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Controlling cross contamination risks of people and equipment

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StevieP

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:40 AM

Hi everyone, I’m after some help on a potential new process we have in our factory.

 

We currently make low risk ambient flapjacks, brownie, cookies. And we have undertook validation to prove that the oven isn’t a CCP, based of Aw, pH and micro criteria. So comfortable here.

 

However, We are looking to make a chocolate and raspberry coated marshmallow on a stick for a customer. The product remains unbaked. The first part of the process runs along side the ‘raw’ manufacturing flapjack process (pre bake). And so, I’m just trying to understand if I’ve accessed all risks:

 

Even at  raw stage the likely impact of cross contamination of flapjack to marshmallow still seems low, based on the intrinsic properties of the raw ingredients. So from an ingredient risk, I don’t really see a major problem.

For me, the more significant risk comes from people e.g. cross contamination, using dirty utensils, dirty processing aids, dirty environment between the two products. So for me, its controlling the equipment and people element.

 

What do you think? I’d welcome any comments.



Charles.C

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:30 AM

Hi everyone, I’m after some help on a potential new process we have in our factory.

 

We currently make low risk ambient flapjacks, brownie, cookies. And we have undertook validation to prove that the oven isn’t a CCP, based of Aw, pH and micro criteria. So comfortable here.

 

However, We are looking to make a chocolate and raspberry coated marshmallow on a stick for a customer. The product remains unbaked. The first part of the process runs along side the ‘raw’ manufacturing flapjack process (pre bake). And so, I’m just trying to understand if I’ve accessed all risks:

 

Even at  raw stage the likely impact of cross contamination of flapjack to marshmallow still seems low, based on the intrinsic properties of the raw ingredients. So from an ingredient risk, I don’t really see a major problem.

For me, the more significant risk comes from people e.g. cross contamination, using dirty utensils, dirty processing aids, dirty environment between the two products. So for me, its controlling the equipment and people element.

 

What do you think? I’d welcome any comments.

 

Hi Stevie,

 

I'm confused about the process.

 

Do you mean the (raw)  finished product is baked by customer ? Or the flavours are added to a baked product which is RTE ? Or ?

 

PS - I'm almost scared to ask what an ambient flapjack is. Hopefully not similar to the previously notorious "ambient hotdog" :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


StevieP

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:40 AM

Hi Charles,

The marshmallow wont be baked due to the nature of the product. further in the process it is blast chilled for operational reasons and not food safe of quality and then put on sticks, put, flow-wrapped and despatched as ambient.

 

The Brownie, Flapjack, Cookie etc are all baked as part of our process. Our validation has proven they don't support pathogen growth post bake. My concern is the initial part of the marshmallow process will be running a long side with the unbaked process of flapjack. So my question is, is there a risk of the unbaked flapjack process cross contaminating with the marshmallow process (which will be never baked).

 

In my head, this feels more of a people and process issue more than anything else. The ingredients in a flapjack are generally low risk ingredients e.g. oats, syrups, margarine, and so, I don't see how a raw flapjack mix would support pathogen growth anyway.



Charles.C

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:38 AM

Hi Charles,

The marshmallow wont be baked due to the nature of the product. further in the process it is blast chilled for operational reasons and not food safe of quality and then put on sticks, put, flow-wrapped and despatched as ambient.

 

The Brownie, Flapjack, Cookie etc are all baked as part of our process. Our validation has proven they don't support pathogen growth post bake. My concern is the initial part of the marshmallow process will be running a long side with the unbaked process of flapjack. So my question is, is there a risk of the unbaked flapjack process cross contaminating with the marshmallow process (which will be never baked).

 

In my head, this feels more of a people and process issue more than anything else. The ingredients in a flapjack are generally low risk ingredients e.g. oats, syrups, margarine, and so, I don't see how a raw flapjack mix would support pathogen growth anyway.

 

OK thanks.

 

Not my area but, as you say, Marshmallow/Confectionary is traditionally considered lowish risk, eg  -

 

Attached File  marshmallow.PNG   50.22KB   1 downloads

Attached File  priority 3.PNG   35.39KB   1 downloads

 

Presumably the likelihood of ingredient x-contamination depends on operational closeness of "along-side". The consequences of  contamination, as you say, will depend on the composition of the flapjack mix, In this respect I will attempt (lacking specific product knowledge) to answer yr query with another one -

 

It is generally regarded as "dangerous" to eat raw cookie dough due to Salmonella/E.coli potentials from (a) eggs, (b) flour, eg -

https://www.huffingt...384767664525181

 

How about raw flapjack (= pancake?) mix ? Is there any history of analogous caveats ?

 

hygienic-type risks are hopefully solved by GMP ?.

 

PS - I also forgot to query whether there is any allergenic consequence(s) from possible x-contamination ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


StevieP

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:31 PM

Hi Charles, thanks for the comments on this. I think I've got a plan in my head. For me, its all about the people side of things, and the potential risk of cross contamination e.g. using dirty equipment and using the wrong equipment etc.

 

The raw products for flapjack wouldn't support the growth either pre-bake. It was more, could the intrinsic properties of mallow control the growth and development of pathogens. I would suggest, due to Aw and pH, the answer is probually yes.



3560lynne

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:13 PM

not my area but based on what you said re mallow, you are relying on your sanitation program and employee practices/hygiene program during processing to keep the mallow and food ingredients added to it safe - unless there are any allergens to consider in either run of product, if the oats in the flapjacks are a gluten allergen, then the addition of color coding utensils and bins, etc for allergen control is a thought. 



Charles.C

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:20 PM

Hi Stevie,

 

"Contamination" does not necessarily require "growth", only survival. IIRC this was the problem in the Peanut Butter disaster.


Edited by Charles.C, 12 January 2019 - 02:07 PM.
amended

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C




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