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environmental mointering pathogens microbial SQF

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Probiotics10215

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:40 PM

I work for a very small probiotic manufacturing facility.  We do probiotic's for human consumption and for animal consumption.  I am developing a EMP and running into some issues.  First after i have zoned out the facility, do i swab the same areas each time or rotate?  For example do i swab the same food contact area each time and have a set place to swab or do I rotate food contact surfaces?  Next as we grow bacteria as a product, pathogens are a big concern.  We have an in house micro lab, so i would like to test here, with a kit and not actually grow pathogens. Are there good, cheaper kits or would I be better off sending them out to a third party lab?  Finally, how extensive would SQF be with regards to environmental monitoring? How many months of data would i need?



Charles.C

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 03:20 PM

Hi Probiotic,

 

Which pathogen(s) are you swabbing for ?

 

afaik, most(all?) test kits will also usually require some growth of pathogens.

 

EMP swabbing usually requires a sampling plan which rotates between zones/sampling locations at an appropriate frequency. It is logical to prioritize zones/zone locations which are considered at most risk for harbouring the target pathogen.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


SQFconsultant

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:15 AM

Minimum 3 month look back is what we see with SQF auditors. We also see a movement away from in house labs to sending out to accrediated outside labs.

Glenn Oster
www.glennosterconsulting.com


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Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
Internal Auditor Training - eConsultant - Pre & Post SQF-GAP Audits - Consultant Training
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Charles.C

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:51 AM

Hi Glenn,

 

3 months seems highly infrequent. Surely it depends on the target/zone/RA also ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Probiotics10215

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 03:02 PM

We are looking to test the big three, salmonella, e.coli and listeria. I just was thinking of bringing it in house as we already have some of the equipment, and resources to do in house.  I was looking at monthly for high risk areas, but quarterly for the rest of the buildings.  But i need at least 3 months worth of data to show to an SQF auditor, correct?



Ryan M.

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 10:09 PM

I would assess it by the risk in your process.  For example, is your process and environment typically wet or dry?  If wet, then you'll want to look at listeria more closely than salmonella.  If dry, then focus more on salmonella than listeria.

 

E.coli is dependent on your process and the materials you are handling.  Are the probiotics raw materials coming from animal origin or plant origin?  Do you get any confirmation from suppliers on pathogen testing or absence of pathogens with COA's?

 

Since you are developing a new plan I would suggest widespread sampling in all Zone 2, 3, and 4 areas for the pathogens that are a risk in your process.  Do not do Zone 1 pathogen swabbing/testing, but rather do indicator organisms such as coliform, or even APC.  The widespread plan should be used over 3 months at least to determine where your "hot spots" are located and if there are any trends.  From this, you can develop a plan that rotates various areas and zones based on the risk level.



idealdreams

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:13 PM

We test for Salmonella and Listeria in our facility on a monthly basis and use an accredited outside laboratory to analyze the swabs we send from our facility. We do not swab food contact surfaces, only our floors. We have designated 9 swab locations and of those 9, the same 4 are swabbed every month, with rotation between the remaining three.

 

The swab locations were selected based on a risk assessment and how likely contamination is to occur at those locations.

 

Charles, I think Glenn was suggesting that auditors like to see records going at least three months back, not swabbing occurring every three months. Correct me if I'm wrong, Glenn.



ChetBidessi

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:56 PM

Hi Glenn,

 

3 months seems highly infrequent. Surely it depends on the target/zone/RA also ?

Hi Charles,

I think Glenn was answering the question : How many months of data is needed for the SQF audit.

 

Hi Glenn,

 

3 months seems highly infrequent. Surely it depends on the target/zone/RA also ?



SQFconsultant

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 09:08 AM

Hi Glenn,

3 months seems highly infrequent. Surely it depends on the target/zone/RA also ?


It is not the interval, the question was... was 3 months the minimum look back for auditors and the answer (having been an auditor) was yes. It does however seem inappropriate for an established comoant to only now start testing for what should have been all along.

We've got companies that test for the biggies every day and weekly. There is just too much at stake.

Glenn Oster


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Ryan M.

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:41 PM

Keep in mind you also want to use a "seek" mentality when it comes to swabbing.  Every month we have some samples that are the same, but we also employ a seek method where we inspect the facility for areas that may be harborage points for listeria or salmonella and we swab those areas.  On top of pathogen swabbing, we swab those areas for indicators such as APC, coliform, and Y&M.  While we have very few hits on pathogens we are finding some niche areas where the indicator organisms thrive.  When this happens, we alert production/sanitation to clean and sanitize the area and reswab.  Then that same location stays on our swab list until it is clear or within target range (indicators) for 3 months.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: environmental mointering, pathogens, microbial, SQF

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