We are primarily a potato processing plant (as well as carrot and onion) that includes washing, peeling, slicing/dicing and packaging. We are hoping to acquire SQF certification.
I would appreciate some help with the Environmental Monitoring Program as I am second guessing which pathogens we should be testing for. Primarily because the testing is very expensive and I would hate to have either tested for unnecessary pathogens or have omitted crucial ones.
We are considering swabbing floor drains, large equipment and food contact surfaces for total coliforms, Salmonella and E-coli. Water is to be tested for total coliforms and E-coli.
Am I on the right track? Is anyone involved in a similar process or has experience in this area?
I assume yr products are categorised within "Fresh produce".
Are these products RTE ? Is there a significant bacterial reduction step in Process ? Details matter.
Based on threads in this Forum, seems to me that BRC/SQF auditors do not currently have a consensus regarding an environmental monitoring program (EMPG) "menu" but they will presumably prioritize to any Regulatory requirements if such exist.
I attach a (highly detailed !!) US industry-motivated document which, predictably, has a lot of content/sampling opinions (sometimes debatable) regarding EMPG/Listeria.
I suspect Canada may be less "draconian" than USA (?).
Regardless, significant expenditure seems to be unavoidable.
Guidance on Environmental Monitoring (EMPG) for Fresh Produce Industry,2018.pdf 1.83MB
PS - this short, slightly older thread, is also quite informative -
PPS - just noticed this FDA document on Listeria/L.mono -
FDA draft guidance for control l.mono in RTE foods,2017.pdf 795.29KB
P3S - Just for interest, can compare the density of FDA/FSIS type sampling schedules to this "risk-based" version from a test-kit supplier -
EMPG sampling schedule.pdf 49.21KB