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Microbiological Limits - Y&M - Washroom ?


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#1 Arpagano2

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 07:24 PM

Does anybody have any recommendations for an industry standard for Yeast and Mold and APC for a wash room for a facility that produces finished product that do not go through a  "kill step?"  I have a read a great deal on the site regarding the subject, but decided to try and dig a little deeper. 



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 02:54 AM

Does anybody have any recommendations for an industry standard for Yeast and Mold and APC for a wash room for a facility that produces finished product that do not go through a  "kill step?"  I have a read a great deal on the site regarding the subject, but decided to try and dig a little deeper. 

 

I predict do not exist, hopefully "Low".


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#3 GMO

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:31 AM

Depends on whether you mean the dirty or clean side.  I'd also be tempted to use enteros as an indicator as TVC / APC may be too high and I'm not sure Y&M is really the issue?



#4 Arpagano2

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:33 PM

Depends on whether you mean the dirty or clean side.  I'd also be tempted to use enteros as an indicator as TVC / APC may be too high and I'm not sure Y&M is really the issue?

Great question. I am trying to assess the risk of the potential for microbial contamination in the air of the wash room overall.  Our plan is to use air plating on a frequency (daily, weekly,etc.) over maybe three - six months to determine a trend and based on those results, determine a threshold.   However, if based on my air plating, my specification for a wash room would be APC NMT 10,000 and Y&M NMT 1000; is that an acceptable limit? That seems very high to me, especially given the product is not passed through any kind of"kill step." For reference, our Yeast and Mold spec for finished product is NMT 100 and for APC is NMT 1000 and is tested per batch on the CoA. Thank you for the help. 



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:12 PM

Hi arpagano,

 

I have never seen a study of air quality in washrooms but the production environment has been previously  discussed here in numerous threads. For example this comment -

 

The level of micro-organisms enumerated from ambient air will be very variable and will be dependent on food product,process, factory design, production activities taking place at the sample time and sampling system used.
Total viable counts can range from 101 - 104 /m 3 and yeasts and moulds can range from 101 -103 /m 3 in different food factories and even for RTE high risk environments, the count in the high risk area can be similar to that outside the factory – though the flora is likely to be different!
Verification standards for ambient air are thus very difficult to universally set and can only be established for a particular factory and then only if ‘normal’ conditions (no cleaning being undertaken, no open doors, fans working, no excessive people movements, no non-typical process conditions etc) can be guaranteed.

 

(see file cp2 in this link -

https://www.ifsqn.co...ion/#entry64124

 

Additionally, various micro. characterisations of air quality are discussed/compiled in an excel / attachments in this link -

https://www.ifsqn.co...ent/#entry81054

file sh1 (also see sheet sh1 in excel) notes that APHA's limit for production air with respect to mesophilic aerobic counts and Y&M are both set at  30 cfu/cm2/week using settle plates.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 Arpagano2

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:56 PM

Hi arpagano,

 

I have never seen a study of air quality in washrooms but the production environment has been previously  discussed here in numerous threads. For example this comment -

 

 

Additionally, various micro. characterisations of air quality are discussed/compiled in an excel / attachments in this link -

https://www.ifsqn.co...ent/#entry81054

file sh1 (also see sheet sh1 in excel) notes that APHA's limit for production air with respect to mesophilic aerobic counts and Y&M are both set at  30 cfu/cm2/week using settle plates.

 

Thank you.  I have read our previous thread prior to this post and found to be very thorough and have based some early work on this.  Thank you.  



#7 ebb30

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:18 PM

I don't think you'll find any limits written anywhere. However, doing the baseline study, which you wrote you are doing, will be a great starting point for you to establish your own limits. Air plates daily is probably overkill, but once or twice a week for a few months (especially if the temperature in the washroom changes based on season) is a great start. I would monitor production air as well, and maybe swab utensils or equipment washed and sanitized in the washroom. If you see M/Y counts on items sanitized, then that could be a spoilage issue (not sure what you manufacture) and you can use that to drive any changes needed (more ventilation, sanitizing elsewhere, etc). 

 

I never monitored our washroom air, but I did regularly swab utensils and bins washed in there, and monitored the production room air. I also monitored the washroom for Listeria, which I'm sure you do as well. 

 

Good luck!



#8 BostonCream

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:16 PM

I don't think you'll find any limits written anywhere. However, doing the baseline study, which you wrote you are doing, will be a great starting point for you to establish your own limits. Air plates daily is probably overkill, but once or twice a week for a few months (especially if the temperature in the washroom changes based on season) is a great start. I would monitor production air as well, and maybe swab utensils or equipment washed and sanitized in the washroom. If you see M/Y counts on items sanitized, then that could be a spoilage issue (not sure what you manufacture) and you can use that to drive any changes needed (more ventilation, sanitizing elsewhere, etc). 

 

I never monitored our washroom air, but I did regularly swab utensils and bins washed in there, and monitored the production room air. I also monitored the washroom for Listeria, which I'm sure you do as well. 

 

Good luck!

 

Hi Ebb30,

 

Is it necessary to monitor washroom for Listeria? We have one wet meat facility and another RTE dry meat facility, and do env swab in production area only. Once a year we swab warehouse, lunchroom and office for validation. But I've never thought about washroom, since it's 2-door-away from the production site. I suspect the result will be positive if i swab it.


Edited by yiyi, 18 September 2019 - 07:17 PM.


#9 ebb30

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 03:53 PM

Hi Ebb30,

 

Is it necessary to monitor washroom for Listeria? We have one wet meat facility and another RTE dry meat facility, and do env swab in production area only. Once a year we swab warehouse, lunchroom and office for validation. But I've never thought about washroom, since it's 2-door-away from the production site. I suspect the result will be positive if i swab it.

 

I think it's beneficial to swab and control. Are you wheeling things in and out of the washroom that would then go into the production room? As you are washing items in the room, could there be splashing from the floor on your items? If anything in the washroom could be contaminated with listeria and then taken back to your production facility, then it could be a potential risk you'll want to control. Even if you find positives, there are things you can do to mitigate the risk. You can install a foamer so you wheel things through a sanitizer and not spread listeria to the rest of your plant, you can use drain sanitizers, and my favorite, Sterilex, can be applied as a fine powder at the end of a shift (it destroys biofilm too). It all depends on what you are washing and what traffic flow looks like at your facility. 






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