As indicated previous posts you probably need to provide more info. to get a meaningful response.
My area of expertise is not slaughtering poultry so apologies in advance if these queries have well-known answers.
Is the primary objective of yr post the further utilization of Scales rather than chicken meat ? Or is the data on Scales being used as an indicator for the condition of the meat ?
What is the cleaning procedure prior to micro swabbing ? If none or random, then the swab results are probably, comparitively, meaningless.
Is this an existing/official routine procedure ? If so, have you previously validated this procedure ? If no, has anyone else validated it ?. If validated, what are the associated target levels for the micro data mentioned ?
Note that the micro. data you are discussing are all unrelated to Safety. (I assume the E.coli referred is "generic")
Safety is related to microbial Pathogens.
PS - re yr query APC "raw chicken" - for what form of chicken meat ??? eg retail pack raw chicken breast ? (notorious for typical existence of Salmonella).
I second the ATP swabs, we use the same, but it sounds like we're not talking food contact surfaces? So maybe no help here? I swab every week before starting manufacturing with ATP, and quarterly I do path testing on non-food contact surfaces. I'm not in the poultry biz though, so I can't comment on your frequency, etc.
As far as justifying food safety wasn't in jeopardy, I don't see how you can do that with two positives. At my place, this would trigger a CAR, product testing, etc. If this were me, I'd have no way around it after two failed tests. And everything we make also has a kill step, but that doesn't matter, or isn't the point. Your results are outside of what you say is acceptable, so your EM system is compromised regardless.
Don't you have a work instruction or SOP that basically tells you what you have to do reaction wise? I know for me it says in my EM paperwork that one failed swab, I reswab/retest the area 3 times after the cleaning SOP has been run on the area. If it's dirty again, CAR is triggered, etc etc.
I'll be curious to read other thoughts on this one...
I think that you may benefit from using an ATP based system for daily monitoring of sanitation. You can ATP the surface, then swab for lab samples. If any ATP value is high you can correlate that to a dirty surface. For High ATP values you can re-clean re-sanitize on the same day of swabbing, this may prevent the 2 day wait. 28, 600 CFU / per swab does seem high for a scale surface but maybe the swab was not handled correctly. Contamination of lab samples can also occur. I would start by retraining the person sampling the location and the person doing the cleanup for the scales, also check cleaning chemicals concentrations. As to raw chicken CFU values, it can be very high but you can show that with your own historical data.
I hope it helps!
Thank you everyone for the response.
My apologies for the lack of information.
To clarify, we do ATP swabs weekly and swabbing once a month. But that is a great tip to do ATP after swabbing so I don't run into the same problem again.
The scales are food contact surfaces, we use them to size our chicken breasts.
The two fails trigger a deviation report (which includes a food safety assessment, corrective actions and preventative actions). I do not have support from my boss to send any of the product for microbial testing, which is why I’ve been searching for some reference material/ a deeper understanding on APC swab results on food contact surfaces in relation to poultry.
In regards to the primary objective of my post. I am conducting a food safety assessment as this is part of our procedure when we receive a repeat fail on the same item. And I need to determine/justify if food safety was compromised. i.e., does a swab result of 28600 cfu on the scale (a food contact surface) jeopardize the safety of the chicken breasts processed on it.
The cleaning procedure prior to micro swabbing is the standard pre-rinse, apply chemical detergent, scrub/remove all soil, then rinse the detergent from the equipment with high-pressure water. Then we swab in the morning before applying sanitizer.
This is an existing procedure; we have established target levels:
Total Coliforms: <10
Generic Ecoli: <10
Please note that all other food contact surfaces have produced swab results for all three metrics <10CFU.
The comment from Charles...
“Note that the micro. data you are discussing are all unrelated to Safety. (I assume the E.coli referred is "generic")
Safety is related to microbial Pathogens.
PS - re yr query APC "raw chicken" - for what form of chicken meat ??? eg retail pack raw chicken breast ? (notorious for typical existence of Salmonella).”
Could you please expand on this?
Thanks again everyone for the help. It’s so appreciated.
Edited by ntay96, 17 August 2021 - 11:26 AM.