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#1 doggy

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:13 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

We are a low risk bakery. Our night hygiene team cleans the whole factory after production and then take swabs at different points on different equipment-this includes both food-contact and non-food contact surfaces with the rapid ATP swabs. The issue is that, for about 6 months now, all the results comes out within spec. There is barely any failures when the swabs are taken. Based on these results, we want to reduce the number of ATP swabbing significantly because we seem to be wasting a lot of money. Can somebody help me with risk assessments or if you have ever had to do this in your factory, please attach templates etc. I really need your help on this.

 

Thanks alot

 

D



#2 AudreyB

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:37 PM

Hello D, 

 

From my experience and knowledge of ATP swabbing, it can be difficult to use them quantitatively given the unit of measure - relative light units (RLU) does not necessarily represent a given cleanliness. I would worry if there was a marked increase or decrease in your results. 

 

In terms of swabbing reduction, do you mean reduce the amount of swabs taken daily or the occurrence of swabbing (eg. daily to weekly, etc.)? IMO this would depend on your plant sanitation program/procedures/routines and the other types of cleaning verification or validation activities your company is using. If the equipment is being cleaned daily, and ATP swabbing is your sole testing activity ensuring that the cleaning and sanitation was conducted appropriately, then you need to weigh the risks/outcomes and determine whether you can guarantee your products are safe and compromised  from an ATP swab reduction. 

 

Hope this helps!

Audrey 



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#3 JohnWheat

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:52 PM

Rather than just relying on ATP type, have you taken standard swabs and sent away for micro analysis? Might be worth an exercise?

Your risk would be what would be the implication if Equipment (X) failed cleaning and not picked up by routine ATP swabs?

'Barely any fails' isn't the same as there is NEVER any fails :(

Risk is always likelihood vs Impact...........



#4 JohnWheat

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:53 PM

Hello D, 

 

From my experience and knowledge of ATP swabbing, it can be difficult to use them quantitatively given the unit of measure - relative light units (RLU) does not necessarily represent a given cleanliness. I would worry if there was a marked increase or decrease in your results. 

 

In terms of swabbing reduction, do you mean reduce the amount of swabs taken daily or the occurrence of swabbing (eg. daily to weekly, etc.)? IMO this would depend on your plant sanitation program/procedures/routines and the other types of cleaning verification or validation activities your company is using. If the equipment is being cleaned daily, and ATP swabbing is your sole testing activity ensuring that the cleaning and sanitation was conducted appropriately, then you need to weigh the risks/outcomes and determine whether you can guarantee your products are safe and compromised  from an ATP swab reduction. 

 

Hope this helps!

Audrey 

Agreed



#5 doggy

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 03:57 PM

Thanks Audrey,

yes- in terms of reduction, I want to look at reducing the amount of swabs taken daily to say weekly and also look at doing the same to the swabbing points concentrating on the food-contact surfaces. For non-food contact surfaces, probably, visual inspections and once per month swabbing!!!

 

ATP swabbing is not our sole testing activity. We do scheduled Listeria swabbing and also finished product testing.

 

 

Any more advice please?

 

Thanks

 

D



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 05:26 PM

Hi doggy,

 

A few comments.

 

The frequency options may relate to the audited FS standard (if any) involved ?. And may be related to  specific product-status / process. IMEX "low/high" risk have a range of interpretations depending on the choice of reference.

 

Recommended frequencies for ATP testing probably exist, eg via test kit manufacturer's literature. how did you decide on present format ?

 

ATP (cleaning) data requires validation. The logical (micro) validation of ATP is via indicators such as APC, E.coli, Enterobacteriaceae. Listeria absence/non-absence may/may not relate to general cleanliness as measured by ATP. And similarly for micro. data.

 

The usual, generic, testing procedure is to initially sample more frequently than is considered necessary and then stepwise reduce based on (hopefully) satisfactory results over a certain period. procedures are attached on this forum. The total amount of reduction possible is logically related to the penalty incurred  if a negative event did occur for the specific products involved.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 NM RED CHILE

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 09:25 PM

Hello,

 

First off, is your cleaning team available to come to our facility?  :gleam:

 

Are you inserting the test swab for reading immediately after you "break" the liquid in?

I have found that a number >15 can be reduced simply by time.

 

We also do environmental testing.

 

Sincerely,

Alyssa



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 10:14 PM

Hello,

 

First off, is your cleaning team available to come to our facility?  :gleam:

 

Are you inserting the test swab for reading immediately after you "break" the liquid in?

