I work for a paper and board manufacturer in South Africa, that supplies large volumes into the food packaging market.
I have been tasked with conducting a microbiological risk assessment of our manufacturing operations that will enable mitigation of any potential hazards to the food packaged in our products. At this point, I am trying to formulate a plan on how to conduct such an assessment, and have hit a few information stumbling blocks.
To date, the only guideline that I have come across that indicates which organisms to monitor and levels is the Dairyman's standard. I do however think that this is somewhat outdated, and does not take into consideration the evolving nature of paper and board production, particularly the increased use of recycled fibre. Has there been any development of the Dairyman's standard to take this into consideration? Are there other guidelines or regulations current or in development that are more descriptive?
Another avenue suggested by literature is to take the food application into consideration and use the microbial levels dictated for that particular food. Is this a acceptable compromise?
Any input in this regard would be greatly appreciated