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Environmental Monitoring and Floor Drains

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#1 kathleen essa

kathleen essa

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 08:07 PM


Could anyone please tell me if swabbing floor drains in zones 3-4 is sufficient for  an environmental monitoring program?  This is our first time doing any swabbing and we have been advised not to do any equipment in food production areas for this type of testing. 

#2 Watanka


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Posted 16 May 2016 - 09:56 PM

Hi Kathleen,


Hard to say if that is sufficient without knowing a lot more about your facility and product line, or precisely what it is you are swabbing for.  Listeria swabbing is good for pretty much everywhere.  Allergen swabbing needs to be product-specific and has cross-contamination issues so selecting the correct area to swab and the right swab to use becomes more important.  Floor drains certainly fall within the Zone definitions used by FDA for swabbing protocols.  Follow this link to see more about FDA zones and swabbing: http://www.afdo.org/...6190900Zink.pdf


We use several swabs taken at varying points, including floor drains, but not in the same place each time.  Be sure to accurately and completely record the identifying information concerning each place you swab so you can follow up on each spot that demonstrates an issue.  Good luck!

#3 HochderfferT


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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:10 PM

Watanka pretty much nailed it there, I haven't looked at the resource link on their reply, but without more information it's hard to say what would and would not be good for your operation, I would however second that listeria swabbing is good for pretty much everywhere, especially with more recent times in mind there have been a raising number of recalls in products or processes that had risk levels so low that people thought it was impossible, this "impossible until it happens" mindset is a dangerous one to have in an industry where a pathogenic recall could mean jail time for employees (depending on your applicable laws/position/reaction to issue) but it's especially important to check for this if you have a wet cleaning process as this has the potential to create great harborage points for listeria. it can also be good to look into any micros associated with your product (or environment if applicable) and be sure to include those in your program, another thing that I see left out often or just in a lacking form is increased monitoring for risk introducing factors, this could be any number of things but think of a level of microbial risk, if a roof is leaking down a wall, you might want to swab the wall for listeria and/or salmonella from the water potentially sitting on the roof or any "avian projectiles" that may be sitting on the hole where your leak originated, this might not necessarily implicate the surrounding equipment immediately but if left unchecked could pose a serious risk or harborage point for micros within your facility.

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