Hi everybody. I recently spoke with a QA tech from another company and he told me about a process that they have implemented that I was wondering if you all had any experience with. He worked at a coffee plant and when changing from caffeinated to decaffeinated coffee, they found that they could purge a couple hundred pounds of product through the processing equipment and then throw that product away. He said when they swabbed and got analysis done on those swabs, the purging cleaned off all of (or at least enough to be legal) the caffeine from the equipment so that they could then run decaffeinated product and be good. By purging those couple hundred pounds, they saved a lot of money in time and labor.
So. My question is if this could apply to allergen cleaning. I'm at a cookie dough manufacturing company and our two allergens we have to control are peanuts and tree nuts. Typically, we can create our schedule so that we only run allergen containing products at the end of the day, but every now and then, someone will have a last minute order change and we have to throw a batch in the middle of the day. This requires a deep clean of all involved equipment followed by allergen swabbing before the line can be started back up.
I'm assuming that allergen proteins and caffeine are two different animals, but I was curious if this same purging concept might work for an allergen wash.
If there's a chance it could work, I'll try the concept. Run my allergen product, run a short purge, swab everything to send those swabs off to a 3rd party lab, clean like normal and go from there. I'll make sure it works before implementing. But looking for any feedback!