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Towels for cleaning, Color Coding, ATP Testing of rinse water


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#1 Bakerkid

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 08:42 PM

Hello,  A question about towels for cleaning in a bakery.  None of the equipment is wash down.  Everything is scrubbed by hand.  Rinsed,  then Sanitized.  Should towels be color coded so that they are only used on one zone of the equipment. Right now,  the same type of towels are used for wash and rinse.  They could be used on a food contact surface,  washed then the next use could be on the outside of a piece of production equipment.The towels are "huck type" and are used once and then washed.  I am just starting ATP testing and was taking readings of the rinse water.  I measured out some rinse water before putting a towel in it.  It was 0000.  I checked the rinse water after putting a new towel in the water and had a RLU of 56 before the towel had ever been used, washed or touched any equipment.  Tomorrow I plan to do some testing of the towels that have been laundered to see what the readings are and to validate that the towels are clean before use.  I would be interested in hearing what others in the baking industry are using to wipe down and clean their equipment.

 

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#2 Steve Rogers

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:30 AM

A lot depends on what your microbiological risks are (does everything get baked or are there any items that are used for unbaked materials?).  If different colours of towels are an option then obviously I would go for a different colour for the outsides to separate food contact and non-food contact cleaning but you need to assess what the risks are of contaminating the towels with undesirable materials (eg dirt from the floor).

 

only where your cleaning of the outside is likely to pick up dirt or floor debris that you don't want to cross contaminate the food contact parts with. Whilst you might not want to be achieving the same level of microbiological cleanliness out the outside 

 

Regarding the ATP testing, don't be fooled into thinking that you have to achieve at ATP reading of 0000 for it to be 'clean'.  ATP is a measure of protein level so I would expect pure water to be very low.  What you need to do is identify a benchmark ATP level above which you know the equipment would be classed as 'unclean'.  I would use microbiological swabbing combined with ATP swabbing.  Start off giving a surface a 'poor' clean such as just wiping it down with a wet cloth so it looks visually clean.  See what ATP readings you get from that (this gives you a known 'what bad looks like' reading.  Then give that surface a good clean with detergent and rinsing, micro swab it and ATP swab it (do not do this after sanitising as this will only give you a clear micro swab whilst ATP might still be high).  Assuming your micro swab is clear then this will give you your 'acceptable' ATP limits.  You can then set an ATP surface swab (or rinse water sample) spec.

 

ATP testing of rinsed 'laundered' towels will give you an indication of what typical levels you will get with clean towels so you know that you will never get less than that on your rinse water testing but be practical.  You may find you only get a rinse swab in the region of 56 after multiple rinses, the last of which will presumably represent clean water on and clean water off.

 

 



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#3 Peaches

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:51 AM

In our bakery, we had different colored towels for the different zones (i.e. white was food contact, blue was zone 2 and zone 3).  We had our towels sent out to a cleaning company that had a documented cleaning program and kept the towels separate.  We also used ATP to validate that the towels came in clean, by a process similar to what steverogers described.  Do you have any allergen clean ups?  Might want to consider a different color altogether if you do or validate with allergen swabs.  



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#4 Snookie

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 02:53 PM

 

 

Regarding the ATP testing, don't be fooled into thinking that you have to achieve at ATP reading of 0000 for it to be 'clean'.  ATP is a measure of protein level so I would expect pure water to be very low.  

 

Slight correction.  ATP is a measure of cells.  ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate which is the fuel of the mitochondria in a cell.  Therefore a positive ATP reading tells you have cells, it can't differentiate between bacteria, plant, mammalian or fungi cells (just to name a few) it can only tell you have cells present.  It is up to you what you do about those readings. 


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#5 Steve Rogers

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 06:25 PM

Slight correction.  ATP is a measure of cells.  ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate which is the fuel of the mitochondria in a cell.  Therefore a positive ATP reading tells you have cells, it can't differentiate between bacteria, plant, mammalian or fungi cells (just to name a few) it can only tell you have cells present.  It is up to you what you do about those readings. 

Thanks for the clarification Snookie.  Yes, I think I meant the cell bit rather than proteins but you all know hopefully what I mean now.



#6 Snookie

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for the clarification Snookie.  Yes, I think I meant the cell bit rather than proteins but you all know hopefully what I mean now.

 

No worries, but did want to clarify in case some did not know difference.  


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#7 Bakerkid

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:05 PM

  In order to get started using ATP I am validating the towels before using them for washing or rinsing.  So I did some testing on the cleaning towels after they were washed and dried.   Changing the type of soap that is used in the washing machine made a difference on the readings that I am getting.  I'm not sure if this is due to a residue being left on the towels after the wash.  It may be that someone was overloading the washer or adding too much soap?  Gone are the days of "if it looks clean, it must be clean".  Still a work in progress but things are moving in the right direction.



#8 Snookie

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:49 PM

Try Spursgirl approach this.  I think ATP is going to rough road for this purpose. 

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...eting-sqf-code/


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