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Best time to do hand swabs of food handlers and surface swabs?


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#1 adelaidemukonya

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:40 AM

Dear all, hope you are all well. Can you please help me when is it best to do hand swabs of food handlers and surface swabs. Is it best to do hand swabs after handwashing or during production? Also what is best for surface swabs, that is, after cleaning the surfaces or during production? Regards, Adelaide



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 11:04 AM

Dear all,

 

 

Hope you are all well. Can you please help me when is it best to do hand swabs of food handlers and surface swabs. Is it best to do hand swabs after handwashing or during production ? Also what is best for surface swabs ,that is ,after cleaning the surfaces or during production?

 

 

Regards

 

Adelaide

 

Hi Adelaide,

 

Opinions vary but afaik most suggested limits refer to post cleaning/sanitising since that is a relatively well-definable situation.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 olenazh

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 01:35 PM

I do hand swabbing during production and right after hand washing, and also I swab gloves as well. Equipment - during production.



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 04:01 PM

Of course, if the swabbing is performed on equipment/hands in order to verify the cleaning program, the appropriate Procedure is "self-defining".


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Charles.C


#5 Scampi

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 05:41 PM

I do hand swabbing during production and right after hand washing, and also I swab gloves as well. Equipment - during production.

 

 

Because I'm curious.............why are you swabbing equipment during production?  What type of swabbing


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#6 olenazh

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 05:53 PM

Sanicult swabs. Why during production? That's what CFIA inspectors do when they come to swab FCSs - only during production, so I decided to do it as well



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:06 PM

Sanicult swabs. Why during production? That's what CFIA inspectors do when they come to swab FCSs - only during production, so I decided to do it as well

 

Hi Olena,

 

So how did you set a (Production) baseline and evaluate cleanliness ?

 

I equally wonder how CFIA did it. :smile:


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Charles.C


#8 olenazh

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:20 PM

Daily ATP swabbing. Also, we test every batch of finished products for Coliforms, Y&M and Listeria. Negative result history demonstrates equipment cleanliness as well. Also, strict adherence to cleaning/sanitizing chemical concentration recommendations by concentration check for EACH CIP & manual cleaning. 

Not sure about CFIA baselines though:)



#9 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:37 PM

Daily ATP swabbing. Also, we test every batch of finished products for Coliforms, Y&M and Listeria. Negative result history demonstrates equipment cleanliness as well. Also, strict adherence to cleaning/sanitizing chemical concentration recommendations by concentration check for EACH CIP & manual cleaning. 

Not sure about CFIA baselines though:)

 

The problem is that a swabbed micro-result for tables with product being processed on them likely reflects the product, not the cleaning procedure. Similarly ATP.

 

This is why EMPG programs like to avoid Zone 1.


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Charles.C


#10 olenazh

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 06:45 PM

Anyways, if the FSMS's been working fine for many years, why should one change it? 



#11 Charles.C

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 07:42 PM

Anyways, if the FSMS's been working fine for many years, why should one change it? 

 

Continuous Improvement ? But I can also appreciate that no news can be good news. :smile:


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#12 Scampi

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:30 PM

My CFIA inspectors have ALWAYS swabbed post clean pre sanitizer..............now I'm more curious :) 

 

East-west or central Canada???

 

It's shocking to me........swabs during production prove absolutely nothing 


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#13 olenazh

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:32 PM

Toronto - and ALWAYS during production (I work for 2 companies, dairy & ice cream - both the same)



#14 Scampi

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:43 PM

AH!!!!  Got it now

 

CFIA is just so bizarre. 

 

I worked (10 lifetimes ago) for a national cheese brand........was there 2 1/2 years and NEVER once saw an inspector on the cheese side....on the dairy absolutely but once it was cheese uh huh zippo


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#15 Setanta

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:49 PM

Toronto - and ALWAYS during production (I work for 2 companies, dairy & ice cream - both the same)

 

 

What happens if you get a positive or a high number when you swab during production?  Stop, clean the area, sanitize and retest? 


-Setanta         

 

 

 


#16 olenazh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:24 PM

Hi Setanta;

Surface swab testing takes 48 hours. If positive - would re-evaluate cleaning practices, chemical concentration, equipment dismantling procedures, etc. As I said, the products are tested for Listeria. 



#17 Evans X.

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 01:12 PM

There is just an insane amount of things that can induce even a small increase in indicatory parameters, like TVC, during many different productions. Unless you test only for Listeria (and other pathogens), then you are bound to have a finding or your local CFIA brunch is butt-out-right lying to you about the results. Examples of that are RTE salads before they pass through the washing solution, various meats before they receive heat treatment (especially chicken, fish), dairy products before the milk is pasteurized (I mean its a full-house party in there!). And when you say production I guess they mean all the steps, not only the clean areas. It's just unthinkable that they haven't had a finding even for TVC which, if high, gives you an indication of a potential problem, not to mention common micro's like E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae, TC, Staphylococcus etc.

IMHO I would be bold enough to tell them that since there are no findings during production, then there is no need for pasteurizing the milk, since they even haven't had findings from milk contact surfaces before it is treated.

I'm sorry and i mean no disrespect, but your local CFIA needs a re-evaluation on the basics.



#18 rmssan

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 10:09 AM

Swab after cleaning.

 

This is done to prove effectiveness of cleaning procedure.

 

Spot checks via swabs / ATP tests may be done during production in clean areas to check if contamination has occurred and to correct the issue.






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