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Micro Limits for Food Packaging


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#1 lexie

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:41 PM

Hi All,

 

Is there an acceptance limit for mold & yeast in food packaging for the dairy industry?  We have an outside lab perform a rinse test on our product (cups for dairy) monthly, reporting results as a count.  There is a specified limit for bacteria, but I cannot find a limit for mold. 

 

Thanks for the help!



#2 John Moreton

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 03:35 PM

http://webarchive.na...C/1265994075997

 

hope this helps



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#3 KevinB

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 06:34 PM

Hi Lexie,  We use a limit of 15 CFU for mold in our air quality testing in our cheese facility. I could not find anything for yeasts.  Hope that this helps.

 

Kevin



#4 BrionacVII

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 02:32 PM

Really useful document with hazard and all!!

 

thanks!!



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:48 PM

 

Dear John Moreton,

 

Thks for the input but i couldn't see any data related to "packaging" ?

 

Must admit i'm not sure what "cups" means in the OP as well :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 lexie

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 06:06 PM

Thanks for the replies.  Not sure that I see data specifically relating to our product, but interesting information overall!

 

We manufacture plastic containers ("cups") that our customers fill with dairy products.  We are required to conduct micro testing on these containers prior to shipping (as per the FDA PMO Grade A standard), and are trying to determine appropriate limits (particularly for mold / yeast).  There doesn't appear to be much information available that I have come across, but will keep searching....



#7 liberator

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 08:31 PM

Working for a dairy Co myself, and we pack dairy products in plastic tubs (cups), we would not be expecting any microbial contamination whatsoever from the packaging. Primary packaging (any direct food contact packaging) should be free from any contamination. If a packaging supplier provided us with cups that had "contamination" we would not be using them for long at all. Packaging should be essentially sterile. We don't test for microbial contaminates nor are they specified on our purchasing specification as the understanding is that the packaging will not contribute any microbial contamination to our finished product. Plastics are hot manufactured and then packed - there would be no micro issues - so no limits required. If you tested and found yeast/mould et.al an primary packaging - I would be concerned. If our product failed and we found the source was from the packaging materials - huge concerns!



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 11:30 AM

Dear Liberator,

 

Thks for the input.

 

Indeed, i also found the OP rather surprising if direct contact to an RTE product was involved. Or any other product inasmuch as how the manufacturing process is carried out. It is well known that plastic bags for food use are a popular, sterile, container for bacteriological sampling purposes.

 

No idea what the aforementioned FDA-PMO standard requires though. Commercial sterility ?

 

Maybe all those undercooked hotdogs have increased the natural resistance to pathogens in USA. :smile:

 

Or perhaps the product was raw milk, pathogen-free variety ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#9 lexie

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:07 PM

The PMO Standard mentioned is the Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.  Appendix J of this standard covers requirements for containers (Standards for the Fabrication of Single-Service Containers and Closures for Milk and Milk Products).  In the section of this standard covering bacterial standards, it states - where a rinse test can be used, the residual microbial count shall not exceed fifty per container, except that in containers less than 100 mL, the count shall not exceed 10.  The original question related to limits for mold / yeast - are there guidelines separate from bacteria, or does this limit cover all?  The goal of course always is "zero", no questions there.

 

Kevin - you mentioned you use a limit of 15 CFU for mold in your air quality testing.  Is this a limit defined by your company, or is this an industry standard?

 

Thanks to everyone for the input!



#10 SQF1188

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 01:03 PM

Working for a dairy Co myself, and we pack dairy products in plastic tubs (cups), we would not be expecting any microbial contamination whatsoever from the packaging. Primary packaging (any direct food contact packaging) should be free from any contamination. If a packaging supplier provided us with cups that had "contamination" we would not be using them for long at all. Packaging should be essentially sterile. We don't test for microbial contaminates nor are they specified on our purchasing specification as the understanding is that the packaging will not contribute any microbial contamination to our finished product. Plastics are hot manufactured and then packed - there would be no micro issues - so no limits required. If you tested and found yeast/mould et.al an primary packaging - I would be concerned. If our product failed and we found the source was from the packaging materials - huge concerns!

 

I think what Lexie is saying here is she's the one who supplies that packaging for you, hence as the primary packaging supplier she needs to guarantee the product is free from contamination.

 

Lexie,

 

As far as packaging products goes, I'm in the same boat (Paper packaging materials) and your best bet is to contact an outside lab. They will have methodology for testing all different microorganisms, molds, yeasts, etc and most limits for industry standards. They've been the best help to me through my experiences.



#11 Charles.C

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:09 PM

Dear Lexie,

 

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate you are bound by US limits.

 

I have done a little searching through the forum for items relating to micro. properties of packaging. Data is scarce.

 

I suggest you have a look at this post where I previously summarised some of a similar scan  -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ant/#entry68502

 

Probably 1st, 2nd and last links are of most interest for present purposes.

 

From a quick look, the US bacterial count limits are slightly generous compared to some other localities.

 

The only data for yeast & mould (Y&M)  I could see was in post #4 of the last link. Hopefully of some use. (There are a large number of attachments in these links so I maybe missed something else :smile: ).

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#12 lexie

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 06:55 PM

dbloomstrand, thanks for the suggestion.  They were a little helpful, but not as much as I would have hoped.  I'm actually looking for an accredited lab a little closer to our plant.

 

Charles C. - definitely some good information in those links, thanks.  There are many attachments as you say - good reading material!



#13 Rita Inderpersad

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 08:27 AM

Dear Liberator,

 

Thks for the input.

 

Indeed, i also found the OP rather surprising if direct contact to an RTE product was involved. Or any other product inasmuch as how the manufacturing process is carried out. It is well known that plastic bags for food use are a popular, sterile, container for bacteriological sampling purposes.

 

No idea what the aforementioned FDA-PMO standard requires though. Commercial sterility ?

 

Maybe all those undercooked hotdogs have increased the natural resistance to pathogens in USA. :smile:

 

Or perhaps the product was raw milk, pathogen-free variety ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

Hi .   Ensure that you request form your  primary packaging supplier his latest packaging specification stating

" Food Grade" and if possible any accreditation certificates relating to food safety.






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