benefit of other members as well.

 

Regards,

 

Tony
 


Edited by Tony-C, 29 May 2014 - 07:41 AM.


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Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:51 AM

Dear Quality Ben,

 

I daresay you have found them already but there are, i think, 2 quite detailed SOPs for Allergen Control Programs posted on this forum. Unfortunately the search program is semi-nonusable at the moment so i cannot look further.

 

With respect to VITAL, i appreciate this is an Australian phenomenon but AFAI can see, most of the global community is yet waiting to be convinced of the validity of the thresholds etc.

 

The closing paragraph in yr previous post requires careful validation. If unsure, yr multicomponent/allergen setup may need application of an allergen control matrix. There are 1-2 threads here on this with detailed examples. Difficult to say much more without process details.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Quality Ben

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:09 PM

Thank you all for your responses... :)







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