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Cheese during aging giving off gases


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#1 Weebus90

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 09:23 PM

Hi Everyone, 

I'm looking for anyone knowledgeable in cheese!

We currently have an entire cooler for storing cheese. 

Recently there have been complaints that during time in the cooler maybe 15-20 minutes, the employees eyes and throat become irritated. 

 

I ran air quality tests for SPC, Yeast and Mold and everything was under 5cfu's. 

 

I recently discovered that the cheese during aging can start giving off gasses. 

Does anyone know if these gases could be causing the issues?

 

The cooler is used to store many varieties of cheese, some in primary and secondary boxes, but some only 1 the primary container. 

 

Please Help!

 

Thanks

Weebus!



#2 trubertq

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 09:05 AM

Could it be the chilling gases perhaps? I'd certainly get that checked out for leaks


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#3 Weebus90

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 12:27 PM

What exactly do you mean by the chilling gases?



#4 trubertq

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 12:35 PM

I suppose it depends on the system you are using but some chilling systems use gas under pressure ( used to be CFCs, remember?) perhaps there is a leak and the gas is leaking into the chill room? I know that some systems use ammonia which would be unpleasant.

 

Ask your engineers, they should know.


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#5 gfdoucette07

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 03:07 PM

Lots of coolers and other refrigeration containers used Freon (in a closed system such as your household fridge) or Ammonia (in an open system where its pumped to a compressor and back to the vessel such as silos, vats).  These gases are very noticeable at like 10-50ppm but the osha limit may be 200ppm hence your maint depart may be your best asset.   

 

Also note if this is a continuous issue or if its worse certain times or days.

 

The gas generated by aging cheese by have an odor but it should not cause the symptoms you suggest. My gut goes to gas from refrigeration or maybe another leak going into the central air handling system somewhere else and showing up here.

 

A oxygen meter like you would used for confined space entry.

 

keep checking and asking around

 

G



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 03:27 PM

Dear weebus,

 

Lot of relevant queries already. Can add a few from my non-cheese bitter experiences.

 

odour in room normal ??

 

temperature = approx. ?

 

start of complaints correlatable to anything unusual, eg repairs, new product (open)?  R&D samples added ?

 

The freon (whatever) may be a good one to check first. i'm unsure if any of the alternatives have such side-effects in enclosed spaces.

 

Animals / Rodents ? (from sad experience) - is the room readily inspectable for nooks, crannies and ???

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 Scampi

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 02:17 PM

I used to work for a cheese company. That sounds like an ammonia leak to me. We had a large one while I was employed there and everyone had to be evacuated. Low level leak will irritate throats and eyes.  Also, some of the cheese had to be destroyed due to the percentage of ammonia in the air, it was able to penetrate the packaging film.

 

Can you let us know what came of this?


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