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Acceptable spec. for aerobic plate count for environmental swabs?

enviromental testing areobic plate count

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#1 jiljilbean

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 03:10 PM

hey guys,

 

Just curious...what is an acceptable spec for aerobic plate count for environmental swabs?

for both food contact and noncontact sites?

 

 

thanks



#2 The Food Scientist

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 06:49 PM

Hi, whats the nature of your facility? 


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#3 jiljilbean

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:00 PM

it is a cheese facility.

It is dry cleaned every day but wet cleaned once a week.



#4 Ryan M.

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 11:45 PM

The answer is...it depends.  Each facility, product, and equipment are different. You have to conduct swabbing on a regular basis and trend the results over time.  Correlate the results with any product micro counts.

A good starting point would be the aerobic count limits in your product spec, especially on FCS.

 

What you want out of your environmental monitoring program is for it to identify any hot spots, or trouble areas you have.  But, you don't want it to have you spinning your tail with a number of samples over your determined limit.

 

I think until you get a number established thorough visual inspection is key.  A surface is clean or not clean, easy to distinguish and tell.



#5 jiljilbean

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:14 PM

thanks ryan



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 01:37 PM

hey guys,

 

Just curious...what is an acceptable spec for aerobic plate count for environmental swabs?

for both food contact and noncontact sites?

 

 

thanks

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ces/#entry60958


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 jiljilbean

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

thank you charles



#8 howespodoll

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 03:42 PM

I would recommend a focus on a stronger indicator species, such as Enterobacteriaceae. A focus on APC in a cheese making facility could be troublesome considering starter cultures.



#9 Charles.C

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 11:26 PM

I would recommend a focus on a stronger indicator species, such as Enterobacteriaceae. A focus on APC in a cheese making facility could be troublesome considering starter cultures.

 

Hopefully an appropriate cleaning/sanitizing program should cope ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 GMO

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:25 AM

I would recommend a focus on a stronger indicator species, such as Enterobacteriaceae. A focus on APC in a cheese making facility could be troublesome considering starter cultures.

 

I was about to say the same.  Also while I have seen factories swab for Enteros or even TVC on non food contact surfaces like floors, I seriously question the value add of that activity.



#11 GMO

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:28 AM

Hopefully an appropriate cleaning/sanitizing program should cope ?

 

Unlikely.  Also you have to remember in cheese making there is a certain art as well as science (depending on the type of cheese).  If you went for a completely microbiologically sterile environment for some cheeses you would completely destroy their character.  It's a balance.  Also in many high care and high risk facilities you are not handling ingredients day in day out with the vast counts of starter bacteria that you have within cheese. 

 

Enteros give a better idea of whether there is a problem.  Having worked in cheese on and off for many years, I'd still go for enteros.  Occasionally we used TVC to validate our cleaning methods (as you knew it would be there in spades in the "pre" swabs then get a good idea of what the log reduction was) but to expect a sanitation programme to always deliver the kind of reductions you would need to never have counts?  It's going to lead to a lot of chasing your tail.



#12 jiljilbean

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 02:29 PM

Thank you GMO



#13 Charles.C

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 11:22 AM

Unlikely.  Also you have to remember in cheese making there is a certain art as well as science (depending on the type of cheese).  If you went for a completely microbiologically sterile environment for some cheeses you would completely destroy their character.  It's a balance.  Also in many high care and high risk facilities you are not handling ingredients day in day out with the vast counts of starter bacteria that you have within cheese. 

 

Enteros give a better idea of whether there is a problem.  Having worked in cheese on and off for many years, I'd still go for enteros.  Occasionally we used TVC to validate our cleaning methods (as you knew it would be there in spades in the "pre" swabs then get a good idea of what the log reduction was) but to expect a sanitation programme to always deliver the kind of reductions you would need to never have counts?  It's going to lead to a lot of chasing your tail.

 

Hi GMO,

 

I don't think sterility was being envisaged. I was referring to (surface) expectations such as in Post 6. But yr comment may still be correct (see 2nd attachment).

 

For comparitive purposes, I attach 2 detailed publications containing (a) a development of a basic methodology of hygiene assessment of food contact surfaces as in a meat process, (b) an implementation of (a)'s methodology for a number of producers of pasteurized milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and cheese.

 

Attached File  microbial assessment scheme for FSMS.pdf   952.28KB   40 downloads

Attached File  microbial performance dairy processing plants.pdf   773.29KB   29 downloads

 

 

There may be some European preference for Enterobacteriaceae although, even there, APC still seems to be "in play", inter alia.

 

Attached File  Hygiene_indicators_Food_Microbiology_2014.pdf   220.89KB   42 downloads

Attached File  Nestle microbiological-specifications.pdf   911.91KB   50 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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