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Radiology in HACCP

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#1 noahchris97

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 02:40 PM

Morning,

              I guess I'm on a HACCP kick this morning ( 2nd post about HACCP today )...lol.. Like I said earlier I have been away from HACCP for a bit. I know back in 2013 I went to a seminar about FSMA. We talked about radiology being the 4th hazard )( bio / chemical / physical & now radiology. Is this a requirement now? Just not sure. I knew I had to have it while I was at a bakery facility. Also not sure if it applies to food contact packaging world..... 

 



#2 Tony-C

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 03:03 PM

Hi there,

 

Some useful information posted by Charles here: http://www.ifsqn.com/forum/index.php/topic/20224-reevaluating-haccp-program-for-fsma-compliance/ - Radiological Hazards: Radium-226,228, Uranium-235,238; Strontium-90; Iodine-131; Cesium-137

FDA give an example of radiological hazards (e.g., high concentrations of radium-226, radium-228 or uranium in well water used in product).

 

Radiological hazards seem far more applicable to produce than packaging but I guess could be an issue if you have your radioactive well water gets in contact with the packaging. An interesting article including points on the subject here.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



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#3 MWidra

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 07:02 PM

Hi there,

 

Some useful information posted by Charles here: http://www.ifsqn.com/forum/index.php/topic/20224-reevaluating-haccp-program-for-fsma-compliance/ - Radiological Hazards: Radium-226,228, Uranium-235,238; Strontium-90; Iodine-131; Cesium-137

FDA give an example of radiological hazards (e.g., high concentrations of radium-226, radium-228 or uranium in well water used in product).

 

Radiological hazards seem far more applicable to produce than packaging but I guess could be an issue if you have your radioactive well water gets in contact with the packaging. An interesting article including points on the subject here.

 

Regards,

 

Tony

I would not include Iodine 131 as a risk, since it has an 8 day half-life, which means that it is 99% gone in 60 days.  And it is found usually in materials used for medical imaging/therapy or in material thrown out from a nuclear reactor event.

 

Radium, on the other hand, is naturally occurring.  And there's a lot of it in some regions.  Ra 226 has a half-life of 1600 years and Ra 228 has a half-life of 5.76 years.  They will be around for some time, and give off enough radioactivity that they are considered health hazards. There are maps of where this is found in the US and probably the world, so you could easily figure out the chance of it contaminating your raw materials.  And if you use water in your processing, you can find out how much is in your water and remove it with a water treatment system.

 

Uranium 238 is naturally occurring, and abundant, but the radiation is very weak.  It would not be good to have in your materials, but I would not be highly concerned.  Uranium 235 is weapons grade, and is not abundant, so I would think that it is not likely for it to contaminate materials.

 

Strontium 90 and Cesium 137 are products of fission, so they should be considered if your materials originate from an area where there was a nuclear reactor event, like Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi or from old nuclear test sites.

 

In case people are worried about irradiation of materials to kill bacteria leaving "residual radioactivity" in the product, that does not happen.  The radioactivity that is used to expose materials to kill pathogens is not put into the material, but energy from the radioactivity is used to expose the materials.  it's like shining a light on it, just a light that penetrates and kills.

 

And now for some things that are a little :off_topic:

 

Stuff that has been irradiated does not glow in the dark, but some materials that contain radioactivity glow in UV light, like uranium glass.

 

http://en.wikipedia....i/Uranium_glass

 

Before World War II Fiesta dinnerware used uranium in some of the glazes, and are still radioactive.  The radioactivity (alpha particles) is absorbed by the air within the first inch or so, but there is the risk of it leaching into food, so it is not recommended to use nowadays.  I don't think it's used anymore to make food, so you probably don't have to include it in your risk assessment.  :biggrin:

 

http://en.wikipedia....sta_(dinnerware)

 

Radioactivity is a fun topic.  We are very afraid of it, but I'm more cautious about having a lot of medical x-rays and CAT scans than coming in contact with environmental radioactivity.

 

Martha, former Radiation Safety Officer


"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending."  The Muppets


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#4 Snookie

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:03 PM

 

Radioactivity is a fun topic.  We are very afraid of it, but I'm more cautious about having a lot of medical x-rays and CAT scans than coming in contact with environmental radioactivity.

 

Martha, former Radiation Safety Officer

 

Interesting information and I agree with you.  People are often very afraid because they don't understand.  I am very concerned about this idea that we now include radiological information in our HACCP plans for the simple reason that people don't understand and soon that will get included in our test schemes.  We are not talking about vegetables or packaging from Chernobyl, so think it is important to keep it realistic.   


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#5 MWidra

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:49 PM

The effects of Chernobyl reached far beyond the Ukraine.  The caribou in Alaska and the Yukon were eating lichen that contained fallout, though it is decreasing now.

 

http://www.nunatsiaq...t_safe_for_now/

 

I'm more worried about the accumulation of mercury in our food supply.  It just gets concentrated as you go up the food chain.  Methylmercury causes so many health issues, including autoimmune disorders.  All the coal-burning plants in the U.S. and Asia put mercury it into the air and it gets converted to methylmercury by microorganisms.  Add the artisanal gold mining amounts and it's a lot of mercury in the air.

