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Appropriate Environmental Testing Methods for a Flour Mill?

environmental monitoring swab testing pathogens dry clean facility flour mill grains flour environmental testing testing procedures

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#1 StoneMill

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:55 PM

Hello and thank you all for your help so far. Great resource here. Really appreciate the support you have shared so far.

 

I work in a flour mill. To date the mill has never implemented an Environmental Monitoring Program. I have little training and experience so I am really trying to piece this together as accurately as I can.

 

Overview:

  • Dry clean only facility: Cleaning and sanitation program in place.
  • GMP: Employee hygiene program (agreement) in place.
  • Allergen Program: Primarily wheat products, segregating allergens/non in storage however all products share facility and equipment. Allergen warning on ALL products (Wheat in name or "Packaged In"...OR..."Processed on shared Equipment").
  • Kill Step required when using our product by customer due to (possible?) inherent pathogens.

Piecing a program together: Since we deal with grain in which pathogens are inherent (kill step passed to customer) I am under the belief that I would need to develop a program that would monitor and prevent the introduction of more or new pathogens to our products while stored/processed at our facility. I am not certain how this will look as a document but I think I can piece it together. Just not sure if my approach is accurate.

 

Testing: I need to zone facility and test for possible areas of pathogen introduction- Receiving, storage, equipment?, and employees? This is where I begin to get lost. I believe I would ant to test for Salmonella and E. Coli are there any other suggestions?

 

Finally, what type of testing: Is it possible for me to solely use In-House testing (without sending to lab) and if so, are there any recommendations for test kits.

 

As you can see I am primarily concerned with pathogens although I would like to test our equipment for allergens post cleaning just for our records. Any help is greatly welcome.

 

Thank you,

 

KWP



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 10:52 AM

Hello and thank you all for your help so far. Great resource here. Really appreciate the support you have shared so far.

 

I work in a flour mill. To date the mill has never implemented an Environmental Monitoring Program. I have little training and experience so I am really trying to piece this together as accurately as I can.

 

Overview:

  • Dry clean only facility: Cleaning and sanitation program in place.
  • GMP: Employee hygiene program (agreement) in place.
  • Allergen Program: Primarily wheat products, segregating allergens/non in storage however all products share facility and equipment. Allergen warning on ALL products (Wheat in name or "Packaged In"...OR..."Processed on shared Equipment").
  • Kill Step required when using our product by customer due to (possible?) inherent pathogens.

Piecing a program together: Since we deal with grain in which pathogens are inherent (kill step passed to customer) I am under the belief that I would need to develop a program that would monitor and prevent the introduction of more or new pathogens to our products while stored/processed at our facility. I am not certain how this will look as a document but I think I can piece it together. Just not sure if my approach is accurate.

 

Testing: I need to zone facility and test for possible areas of pathogen introduction- Receiving, storage, equipment?, and employees? This is where I begin to get lost. I believe I would ant to test for Salmonella and E. Coli are there any other suggestions?

 

Finally, what type of testing: Is it possible for me to solely use In-House testing (without sending to lab) and if so, are there any recommendations for test kits.

 

As you can see I am primarily concerned with pathogens although I would like to test our equipment for allergens post cleaning just for our records. Any help is greatly welcome.

 

Thank you,

 

KWP

 

Hi StoneMill,

 

Nice to hear from you.

 

Is this for a particular FS Standard ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#3 StoneMill

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 02:37 PM

Charles.C,

 

Thanks for responding. In regards to a FS standard our mill is simply trying to pass an AIB, GMP audit and currently operating with a HACCP standard? Again much of this is new to me. I get the feeling I am trying to create new policies and programs while also bring the mill up-to-date and/or into an appropriate standard. The more I figure this out the more I see gaps. Exciting and frightening at the same time.

 

Thank you,

 

KWP



#4 Scampi

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 03:06 PM

I like Neogen test kits for allergens, you can do them in house. Have not used wheat, but have used egg and mustard. Easy to use and relatively inexpensive.

 

Please DO NOT assume/think that because the kill step resides with the customer that it is ok to receive product that contains e coli or salmonella, it is not. Your acceptable limit for e coli should be as close to 0 CFU as you can get it

 

http://www.foodquali...i-o121-flour/2/     This article may be of assistance

 

I wouldn't test for either generic ecoli or salmonella in house until you've got enough data to warrant it. Remember, as soon as you start incubating pathogens, you must have an onsite way to destroy them so the plant does not accidentally become a cess pool


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#5 McForman

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 05:40 PM

Hello and thank you all for your help so far. Great resource here. Really appreciate the support you have shared so far.

 

I work in a flour mill. To date the mill has never implemented an Environmental Monitoring Program. I have little training and experience so I am really trying to piece this together as accurately as I can.

 

Overview:

  • Dry clean only facility: Cleaning and sanitation program in place.
  • GMP: Employee hygiene program (agreement) in place.
  • Allergen Program: Primarily wheat products, segregating allergens/non in storage however all products share facility and equipment. Allergen warning on ALL products (Wheat in name or "Packaged In"...OR..."Processed on shared Equipment").
  • Kill Step required when using our product by customer due to (possible?) inherent pathogens.

Piecing a program together: Since we deal with grain in which pathogens are inherent (kill step passed to customer) I am under the belief that I would need to develop a program that would monitor and prevent the introduction of more or new pathogens to our products while stored/processed at our facility. I am not certain how this will look as a document but I think I can piece it together. Just not sure if my approach is accurate.

 

Testing: I need to zone facility and test for possible areas of pathogen introduction- Receiving, storage, equipment?, and employees? This is where I begin to get lost. I believe I would ant to test for Salmonella and E. Coli are there any other suggestions?

 

Finally, what type of testing: Is it possible for me to solely use In-House testing (without sending to lab) and if so, are there any recommendations for test kits.

 

As you can see I am primarily concerned with pathogens although I would like to test our equipment for allergens post cleaning just for our records. Any help is greatly welcome.

 

Thank you,

 

KWP

What did you come up with for Corrective Actions if the counts are to high, I am also a dry clean plant so its not like we can spray sanitizes down?

Best Regards,







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: environmental monitoring, swab testing, pathogens, dry clean facility, flour mill, grains, flour, environmental testing, testing procedures

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