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Environmental Monitoring Requirements


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RhiannonKulacz

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 02:51 PM

Hi! I work at a business that packages tea and herbs and spices. We are in the process of obtaining an SQF certification and are trying to set up an environmental monitoring program and I have some questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with. Our facility is kept as dry as possible to minimize hazards for microbial growth and I'm wondering how we determine how much swabbing and testing to do. Currently our draft SOP indicates weekly ATP swabbing of 5 zone 1 areas and monthly testing for listeria and salmonella. I have been doing daily ATP swabs to determine the baseline levels here and I'm not sure how to set my control limits. We are getting fairly high results on our tea machine but with being a dry facility the cleaning consists of cleaning the machine with compressed air so I think the higher ATP levels are our "norm". Can we justify these higher levels? Also does anyone have experience in a facility like this and can help me with figuring out our minimal requirements for environmental monitoring? Does the frequency of testing outlined above sound appropriate for our facility or should it be more or less. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

 

 



SQFconsultant

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 04:22 PM

Good morning - 

 

For our microgreen and cheese operation we found the assistance of a laboratory to be gold. They mapped out the facility, set the program up and then trained the staff on both the understanding as to why's and the actual work needed to collect and process.

 

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Charles.C

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 07:43 AM

Hi! I work at a business that packages tea and herbs and spices. We are in the process of obtaining an SQF certification and are trying to set up an environmental monitoring program and I have some questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with. Our facility is kept as dry as possible to minimize hazards for microbial growth and I'm wondering how we determine how much swabbing and testing to do. Currently our draft SOP indicates weekly ATP swabbing of 5 zone 1 areas and monthly testing for listeria and salmonella. I have been doing daily ATP swabs to determine the baseline levels here and I'm not sure how to set my control limits. We are getting fairly high results on our tea machine but with being a dry facility the cleaning consists of cleaning the machine with compressed air so I think the higher ATP levels are our "norm". Can we justify these higher levels? Also does anyone have experience in a facility like this and can help me with figuring out our minimal requirements for environmental monitoring? Does the frequency of testing outlined above sound appropriate for our facility or should it be more or less. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

 

The minimum may depend on where you are, eg  if you wish to match USFDA's routine testing.

 

Re baseline - for one approach, see Pg 16, 1st attachment in this post - 

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...ter/#entry66395

 

Quantitative approaches to determining sampling frequencies depend on statistics, eg the variability of data and yr desired accuracies.

 

In practice, assuming up-to-you it is not uncommon to initially "oversample" a workable, realistic, frequency  then reduce if satisfactory results are routinely achieved in a limited period.

 

Alternatively, "Best Practice" values can often be found in the Literature.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Spidey

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 04:31 PM

Attached is a document published by Hygiena that described the process they recommend to determine site specific acceptable thresholds for ATP results.

Attached Files


Edited by Spidey, 20 January 2021 - 04:32 PM.


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