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EMP (zone 1 indicators testing)

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jofrance67

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:27 AM

Hi,

 

Can someone tell me why in zone 1 of a environmental monitoring program it is recommend not to test for the pathogen but for indicators. And what is exacltly an indicator (for exemple for salmonella or listeria) ?

 

Thank you,

 

Joana



jdpaul

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:44 AM

An indicator for these would testing total coliforms, fecal coliforms, etc. 

 

MOX agar testing can give possible indicator for Listeria

 

Zone 1 is food contact surface so you shouldn't be testing for pathogens but the potential indicators. Testing of the pathogens on other zones can be used to determine if zone 1 is possibly contaminated



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jdpaul

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:46 AM

Also, as mentioned by other members, testing of zone 1 shouldn't be necessary as the sanitation program should be focusing well on these areas.

 

Other testing you can perform on zone 1 would include APC and ATP testing



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Tony-C

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 12:02 PM

Hi jofrance67

 

:welcome: 

 
The most commonly used indicator organism tests in the food industry are TVC, Y&M, Enterobacteriaceae, Coliforms and general Listeria species. Also ATP swabs are used to verify cleaning.
 
For food contact surfaces I would include these and period pathogen sampling for verification purposes.
 
The surrounding areas should also be monitored (maybe more frequently) with the theory that you prevent contamination before it reaches the food contact surfaces and contaminate the product.
 
Kind regards,
 
Tony

 



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Charles.C

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 12:52 PM

Hi,

 

Can someone tell me why in zone 1 of a environmental monitoring program it is recommend not to test for the pathogen but for indicators. And what is exacltly an indicator (for exemple for salmonella or listeria) ?

 

Thank you,

 

Joana

 

Hi Joana,

 

The following reasons explain some of the advantages of using indicator organisms in an EMP:

1.They are less expensive and save time compared to pathogens.

2.  Low prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms limits the practical significance of direct pathogen testing.

3. Indicator microorganisms are high in numbers and can be easily enumerated.

4. Indicator microorganisms are a valid representative of pathogens of concern since indicators use nearly the same pH, nutrients, temperature, water, etc. as that of pathogens.

5.  They are non-pathogenic, so there is not a need for sophisticated containment facilities/labs (e.g., Bio Safety Level-2) for sample analysis.

 

(AIB)

I disagree with No.4 above.  Afaik there are no consistently correlatable indicators for Salmonella or L.monocytogenes.

 

The reason why pathogen testing is not usually done in Zone 1 is somewhat “political” - if tested, the product made on that line must be held until testing results are available.

If zone 1 tests positive for a pathogen, then the product made on that line must be held until further confirmative test results are available, and it will most likely initiate a recall situation. Therefore, it is important to have a predetermined action plan that would be implemented in case of a  Salmonella (or any pathogen) positive zone 1. The response team and appropriate management should make a careful decision on disposition of finished product, which is put on hold as a result of zone 1 positive. If possible, the product should be reworked or condemned according to all legal and regulatory procedures.

 

(AIB)


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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