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Standard Plate Count limits for our storage swab testing

PRP verification

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#1 devezajohnpatrick

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 05:14 AM

Hello everyone,

 

First of all, let me introduce to you our process. We are a importer and distributor company in our country. The core activity of our organization is warehousing/storage only, we don't do repacking or reprocessing, we don't open the packages, and we delivery our products as is we received it. That is why microbiological or physical contamination due to storage facility condition is very unlikely to occur.

 

As part of our established HACCP, we are conducting a verification (swab testing) on our PRP (cleaning and sanitation) to verify its effectiveness. On our recent swab testing, we have receive a failed test on the parameter Standard Plate Count (SPC) which is equal to >14,000 CFU/g.

 

The test report has a note that <100 CFU/g is unsatisfactory, which makes our result failed. However, I scour all available references I have and I found out some reference of ready-to-eat food (e.g. soy products) have a limit of SPC equivalent to 100,000 CFU/g and this is still acceptable. 

 

Please enlighten me, what limit of SPC we can establish for our storage swab testing.

 

- Pat

 



#2 majoy

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:50 PM

what did you specifically swab that failed the SPC/APC result? to give more context.


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 02:40 AM

Hello everyone,

 

First of all, let me introduce to you our process. We are a importer and distributor company in our country. The core activity of our organization is warehousing/storage only, we don't do repacking or reprocessing, we don't open the packages, and we delivery our products as is we received it. That is why microbiological or physical contamination due to storage facility condition is very unlikely to occur.

 

As part of our established HACCP, we are conducting a verification (swab testing) on our PRP (cleaning and sanitation) to verify its effectiveness. On our recent swab testing, we have receive a failed test on the parameter Standard Plate Count (SPC) which is equal to >14,000 CFU/g.

 

The test report has a note that <100 CFU/g is unsatisfactory, which makes our result failed. However, I scour all available references I have and I found out some reference of ready-to-eat food (e.g. soy products) have a limit of SPC equivalent to 100,000 CFU/g and this is still acceptable. 

 

Please enlighten me, what limit of SPC we can establish for our storage swab testing.

 

- Pat

 

Hi Pat,

 

Thks for query however some clarification is required.

 

I guess you meant ">" 100 cfu/g. Regardless, this unit seems inapplicable to swab sampling ? (it is appropriate to product sampling).

 

You appear to be basing yr query on a one-off datum. If so, this is not a reliable quantitative criterion.

 

Expanding Post 2, need some further  info on things like - Ambient / chilled / frozen Storage ? Type of product ? Previous History of testing results ? Method/Target of Sampling/Testing ?

 

Regarding swab micro. limits I suggest you have a look at this thread -

 

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


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#4 Hank Major

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:32 PM

I've said this in a previous thread, but it bears repeating: In my system, Total Plate Count is merely an indicator of general cleanliness, and no Critical Limits are imposed.  I use TPC for statistical purposes since a thousand results saying 'Negative'  for E. coli and Salmonella are statistically useless.


Edited by Hank Major, 26 August 2019 - 07:32 PM.


#5 Charles.C

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 05:52 AM

I've said this in a previous thread, but it bears repeating: In my system, Total Plate Count is merely an indicator of general cleanliness, and no Critical Limits are imposed.  I use TPC for statistical purposes since a thousand results saying 'Negative'  for E. coli and Salmonella are statistically useless.

 

Hi Hank,

 

I agree about the  Critical Limits however some APC limits can be useful.

For example, if you have established a baseline that a routine cleaning/sanitising procedure will deliver maximum APC values in a range of, say, 100-1000 cfu/cm2 and then one day the result is 100,000 or more, it may be worth re-sampling/testing the relevant area.

 

Again, I agree about the limited value of a single negative datum for detecting a particular species other than perhaps a test for "gross" contamination. However if you have a series of negative values which may be considered as a sampling from a common source, some further deductions may be feasible. (A sort of SPC).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#6 devezajohnpatrick

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 03:21 AM

Hi Pat,

 

Thks for query however some clarification is required.

 

I guess you meant ">" 100 cfu/g. Regardless, this unit seems inapplicable to swab sampling ? (it is appropriate to product sampling).

 

You appear to be basing yr query on a one-off datum. If so, this is not a reliable quantitative criterion.

 

Expanding Post 2, need some further  info on things like - Ambient / chilled / frozen Storage ? Type of product ? Previous History of testing results ? Method/Target of Sampling/Testing ?

 

Regarding swab micro. limits I suggest you have a look at this thread -

 

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

 

 

Hi Charles,

 

As always, thanks for your response, you've been a great help for me since day 1 of my food safety journey.

 

To clarify my query please see the attached photo of the report.

 

For correction of my previous statement. Noted on the report of our 3rd party lab, "A count of <100 CFU/cm^2 for Standard Plate Count is considered satisfactory"

 

The result of our recent swab test for SPC is >14,000 CFU/cm^2, hence we concluded it to be unsatisfactory.

 

The count of <100 CFU/cm^2 is too stringent for us to follow. That is why I tried my luck to find answer here in our forum. What limits that can I establish for SPC in our storage areas?



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 07:24 AM

Hi Charles,

 

As always, thanks for your response, you've been a great help for me since day 1 of my food safety journey.

 

To clarify my query please see the attached photo of the report.

 

For correction of my previous statement. Noted on the report of our 3rd party lab, "A count of <100 CFU/cm^2 for Standard Plate Count is considered satisfactory"

 

The result of our recent swab test for SPC is >14,000 CFU/cm^2, hence we concluded it to be unsatisfactory.

 

The count of <100 CFU/cm^2 is too stringent for us to follow. That is why I tried my luck to find answer here in our forum. What limits that can I establish for SPC in our storage areas?

 

Hi Pat,

 

The standard you mentioned may relate to a relevant, "just-cleaned" surface sanitarily sampled after application of an efficient cleaning/sanitising method XYZ.

 

If the context of yr data is similarly generated, then 14000/cm2 is unusually high.

 

But is it ?

 

PS - Did you look at the link/Excel in Post 3 ?

 

PPS - no photo in sight ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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