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Swab testing standards & Air sampling standards for food industry


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#1 Bhavin Raval

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 10:38 AM

Hi ,

 

Please share standard requirement for below swab analysis and air quality monitoring using air sampler. 

 

1) Hand swab for personal hygiene

2) Equipment swab for sanitation measure

3)Cloth swab 

 

 

Regards

 

Bhavin



#2 Teecem

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 01:44 PM

Swab tolerances

 

Microbiological surveillance

The following tolerances are to be used when assessing environmental swab results

 

Test

Tolerance

Pass

Caution

Fail

TVC

0 - 100

101 – 1000

> 1000

Pseudomonas

0 - 100

101 - 1000

> 1000

Enteros

< 10

10 – 100

> 100

(Hands) S. Aureus

< 10

10 – 100

> 100

(Hands) E.Coli

< 10

10 - 100

> 100

Overall average swab pass rate is 95%. Action should be taken when pass rates drop below 95% over a 4 week cycle.

 

 

Is this the sort of thing you are after?



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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 02:24 PM

Hi ,

 

Please share standard requirement for below swab analysis and air quality monitoring using air sampler. 

 

1) Hand swab for personal hygiene

2) Equipment swab for sanitation measure

3)Cloth swab 

 

 

Regards

 

Bhavin

 

Hi Bhavin Raval,

 

A specific decision may be related to the product/process/location/condition of surface.

 

Two "general" compilations for surfaces and compressed air (often equivalent to "air") are here  -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ces/#entry60958

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ent/#entry81054

 

Some further comments on "air"/compresed air here -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...indpost&p=83052

http://www.ifsqn.com...an>-filtration/

 

@ Teecem - I presume the units in yr data are cfu/cm2 ?

 

I assume that "Caution" is equivalent to  "Acceptable". if so,  IMO yr values for TVC, S.aureus and E.coli are questionable but not forgetting the top caveat.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Bhavin Raval

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 06:23 AM

Thank you Charles.

 

I am looking for the same sort of infor, but thing is that if you are able to provide some standard reference which i can use as base to show it to auditors, then it will be great help.

 

Bhvain



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 02:56 PM

Thank you Charles.

 

I am looking for the same sort of infor, but thing is that if you are able to provide some standard reference which i can use as base to show it to auditors, then it will be great help.

 

Bhvain

 

Hi Bhavin Raval,

 

Post #9 of the first link/thread for Indian swabs perhaps.

 

For air quality, the Book quoted in the third link and the 8 attachments in the second link.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 Tony-C

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 04:00 AM

Swab tolerances

 

Microbiological surveillance

The following tolerances are to be used when assessing environmental swab results

 

Test

Tolerance

Pass

Caution

Fail


(Hands) E.Coli

< 10

10 - 100

> 100

Overall average swab pass rate is 95%. Action should be taken when pass rates drop below 95% over a 4 week cycle.

 

 

Is this the sort of thing you are after?

 

I would question your standard for (Hands) E.coli

 

Also action levels may depend on the surface being swabbed, for instance I would act on an Entero positive on a food contact surface.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



#7 aiwaiw

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:06 AM

Swab tolerances

 

Microbiological surveillance

The following tolerances are to be used when assessing environmental swab results

 

Test

Tolerance

Pass

Caution

Fail

TVC

0 - 100

101 – 1000

> 1000

Pseudomonas

0 - 100

101 - 1000

> 1000

Enteros

< 10

10 – 100

> 100

(Hands) S. Aureus

< 10

10 – 100

> 100

(Hands) E.Coli

< 10

10 - 100

> 100

Overall average swab pass rate is 95%. Action should be taken when pass rates drop below 95% over a 4 week cycle.

 

 

Is this the sort of thing you are after?

Who decides this criteria?

#8 Charles.C

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:36 AM

Who decides this criteria?

 

Hi atwaiw,

 

You may need to be more specifc in yr query. Not sure if you mean Globa criteria for XYZ or for the specific data in yr quotation ?

 

For the quoted data, only Teecem knows. Personally, offhand, i don't recall ever seeing the data quoted (which has no units attached) as one group, or  even individually in most cases.

 

If you mean Globally, as discussed in first link/Post3 (for surface swabs), there are no universally agreed limits for many, probably most, of the numerous count-based items. There are Guidelines/suggestions from a variety of authors and organisations, often oriented to specific applications, eg Dairy Industry, Cleanroom specifications.

 

For example, ISO's set of Standards are frequently quoted for discussing air quality.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 wafa

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:25 PM

More appropriate reference of these criteria set?



#10 Teecem

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:58 PM

The units were cfu/cm2

 

In my experience I haven't been able to find any text which tells you what you should be looking for in terms of standard results the above was an example from a protein factory which time and experience had validated. I've only ever had an issue from an auditor when the tolerances were too high then they wanted to know how they could be justified. If the tolerances are reasonable for the business you are in and the type of product you are producing then they will accept them. That said I have just changed business and am in the process of resetting criteria I have set it low <100cfu/cm2  for TVC and based on the results we get and visual inspection as well as finished product testing I may alter them either way.

 

BTW I think that we get too caught up in numbers with hygiene and forget the basic question is my factory clean? If it looks clean and it smells clean there's a good chance it is clean. Use the swabs to narrow down where your issues are and give the senior management some numbers to prove you need more hygiene resource or not...



#11 Tony-C

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 02:52 PM

Swab tolerances

 

Microbiological surveillance

The following tolerances are to be used when assessing environmental swab results

 

Test

Tolerance

Pass

Caution

Fail

TVC

0 - 100

101 – 1000

> 1000

Pseudomonas

0 - 100

101 - 1000

> 1000

Enteros

< 10

10 – 100

> 100

(Hands) S. Aureus

< 10

10 – 100

> 100

(Hands) E.Coli

< 10

10 - 100

> 100

Overall average swab pass rate is 95%. Action should be taken when pass rates drop below 95% over a 4 week cycle.

 

 

Is this the sort of thing you are after?

 

 

The units were cfu/cm2

 

In my experience I haven't been able to find any text which tells you what you should be looking for in terms of standard results the above was an example from a protein factory which time and experience had validated. I've only ever had an issue from an auditor when the tolerances were too high then they wanted to know how they could be justified. If the tolerances are reasonable for the business you are in and the type of product you are producing then they will accept them. That said I have just changed business and am in the process of resetting criteria I have set it low <100cfu/cm2  for TVC and based on the results we get and visual inspection as well as finished product testing I may alter them either way.

 

BTW I think that we get too caught up in numbers with hygiene and forget the basic question is my factory clean? If it looks clean and it smells clean there's a good chance it is clean. Use the swabs to narrow down where your issues are and give the senior management some numbers to prove you need more hygiene resource or not...

 

I can understand what you are implying but IME a fail would need investigating and corrective action rather than relying on a less than 95% average.

 

I agree that you can get hung up on numbers but let's just say hand swabs of > 100 are very serious for high risk operations such as where an operator is handling a product.

 

I would also expect to see testing for Y&M.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



#12 Teecem

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 03:06 PM

Hi - Yes I can see I should have omitted that line originally because I investigate every failure with a corrective action and escalate to senior management if it is below 95% over a running average because at that point there is usually something more serious wrong. I've never done environmental swabs for Y&M its not relevant for my product base so I think you do have to base it on what you are producing and the type of product ie RTE, RTC frozen, ambient. Maybe that's why there is no definitive standard. :)



#13 Rener De Jesus

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:53 PM

This topic is helpful. But, could please someone provide specific references for hand swab standards?

 

Thank you!






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