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Eliminating unnecessary micro tests


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#1 Petersen_M

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:54 PM

Good Afternoon

 

There are a few queries I have about some of the tests on our testing schedule.Is it necessary to test for Staphylococcus aureus on hot and cold sauces since they are not 'handled' directly by the cooks and on pizza dough since these are baked and no cream or dairy is added? We perform hand swabs for Staph. weekly as well. I am using the IFST guidelines as a reference and a lot of the time it states "may be useful for trend analysis." Does this mean that those specific tests which may be useful for trend analysis are not necessary?

 

Any help would be appreciated

Thanks



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 02:33 PM

Good Afternoon

 

There are a few queries I have about some of the tests on our testing schedule.Is it necessary to test for Staphylococcus aureus on hot and cold sauces since they are not 'handled' directly by the cooks and on pizza dough since these are baked and no cream or dairy is added? We perform hand swabs for Staph. weekly as well. I am using the IFST guidelines as a reference and a lot of the time it states "may be useful for trend analysis." Does this mean that those specific tests which may be useful for trend analysis are not necessary?

 

Any help would be appreciated

Thanks

 

Hi PetersenM,

 

I anticipate that the sauces mentioned are purchased ingredients for inputs.

If so, I also expect that they have Product specifications which include S.aureus ? (many micro.specs do).

if so, this would be one reason for checking this species.

A second reason could be that many routine micro.lab test menus include it anyway in view of its occasional elevation/significance. I don't recall if the toxin which S.aureus may produce is stable to baking or not, possibly depends on the temperature.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#3 clover

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 06:11 AM

Hi PetersenM,

 

I anticipate that the sauces mentioned are purchased ingredients for inputs.

If so, I also expect that they have Product specifications which include S.aureus ? (many micro.specs do).

if so, this would be one reason for checking this species.

A second reason could be that many routine micro.lab test menus include it anyway in view of its occasional elevation/significance. I don't recall if the toxin which S.aureus may produce is stable to baking or not, possibly depends on the temperature.

Hi all,

 

My concern may be slightly different to Petersen’s.

 

We’re currently sending 2 food samples/month to the lab for microbiological test. I understand that these microbiological tests  can’t ensure food safety but it could be a helpful indication.

 

In manufacturing setting, the intention of sending food samples for testing is to verify it’s safety before releasing it out to the consumers.

 

But I'm not sure how this would apply to a small central kitchen as : - 

 

1) We’re not testing for every food item (only 2 food items/ month out of a total of about 20 other food items we have)

2) We’re only testing it AFTER it’s production date, when some of it have already been sent to consumers. (They're vacuum-packed food items store in chiller/freezer)

 

If that’s the case, and if anything bad happens, wouldn’t it be too late to do anything about it?

 

Like if the micro lab test results indicated presence of Listeria. OR if there’s an outbreak of food poisoning …how would this routine micro lab test for only 2 food samples/ month help at all??

 

Just a thought. 



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 05:19 AM

Hi Clover,

 

Two basic objectives of the HACCP system are to (a) assure safe food and (b) minimize the necessity for performing the traditional QA methodology of relying on end-point testing.

 

Within the HACCP concept, testing end-product becomes an (occasional) activity to verify that the HACCP system is working correctly. In theory, after implementing HACCP, the requirement for end-point analysis should be low. Unfortunately customers (and official bodies) often believe otherwise. Documentation rules ! Additionally, it is a fact that HACCP (and sampling) cannot guarantee 100% perfection, no QA system can. Hence Recalls.

 

Manufacturing processes customarily implement Positive Release whereby all activities related to the end product should be satisfactorily completed before the end product is shipped/commercialised/etc. This would normally include any planned end-product testing.

 

I suppose, in view of the near-immediate consumption of many kitchen end-products (and perhaps also the specific consumer), the nature of a kitchen process  imposes a  high requirement for maintaining an effective HACCP system. This Includes control of the Raw Materials and especially where the process has no cooking step. Back to Risk Assessment.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#5 Dr.Des

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 08:26 AM

I agree, there should be no such thing as unnecessary tests! You should only be doing the tests that your risk assessment has shown you are required.

Staph aureus toxin will survive heating by the way.



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