During one of our recent customer audits we had been given a non-conformance with a lot of goals for our EMP program. One of which being that all of our results should be <10 for enterobacteriaceae. Currently in our program we have our max set at <10,000. We have not had any issues with this limit in the past including in our SQF audits. A lot of our swabs already do come back to <10 but I fear that now we will constantly have to be retesting. Also if we do set our new limit at <10 does that mean that for anything that comes in >10 that we will need to retest? or will it only need to be retested if it comes in at a higher number, for example >100? Has anyone else been asked to keep their numbers at <10.
Another topic that came up is testing for more than EB. Currently we test for EB and salmonella in some zones but during this audit we were requested to start testing for APC. Is this something that is necessary or will EB and salmonella suffice?
Lastly, part of this non-conformance was including in our EMP to start swabbing things like our floor scrubber, pallets, and reusable totes. I;m not sure if some of this is over kill as a lot of these things we have kept in separate areas very far from our production. Our pallets are recycled between us and other customers that we deal we with so by the time we swab that pallet and if it comes back >10 that pallet could already be at another warehouse.
I want to make sure we have all of our bases covered but I also do not want to "shoot ourselves in the foot" if I am explaining that correctly. Has anyone else been asked to do anything similar or could anyone offer some advice on what might be the best route to take?