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Is In Ops Swabbing a requirement of SQF?


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#1 bellablaz

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 10:45 PM

Greetings, 

 

I just got promoted to working as the QA Mgr and some programs I have inherited, meaning I did not write them. In our environmental monitoring program, we do perform ATP swabbing however, it is also written that we perform in-operation swabbing. Is this a requirement, per SQF? Sometimes, there is not much to swab in-operation as all utensils, machinery, and equipment are in use, and feel silly swabbing something I know will fail. Does anyone have any information if this is a must. I work in a SQF level 2 facility with low risk. We handle acidified foods and have another line that mixes and packages seasoned butters. I appreciate any feedback. 

 

-Ana



#2 Ryan M.

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 11:11 PM

Perhaps it is meant to be pre-operational swabbing after sanitation and before production starts.  Or, is this handled separately?

 

Typically, environmental programs for pathogen testing you would swab before, during, and/or after production to see when / if you have hot spots that are created from production.  However, with ATP I'm not sure how this would be handled because any type of residue will give you an ATP hit.  What is your tolerance on your ATP for environmental swabbing?  Do you have other testing you do to monitor your environment, such as pathogen testing or other indicator organisms?

 

Not a specific requirement in SQF to have swabbing during operations.



#3 bellablaz

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 11:15 PM

Ryan 

 

We do test for pathogens and indicator organisms but this is separate. As far as the tolerance, I cant exactly remember but i know it depends on the FCS. We can most certainly post op swab (after sanitation) to validate the proper cleaning is being done, but my specific inquiry is towards in operational swabbing.....and I thank you for your answer. 



#4 Ryan M.

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 11:17 PM

Ana,

 

Sounds good.  Seems like you have quite a comprehensive environmental monitoring program.



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 01:14 AM

A possible reason why one might do ATP measurements on a surface during Production is to assess just "how dirty" the In-use surface actually  is.

(Although afaik ATP data is mainly used post-cleaning to verify that a Cleaning program has been "effective" [albeit that a low ATP result does not preclude the presence of Pathogens])

 

There do exist some Programs which set (in-Production) target micro.levels for areas which are considered to be relatively "sensitive", eg those handling of finished product/RTE items.

 

Some EMP Programs focus solely on micro.testing of the environment, particularly for pathogens. Others suggest there is a complementary relationship with, for example, ATP monitoring, eg -

 

Attached File  Components of EMP.pdf   767.79KB   19 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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