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Bloating in a few products

ATP APC Yeast Mold Lactic Acid

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#1 Marshenko

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:06 PM

We are having an issue with some random packages bloating.  The odd thing is that they are all going to the same customer - we do batches of hummus for ourselves and all of our customers at once.

 

So, other than doing ATP, APC, Yeast/Mold swabs on the cups, film, hopper and filler, ensuring sanitation is alright, and sending out samples of finished product to get tested for APC and Lactic Acid bacteria, what else should I be looking at/for?  Could the transport company be an issue - should I send data loggers with the product going to this customer?  Could the cups or film really be contaminated; we keep them bagged after they are received, and the bag is only disturbed when cups and lids are removed.  Could it be employee practices?

 

Product is hummus.  Any help is most appreciated.



#2 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:18 PM

So is any of the packaging unique to the customer? Otherwise if everything else is the same it definitely sounds like transport is the issue and you should send either irreversible temperature indicator strips or a datalogger with your next shipment.

 

Teletemp has some great strip options if you want to implement this ongoing for cheap. I use them and have been impressed with the quality.


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#3 Rener De Jesus

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:32 PM

The test parameters are fine.

 

But I suggest you should also checked YM from the finished products. Identify them, if possible (it really helps if you know what type of bacterial/fungal species you've isolated from your products). 

 

you can evaluate your raw materials and utensils used. employee hygiene could be a contributor as well. 

 

send temp. loggers

 

if your cups and films are properly stored and dry, not be possible source.

 

your hummus products have preservatives?



#4 Marshenko

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:39 PM

So, I did a couple of ATP (Hygiena Ultrasnap) swabs, and here were the results:

 

Cup (after employee handled to label) - 0

Lid (after employee handled to label)  - 0

White bucket (used to hold product in temp controlled room until packaging) - 1

FILM - 18 ... which concerns me.

 

I think temp loggers are a fantastic idea.

 

I will send some finished product out to test for APC, Y/M and lactic acid bacteria.



#5 Marshenko

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:40 PM

Which Telatemp product should I be looking at?



#6 Marshenko

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:30 PM

A couple more film swabs came out at:

 

30

151

0



#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 01:37 PM

Seems like you may have some dirty film, but I'd be curious how the actual culturable micro looks vs potentially dust containing atp.

 

The warmmark strips could help you determine if the products are staying at proper temperatures, and if they exceed them for how long for only about $1 a piece. I use them on my cold brew coffee kegs to make sure that they weren't temp abused before getting to the customer.


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#8 Marshenko

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:44 PM

Yeah, I've got a couple products coming back from a store today that are bloated - they are going to our local lab to test for APC, lactic, yeast/mold.  Worst part is the are our original hummus - we were having problems with the ones that included veg (spinach and artichoke was the big culprit).  

 

I have access to an incubator here, I think I am gonna bring in some petrifilm and test daily while we try and figure everything out.



#9 Scampi

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:50 PM

Marshenko

 

Did this problem start recently?  Has the weather changed substantially?  If your running HVAC in production, the issue may lie there....just a thought


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#10 Marshenko

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 06:01 PM

That's funny - I did just pose the question as to when they had done air quality testing (I am new here) and all I got was a strange look.  I may be looking to do that as well.

 

It is Phoenix, AZ... it is 100+ every day for about 5 months straight outside.  We work in a refrigerated environment, however.

 

I guess it has been going on since before I arrived (end of June).

 

Marshenko

 

Did this problem start recently?  Has the weather changed substantially?  If your running HVAC in production, the issue may lie there....just a thought



#11 Scampi

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 06:06 PM

I would suggest then that it's the HVAC and not anything else, particularly where the produce is stored. So even though you are in a generally quite dry area, the units are pulling all the moisture from the veg and it has to go somewhere......when was the last time units were cleaned?

 

We just had to bin alot of our product as mold had formed on the produce in the cooler, if the produce is the least bit damp, and doesn't get used ASAP, it doesn't take long for yeast/mold to develop. Coolers also don't usually have great air circulation either

 

I have purchased an air sampling kit at my former post..kit plus analysis was about $700 CND, do not cheap but it worked great for my purposes. I would love to tell you who's kit it was, but I cannot remember


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#12 Marshenko

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 06:11 PM

I appreciate your thoughts.  Our local micro testing concern has air kits that I can buy from them, and perhaps I'll send some raw ingredients out for yeast/mold when I send this finished product over to get tested.



#13 foodguy63

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 03:27 PM

Marshenko, have you figured out what the culprit was?

 

Once the product is sealed, does it create an oxygen-free environment? Meaning the film and bowl you are using are oxygen-impermeable. If true, that could help limit the potential organism to either a facultative anaerobe (an organism that grows with or without oxygen) or an anaerobe (an organism that grows without oxygen). There are always exceptions to the rules, but that could potentially help narrow down the suspect list!







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