 

http://www.epa.gov/mercury/about.htm

 

http://www2.epa.gov/...97650#worldwide

 

http://en.wikipedia....rtisanal_mining

 

Martha


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#6 freeromios

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 12:42 PM

Fukushima SHOULD be a great concern, especially for you Americans.

 

Please take a look at this EU Regulation:

 

http://www.jfa.maff....on_322_2014.pdf



#7 MWidra

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 07:49 PM

Fukushima SHOULD be a great concern, especially for you Americans.

 

Please take a look at this EU Regulation:

 

http://www.jfa.maff....on_322_2014.pdf

The FDA has been monitoring the radioactivity of Japanese imported foods at the border and everything remains at a safe level.

 

http://www.fda.gov/N...s/ucm247403.htm

 

They've even been tracking the fish caught off the West Coast of the US, because radioactivity from the accident reached the US mainland within a short time.

 

Fukushima only released 10%-30% of what Chernobyl released, it was a much less serious disaster.

 

The US has been aggressively monitoring the radiation from this.

 

Martha


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#8 freeromios

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 10:39 AM

Allow me to have strong reservations about the FDA's estimations.



#9 Tony-C

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 04:32 PM

Someone in a previous post said 'We are not talking about vegetables or packaging from Chernobyl, so think it is important to keep it realistic' Judge for yourself ..... but my understanding is that there are significant risks in the USA? ('e.g., high concentrations of radium-226, radium-228 or uranium in well water used in product') Why else would it be included?

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#10 MWidra

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 05:22 PM

Someone in a previous post said 'We are not talking about vegetables or packaging from Chernobyl, so think it is important to keep it realistic' Judge for yourself ..... but my understanding is that there are significant risks in the USA? ('e.g., high concentrations of radium-226, radium-228 or uranium in well water used in product') Why else would it be included?

 

Regards,

 

Tony

Tony, there are significant risks in the US, but they are controlled risks.  If you have well water with radium or uranium, your local regulatory agency has probably tested your water and required you to get a water conditioner to remove it.   We have had no catastrophic nuclear power plant incidents here ( Three Mile Island released very little, and it was mostly atmospheric short half-life stuff).  The greatest exposure risk here would be from granite buildings.  I would say that if you use granite counter tops in your food processing plant, they should be checked for radiation leakage once, since granite contains some long half-life materials that give off radon gas.  But it's not a biggie.

 

It all depends on the definition of "high concentrations."  The criteria for allowable radioactivity is extremely low here, so what is high here is probably low for some other countries.  You'll get more exposure from having frequent CAT scans than from food or water from the US.  We've come a lot way from the days when we used radium to treat enlarged tonsils/adenoids here (I had that as a child) or use leaky fluoroscope machines in shoe stores to x-ray kids feet to see how their shoes fit ( I had that, too.)  Now we're terrified of anything radioactive.  I imagine that's why it's in FSMA, because we're scared of it and because some other countries are not as restrictive as we are.

 

Martha, former Radiation Safety Officer


"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending."  The Muppets


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#11 Tony-C

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 05:33 PM

Hi Martha,

 

Good to have an informed person on the forums that posts some really useful info regarding radiation risks - thank you.

 

'There are significant risks in the US, but they are controlled risks.  If you have well water with radium or uranium, your local regulatory agency has probably tested your water and required you to get a water conditioner to remove it.'

 

Please can you clarify what would be an acceptable 'water conditioner' to remove radiation from water for a food manufacturer and what level of radiation it would remove?

 

Thank you,

 

Tony



#12 MWidra

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 06:11 PM

Hi Martha,

 

Please can you clarify what would be an acceptable 'water conditioner' to remove radiation from water for a food manufacturer and what level of radiation it would remove?

 

Thank you,

 

Tony

The same water conditioner that removes iron would remove radium.  It's an ion exchange mixed bed resin, which is commonly used in homes with well water.  The resin is periodically flushed with high concentration salt solution ("solar salt") which strips off the absorbed materials from the resin then flushes it down the drain.  Think of the resin as a specialized glue that attracts anything that is not water.  When the resin gets "full", you clean it with the salt brine, then rinse off the brine and start over again with clean resin.  The cleaning (called backflushing) is usually done In the middle of the night and you don't have water during that time.  Radon is a gas which gets dissolved in the water, so you need to run the water through an activated carbon cartridge to get rid of it after the water softener.  You change the carbon cartridges periodically.

 

You only have to worry if you are using well water.  Municipal water systems remove all that before you get the water.  And you can usually download the yearly test results from the water system from the local government web site, they are required to post it.

 

The EPA uses the presence of radon gas to characterize the zones where there is the potential for radium.  Radon gas is a decay product of radium, and is actually a greater health risk than radium, since you breathe it in.  It accumulates in basements and seeps up into the houses, and because we breathe in more than we drink, we get more of a dose that way.  It increases a risk for cancer.  But if you are in a higher radon area, you should look for radium in your well water too.  In the US, you can buy a test kit for radon in most hardware stores, and you send it away to be analyzed.

 

http://www.epa.gov/r...um.html#contact

 

Martha


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#13 MWidra

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 06:14 PM

Forgot to mention that all that blackflushing is done automatically, when you sleep.  And the resin is used over and over again, it is regenerated in the cleaning process. 

 

Martha


"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

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