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How to establish a baseline limit for microorganisms in packaging?


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Foodiee

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:19 PM

Hi all,

 

My auditor recently had me perform micro testing on my production machines, environmental air, and on the staffs hand and clothing. I am unable to find any limits through the FDA or anywhere else to compare my results to. The laboratory that performed them let me know I have to establish my own baseline but I don't see me performing these tests on a regular basis to create a baseline. We are a packaging company that produces a "packaging product" not packaging a food and the main production process is covered. 

Audit was to get 22000 certified.

 

He asked of the following..

 

total coliform

total count

mold 

yeast 

 

For both inert and live surfaces as I mentioned above.  



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Charles.C

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:29 AM

Hi all,

 

My auditor recently had me perform micro testing on my production machines, environmental air, and on the staffs hand and clothing. I am unable to find any limits through the FDA or anywhere else to compare my results to. The laboratory that performed them let me know I have to establish my own baseline but I don't see me performing these tests on a regular basis to create a baseline. We are a packaging company that produces a "packaging product" not packaging a food and the main production process is covered. 

Audit was to get 22000 certified.

 

He asked of the following..

 

total coliform

total count

mold 

yeast 

 

For both inert and live surfaces as I mentioned above.  

 

There are afaik no Globally-recognized quantitative micro standards except for some zero tolerant pathogens.

 

Can try this link -

 

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

 

Regarding baseline, this depends on your own operational set-up and procedural interpretation. An example for cleaning/ATP is attached where the baseline could correspond to the "Pass" threshold level.

 

Attached File  threshold-baseline.pdf   245.97KB   41 downloads


Edited by Charles.C, 15 November 2019 - 11:44 AM.
added

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Hoosiersmoker

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 05:38 PM

What type of packaging do you produce? We gained exemption from SQF 2.4.8 - Environmental Monitoring earlier this year. In order to gain the exemption we demonstrated that, other than current cleaning efforts, the potential for introduction of contaminants from the environment was nearly non-existent and our handling and processing procedures eliminated any potential introduction once received eliminated all other potential. We backed it with a study regarding Bacillus sp that explained the nature of bacillus being an inherent contaminant to paper (we are a paperboard packaging manufacturer) is remote as well as nearly harmless after effective kill steps in the paper making process. Also that it is naturally present in the human digestive system, and if it were present, transfer from the paper after poly application and coatings are applied would all but impossible. We swabbed 10 product contact and non-contact surfaces and found 0 contaminants in all but one area and that was at a level well below the threshold and only on the outside packaging of our roll stock so not even the paper itself but the packaging on the outside which is removed and recycled. Our auditor told us we could either resubmit our request for exemption annually stating nothing had changed or continue the annual swabbing to prove we comply with the element. Hope you can get this straightened out. Let me know if you need further information.



Foodiee

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 08:52 PM

 Hi @Hoosiersmoker

 

Since you are a packaging facility as well, what threshold's are you referencing to know if you are within levels? We manufacture closures..

 






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