I have found that a number >15 can be reduced simply by time.

 

We also do environmental testing.

 

Sincerely,

Alyssa

 

Hi Alyssa,

 

Thanks for the input.

 

Are you in the baking Industry ?

 

How do you determine the question of "frequency" ?, eg how often do you ATP swab and why ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 mile

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:02 AM

Dear doggy,

 

Please check your standard specification for microbiology parameters in your industry first, then you have to validate results after ATP swabs in outsource accredited microbiology lab.

 

Based on results you will have clear plan for risk assessment and duration of swabs.

 

Ahmed



#10 mgourley

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:05 AM

The BRC Standard has no frequency requirements. It simply says that ATP is one of the ways that you can/should define acceptable levels of cleaning.

 

The following is my opinion, based upon the fact that I also work at a "low risk" bakery:

 

Daily ATP swabbing is a waste of time and money. You already have sufficient data that shows that your cleaning procedures are effective.

(the only caveat would be those areas that sometimes fail. Take a look at those. If they are pre-bake, they are less risk).

 

Assuming that you are not operating to a Standard or customer requirement, there is no reason for you to not reduce the frequency or quantity of your swabbing, as long as you have other means in place to verify the cleanliness of your equipment.

 

I personally would do away with ATP swabbing of non-food contact surfaces altogether. You say you already to micro testing. That should be sufficient.

 

Here is a real quick risk assessment. Take it for what it's worth.

 

Marshall

 

Attached Files



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#11 Charles.C

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 04:35 PM

Hi Marshall,

 

The risk assessment looks like a well-tested "verification" procedure. :smile:

 

I presume a low risk bakery is only working with ambient stable/stored produce / "non-risky" filling/ingredients ? (eg not peanut-sprinkled biscuits perhaps ?) OR raw items to be subsequently baked by the "consumer".

This seems to me to potentially offer a range of risk potentials if both run in parallel although maybe the OP's self-bestowed LR classification makes a distinction (somehow).

 

I was unclear if additional micro-testing is carried out on the product.

 

IMEX of private/non-private FS systems, the typical things auditors scan for with respect to the offered cleaning procedure is where/how/how often. The additional "why how often" may or may not be pursued depending on the degree of nosiness (think BRC).  If required, it seems to me that the validation would  define an  initial, minimal,  ATP monitoring frequency whose subsequent frequency of implementation would depend on the results/criteria for cleanliness. If "why" not required, the options become more flexible.

 

Some knowledge of the Product/Process/FS Standard/data would be helpful.

 

.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#12 mgourley

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 05:55 PM

Charles,

 

In my case, it is truly a low risk bakery with common allergens/packaging labeling that informs of other allergens in use in the facility.

My response to the OP was predicated on the assumption that the OP was in the same situation. A little later in the thread it was stated that they do finished product testing.

 

I do ATP testing because some auditors think it's a good idea, not because it is required by standard or customer (it's not).

For the equipment/surfaces/products/processes that I deal with, organoleptic methods are quite sufficient.

 

Marshall



#13 Charles.C

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 06:23 PM

Hi Marshall,

 

I don't quite get what you mean by a truly low risk bakery "head-scratching". From a haccp POV perhaps ?

 

I have personally never used ATP but it's easier to avoid if you have access to an in-house micro.lab and don't require instantaneous measurements.

 

 

Let's hope that Doggy supplies some more bones.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#14 mgourley

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:51 PM

Low risk according to the decision tree in BRC issue 7.

I know it might be heresy to germophobes or people that do not work in a baking facility like mine, but I can "tell" if something was cleaned effectively just by looking at it.

 

Marshall



#15 Charles.C

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:30 PM

Low risk according to the decision tree in BRC issue 7.

I know it might be heresy to germophobes or people that do not work in a baking facility like mine, but I can "tell" if something was cleaned effectively just by looking at it.

 

Marshall

 

Hi Marshall,

 

Thanks for the clarity.

 

In fact i think BRC are attempting to interpret the zones in a "HACCP sort of way" as compared to categorizing based on characteristics such as PHF, TCS, RTE. It  seems to work reasonably well  for simple situations but the nuances  between, for example, high risk/high care are a bit contrived IMO.

 

Is yr finished product commercialised as chilled/frozen, ambient, both ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#16 mgourley

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:45 PM

Ambient. Cookies, buns/rolls.

 

Marshall






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