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Enviromental Swabbing of a low risk bakery line


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#1 StevieP

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 02:12 PM

Good afternoon everyone,

I’m after a bit of help designing a environmental swab plan for a low risk chocolate crispy pop. This is basically a chocolate coated crisp product and ingredients are: Chocolate flakes, pea protein, Carrageenan blend, Tapioca syrup, Marshmallow, cocoa power, cocoa butter, honey, rice crispies.

My customer has already conducted product shelf-life and validation and established that the product is ambient stable. Aw for both is very low at 0.53 and 0.58, the sugar content of these products range between 47g per 100g and 52g.

This product is made on a semi-automated production line, and so because the product is not heat treated, my concerns are around environmental contamination. We have a robust cleaning schedule in place.

 

I guess the help I could do with is understanding how often I should be hygiene swabbing of processing kit? E.g. daily, weekly, monthly?

 

Normally, the rest of our products are baked and so this micro risk is limited.



#2 CBMQA

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:32 PM

Hi Stevie,

 

Do you add water to any part of the line for cleaning purposes? Despite the products you are producing are deemed low risk due to the shelf stability and low water activity we are being advised to add listeria testing to our environmental swabbing programs and finished product testing for low water activity products specifically if water has been added/used as part of the cleaning process in dry areas. Obviously for this particular product you don't have a baking thermal process or kill step which may warrant additional environmental testing in your mixing, forming production areas through to packaging zones. For the baked products we have found reduced listeria environmental monitoring has been fine in pre bake production areas as generally water is added anyway as an ingredient and is used for cleaning purposes. The bake step in our case is sufficient to allow a reduction in our testing regime as we are also monitoring post bake finished product micro.

 

Also your environmental program may also need to focus on yeast and mould depending on if you use any sort of UV treatment etc. in your HVAC systems used in your production areas including cooling tunnels.

 

We have been using Hygenia swabs for listeria and coliforms along with ATP for environmental monitoring and so far has been relatively easy to undertake and more cost effective than full lab testing. We are still finding our way with pass and fail levels for the ATP swabbing within a bakery environment but the listeria and coliform swabs have been good.



#3 Charles.C

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 11:21 PM

Good afternoon everyone,

I’m after a bit of help designing a environmental swab plan for a low risk chocolate crispy pop. This is basically a chocolate coated crisp product and ingredients are: Chocolate flakes, pea protein, Carrageenan blend, Tapioca syrup, Marshmallow, cocoa power, cocoa butter, honey, rice crispies.

My customer has already conducted product shelf-life and validation and established that the product is ambient stable. Aw for both is very low at 0.53 and 0.58, the sugar content of these products range between 47g per 100g and 52g.

This product is made on a semi-automated production line, and so because the product is not heat treated, my concerns are around environmental contamination. We have a robust cleaning schedule in place.

 

I guess the help I could do with is understanding how often I should be hygiene swabbing of processing kit? E.g. daily, weekly, monthly?

 

Normally, the rest of our products are baked and so this micro risk is limited.

 

Hi Stevie,

 

Regarding frequency the usual approach is to estimate yr desired (risk/cost) target level then initially, for example, double it. After a short test period, eg 1-3 months, can then start reducing it in steps provided the results are OK. This Procedure is an acceptable,  documented, general approach as previously discussed on this forum.

 

I anticipate that the practical conclusion to micro.item scope / frequency  is probably between (a) what yr EHO expects as a legal(?)  minimum and (b) yr risk evaluation if (b) is > (a).

 

Some further UK-specific input may be needed.

 

Quantitative external sampling/testing for pathogens likely to be a significant  investment if "frequent".


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 StevieP

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 10:56 AM

Hi everyone,

Yes, we use water, as a cleaning aid in this process. Thanks for the input into this. I guess coming from a high-care background, my thought process was to swab significant food contact points in the process, and then, yes monitor for a period of time.

 

 

Interesting around ATP. Obviously from working in high-care ATP was normal, but its something that's not in place here. Cleans are visually inspected and traditionally swabbed. Would you recommend I should us ATP?






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