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Cleaning Frequency of Apple Packing Facility

Apple Cleaning Sanitation SSOP Frequency

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#1 Tbaker13

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 02:50 PM

Hi, I am the Food Safety and Quality Assurance Supervisor in an Apple Packing Facility and was curious to see what kind of cleaning schedules and what not everyone uses and is effective. We pack fresh apples and they go through a chlorine flume with an ORP at the beginning of the process. Our current cleaning schedule is weekly per line but I am not sure that is good enough for mitigating microbes and other food safety challenges. Apples are a low-risk product but I still wanted your opinions and thoughts! Thanks.



#2 Scampi

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 04:01 PM

While it can be very challenging during the peak of harvest (we have 2 crazy seasons so I understand) I would agree that once/week simply isn't sufficient

 

Because the apple totes get placed directly on the ground in the orchard (please correct me if i'm wrong) they can bring in alot of things you don't want in your packhouse

 

At the very least, the food contact areas and the receiving bay needs to be done daily (IMO)


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#3 Tbaker13

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 09:44 PM

Yes, most totes are placed directly on the ground. The apples are then transferred onto the packing line via chlorinated water with an ORP system. If the ORP system acts as it should and keeps the water's pH and mV between the setpoints then it should be killing all organisms in the water.



#4 Scampi

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 01:28 PM

Yes, but what about the rest of the facility? Particularly post wash handling?  


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#5 Tbaker13

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 01:40 PM

Can you elaborate? Not sure I follow. After wash, there is a wax applied as a coating to the fruit to extend shelf life but after that the rest of the process is dry, reducing the risk of contamination and proliferation of organisms. Its been identified that the wet areas are more suspect and prone to contamination than the dry.



#6 Scampi

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:05 PM

To elaborate, you've got a section that could recontaminate the fruit. After the fruit exits the chilling/washing what do they touch before the wax is applied, and what about the unit used to hold/apply the wax?  This are the areas where re contamination could occur undoing the chlorinated washes function


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#7 Tbaker13

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:12 PM

Ah I see, they go through a short series of fans on rollers which probably need to be washed daily imo and then the wax is applied, and the apples travel through a heated dryer room (~105 F) to seal the wax and prevent runoff



#8 Scampi

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:33 PM

YES! That is the perfect location for pathogens to thrive.  See link below to a recall of whole fresh apples due to listeria

 

https://www.foodsafe...ichigan-grower/


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