I am researching the potential of carrying out onsite testing at our factory. We produce a low moisture biscuit. The tests we carry out so far include:
-Aerobic, Anaerobic and Entero surface and hand swabs
-Aerobic, anaerobic, entero, coliform testing on hand washing water
-Aerobic, anaerobic, entero and Yeast & Mould for food products
I would just like to hear thoughts on what we do test or feedback on what we should test?
Seems to me yr question is asking 2 things - (a) the benefit of onsite lab testing within the overall evaluation of (i) the product, (ii) the process and (iii) the environment, (b) which specific items are usefully onsite lab tested for the topics (i-iii).
(a) is discussed here in various places, particularly with respect to pros/cons of faster feedback time, accuracy, safety, personnel/equipment requirements, cost. IMEX many proposals to initiate are related to either "complaints" or "cost". i agree with 3F that if you have a relatively simple product specification, low risk process, low required test frequency, good sanitation, few customer complaints, cost justification is limited.
(b) lab requirements are typically driven by quality /safety issues generated by (i-iii), eg via Product Specification, Sanitation. Some measurements are relatively generic, some will be specific. Combination >> Company Quality Assurance function.
Micro testing facilities IMEX are easily the most demanding regarding setting-up/sample handling/validation/safety/cost/personnel aspects. And particularly if any zero tolerant pathogens like salmonella are involved.
Not exactly a small-scoped question.
As to what to test, the basic answers IMO should be available via yr Company QA Manual / Company HACCP System.
Do you already have these fundamental Items ?
PS - yr current micro. evaluation menu may be criticised due absence of any specific pathogen testing.