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Environmental Monitoring Program for "blue apron" type of business

food safety environmental program swabbing

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#1 lspk

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 07:44 PM

I am working on putting together a food safety plan compliant with FSMA in a "online grocery center" place, similar to the concept that amazon fresh/blue apron is setup (a food warehouse). Our main risk is produce, we will be handling it the same way it is handled in a grocery store: loose produce is bagged in plastic bags prior placing it into the delivery bags. I'm having issues with finding what it is the right way to do a environmental monitoring plan. Based on our current setup, I don't see any risk for pathogens developing (there is no water in the system, the rotation of the produce in the totes/cages is almost daily -includes a QC check daily-). I want to have ATP tests done daily, but for the pathogenic bacteria I am having a bit of an issue identifying it. Any thoughts? Thanks!



#2 The Food Scientist

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 09:16 PM

E.coli, Salmonella & Listeria are the most common associated with fresh produce. 


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#3 lspk

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 09:18 PM

E.coli, Salmonella & Listeria are the most common associated with fresh produce. 

I understand this part but I'm unsure if this should be done only on surfaces. Do groceries do this type of testing?



#4 The Food Scientist

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 09:18 PM

Environmental is done on FC/NFC surfaces

 

So you are asking about the produce itself?? 


Edited by The Food Scientist, 10 November 2020 - 09:19 PM.

Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#5 The Food Scientist

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 09:19 PM

How is your process looking like? You bring this fresh produce from suppliers into your warehouse in totes/cages?


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#6 lspk

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 09:25 PM

How is your process looking like? You bring this fresh produce from suppliers into your warehouse in totes/cages?

Yes. We receive the produce from vendors and they go into totes/cages that are stowed in shelves. Due to the demand, the produce is to be circulated at a day (tops 3 days) frequency. 

 

Totes/cages will be washed and sanitized. My idea was to do random ATP testing after this step to verify cleaning procedures are working properly.

 

Environmental is done on FC/NFC surfaces

 

So you are asking about the produce itself?? 

I'm asking about FC/NFC surfaces. Due to the intricacies of the system I'm finding the swabbing in the shelves a bit hard (they're not necessarily meant to be cleaned and the produce will be storage inside the totes (no oversized items are allowed/possible in the system).

 

I can try to give more information if need be!



#7 Marloes

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 03:19 PM

Do you do any production steps on your products (e.g. slicing) or do you sent of whole pieces of fruits/vegetables?Uncut fruits and vegetables will have some microbes on the surface but very limited growth potential. So everything you do is best practice but not to mitigate pathogens.

In my time in a cheese warehouse (sold soft and hard cheese without any handling) we did not do any enivormental testing. It was always ok by our BRC auditor.

I would argue that the same would be for buying and distributing any other foodstuf without handling. However some testing of ATP/TPC (allergens?) would be prefered. Perhaps monthly to ensure that the cleaning is still satisfactory?



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#8 lspk

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 03:21 PM

Do you do any production steps on your products (e.g. slicing) or do you sent of whole pieces of fruits/vegetables?Uncut fruits and vegetables will have some microbes on the surface but very limited growth potential. So everything you do is best practice but not to mitigate pathogens.

In my time in a cheese warehouse (sold soft and hard cheese without any handling) we did not do any enivormental testing. It was always ok by our BRC auditor.

I would argue that the same would be for buying and distributing any other foodstuf without handling. However some testing of ATP/TPC (allergens?) would be prefered. Perhaps monthly to ensure that the cleaning is still satisfactory?

We do not do any cuttings/slicing, it is strictly the same environment as it would be at a register at a grocery store. We get the goods, we bag them, pack them and then ship them to the final consumer.

 

Thanks for your answer!







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