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How do I ensure clean room pens are sanitary?

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#1 kettlecorn


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Posted 21 November 2019 - 05:26 PM

Hi everyone,


I have a question for the shared wisdom of the QA community. We have a new customer requiring extensive paperwork from our batching department (we don't yet have the capability to do this automatically or electronically). 


The process will require someone batching to fill out a sheet for every batch. The problem I foresee is just in terms of food safety. Touching a pen is as bad, potentially, as say touching a broom, and the person will be required, for the sake of efficiency, to go right back to batching. How do I ensure the pen is sanitary?


Are there clean room pens out that can be sanitized at the end of shift? I did a quick search but all I found was pens that provide protection against ionic contamination, which is obviously not what I am after. 


If not, what do others do who are stuck with snail-mail paperwork in the production area?



#2 Simon


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Posted 21 November 2019 - 06:10 PM

I'm quite sure you can buy stainless steel pens, which is a good material.  

Then add to your cleaning schedule, a wipe with isopropyl wipes should be enough.




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#3 kettlecorn


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Posted 21 November 2019 - 06:17 PM

Thanks Simon. I was looking into stainless steel and metal detectable polypropylene pens. If anyone has a recommended supplier, I would appreciate hearing about it. 

#4 Mulan1010


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Posted Yesterday, 04:27 PM

We use pens in our clean rooms that are metal/X-ray detectable (per a customer's requirement). We provide sanitary wipes that employees use to wipe their pens and clipboards with before they enter the clean room areas.  We have not had any issues and we do sample the items regularly through our micro monitoring programs.  There are several pens out there, and stainless steel should definitely work.  We are currently using Detectamet retractable pens. You might check with your suppliers to see where you can get the best deal; even Amazon sells them.

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#5 FurFarmandFork


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Posted Yesterday, 08:51 PM

If you spend time on the line and in the room with your production employees, you will note that pens are FAR down the list on your cross contamination concerns. :)


More importantly is the foreign material concerns, so metal detectable is great, clicky tops are great to avoid caps. Focus on cross contamination between shared pens from dirty to clean areas, but as far as being in the room, if the pens are visibly clean and dry, they won't harbor much on that smooth surface, much lessso than your produciton paperwork really.


Recommendations to clean workstations including clipboards and pens at beginning of shift is just gravy.

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