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lab swab environmental zone

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PegK

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 05:57 PM

Hi everyone, first, I want to thank everyone for this site.  I have learned so much, and still have so much to learn.  I appreciate all of  you sharing your knowledge. I'm working on the environmental swab zones for our two plants. There is a lab just off the production area in the main plant. Cheese is produced from milk, HTST pasteurized on site. Is the lab a zone 2?  I read some articles that list the lab items as a zone 1, because they touch product (pH meter, moisture analyzer, drug residue test equipment, snap, protein/fat analyzer). All samples brought to the lab for testing (raw milk to finished product) is discarded at the conclusion of testing and never goes back into the production.  I see the lab as a zone 2 for Listeria and Salmonella testing. I tend to swab the human contact surfaces (controls, probe handles) of these items rather than the product contact tips. What are your thoughts?   



FSQA MKE

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 07:16 PM

What is the reasoning behind swabbing the lab? It sounds more like a zone 4, 3 at most.


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Scampi

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 07:20 PM

any chance a non lab employee can travel to the lab.......is it secure?


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PegK

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 07:53 PM

The lab is swabbed as part of the overall environmental monitoring program for the entire facility.  Production workers routinely travel to the lab and back to production after using the various instruments.  Clipboards and writing utensils also travel between production and the lab.

 

Unfortunately there are offices off of the lab, and non-production staff must pass thru the lab to access the offices.  Basically they took a hallway, installed a sink and counter, put a door on each end and call it the lab.  Bad design.  I have no guarantee who touched what while passing thru or utilizing the lab equipment.  There is not a strong food safety culture here, but we are working on it. 

 

Milk or cheese products that enter the room are discarded when testing is complete.  Cross contamination from hand contact surfaces is my concern.  

 

How do you zone this multiple access area?



Scampi

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 07:55 PM

I would zone that a 1, unfortunately. The risk of transmission back to the production floor is just too high to classify it any other way

 

Diary is not  a low risk operation.


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FSQA MKE

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 08:18 PM

Peg,

Do employees that handle this equipment, wash their hands after using the equipment as part of GMPs?

Is this equipment directly in contact with the product & food contact surfaces? Is equipment brought into the production floor at any time?

This setup is not very ideal.


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Charles.C

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 10:28 PM

Peg,

Do employees that handle this equipment, wash their hands after using the equipment as part of GMPs?

Is this equipment directly in contact with the product & food contact surfaces? Is equipment brought into the production floor at any time?

This setup is not very ideal.

i think the above is generous.

With all due respect, Post4 sounds like a recipe for disaster.


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PegK

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:41 AM

Peg,

Do employees that handle this equipment, wash their hands after using the equipment as part of GMPs?

Is this equipment directly in contact with the product & food contact surfaces? Is equipment brought into the production floor at any time?

This setup is not very ideal.

The employees are trained to wash hands after using lab equipment and returning to production, and will if I am there.  However, milk and whey handprint evidence on various surfaces and the door to production is a red flag that the rules are not followed in my absence.  Believe me I try.  The owner is the biggest offender, along with staff that have been there for years, who have the "we have always done it this way and never had a problem" attitude.

 

I have started doing APC petri plates on various surfaces to SHOW them the bacteria lingering on items.  Visual aids are helping me get the message across.   This crew is a challenge. 

 

Lab equipment does not cross into production. It's all bench items.  My thermometers, etc are kept locked in a cabinet so I can assure their cleanliness.  Clipboards with their attached pens do travel between rooms.  

 

Thank you for your feedback.  



PegK

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 12:46 AM

i think the above is generous.

With all due respect, Post4 sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Sadly... I agree.  It's the hardest place I've ever worked, because of the poor layout, traffic patterns, and "we've been doing it this way for years" attitide.  Old building that was added onto as needed.  BFS  (before food safety)

Hope I can train them before they ...break me.






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