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Atypical Bacteria in water samples


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Tresa

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:36 PM

Hi everyone,

 

we use municipal water in our production for cleaning and drinking (no water in recipe). I just informed that water samples result for atypical bacteria is above the limit (more than 200/100ml) so total coliforms cannot be numerated. I sent around 30 samples to lab and only 5 samples are above the limit. Do you have any idea what could be the possibility contamination? If the faucet is old, is there a possibility to get positive reading?



Scampi

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:38 PM

what location or part of the plant are those 5 from?

 

did you run the water for 60 seconds before sampling

 

did you wipe the faucets with an alcohol wipe prior to sampling

 

did the cup or lid touch anything

 

and may i ask why you sent so many?  Usually potable water is a twice/yr or quarterly when not used in the product, always the main line, and then 4 points from within the plant on a rotation


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Tresa

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:47 PM

Main wash sink that we wash utensils, hand wash stations, mixing room sink that wash the equipment. The QA Tech who took the samples run the water for 30 sec, but he did not wipe with alcohol. would you think that tip of the faucets might be contaminated?

I take samples twice annually, but each time samples taken from all facets/area (cafeteria, all hand wash stations, all places that we wash utensils/equipment) in the site.



Tresa

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:10 PM

Also, we test water samples for Atypical bacteria, E.Coli and Total Coliforms. I was reading Health Canada Microbiological guideline, it was not mentioned anywhere about  Atypical bacteria, why do we need to test for Atypical bacteria?



olenazh

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:10 PM

Like Scampi mentioned, I'm sending 4 samples in rotation monthly, but also - a sample from Plate cooler heat exchanger, weekly (we run some products through the plates, so that's kind of CFIA requirement). RE: your issue, make sure your taps are clean - otherwise, your samples will be compromised.



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Scampi

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:13 PM

It really sounds like the samples got contaminated---i would just repeat the sampling, but ensure hands are sanitized , taps are wiped and water is left running for at least 60 seconds prior to sampling

 

all it takes is one small touch and your sample is compromised.

 

I wouldn't assume the taps are contaminated, I would assume the samples were compromised----- I would suggest you take the tech with you and retrain for the second set. 

 

If those come back high, then you need to flush those lines and try again

 

I would just drop the atypical testing-----------can't imagine there is any value to it

 

everywhere i have ever worked, samples are just checked against the national standard for drinking water, which IMHO is all you should be doing as well

 

it reads like your predecessor perhaps didn't understand the actual requirement and went way way overboard. scale it back to what you actually need, which is the national drinking water standard


Edited by Scampi, 14 September 2021 - 01:15 PM.

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Tresa

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:42 PM

It really sounds like the samples got contaminated---i would just repeat the sampling, but ensure hands are sanitized , taps are wiped and water is left running for at least 60 seconds prior to sampling

 

all it takes is one small touch and your sample is compromised.

 

I wouldn't assume the taps are contaminated, I would assume the samples were compromised----- I would suggest you take the tech with you and retrain for the second set. 

 

If those come back high, then you need to flush those lines and try again

 

I would just drop the atypical testing-----------can't imagine there is any value to it

 

everywhere i have ever worked, samples are just checked against the national standard for drinking water, which IMHO is all you should be doing as well

 

it reads like your predecessor perhaps didn't understand the actual requirement and went way way overboard. scale it back to what you actually need, which is the national drinking water standard

I really appreciate your comments. what criteria do you test for water? which standard are you referring to?



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Posted 14 September 2021 - 04:59 PM

We send our water out and there is a tick box for the drinking water standards

 

https://ncceh.ca/env...-and-governance

 

The link will show you each province and territory, but probably the fastest thing to do is call the lab you use!  they can send you the info for the standard they use

 

https://www.canada.c...guidelines.html


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Charles.C

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 10:37 PM

Hi everyone,

 

we use municipal water in our production for cleaning and drinking (no water in recipe). I just informed that water samples result for atypical bacteria is above the limit (more than 200/100ml) so total coliforms cannot be numerated. I sent around 30 samples to lab and only 5 samples are above the limit. Do you have any idea what could be the possibility contamination? If the faucet is old, is there a possibility to get positive reading?

 

Hi Tresa,

 

Can you inform the actual results above 200cfu/100ml ?

 

eg 210 is not quite the same as 2010.

 

It sounds like yr water is totally unchorinated ??


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:51 PM

Our plumber (and I in a previous position) always ensure the tap is sterile by using a torch for a few seconds to heat it.  Then let the water run for 30-60 seconds and take your sample.



olenazh

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:56 PM

Our plumber (and I in a previous position) always ensure the tap is sterile by using a torch for a few seconds to heat it.  Then let the water run for 30-60 seconds and take your sample.

Wow, that's rough! Never thought of such an option, wish I could have my own tiny portable torch...



ESuttmiller

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 07:37 PM

Wow, that's rough! Never thought of such an option, wish I could have my own tiny portable torch

And why can't you? Go to any decent kitchen supply store and get a creme brulee torch. (I have one at my house)



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Tresa

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 07:39 PM

Hi Tresa,

 

Can you inform the actual results above 200cfu/100ml ?

 

eg 210 is not quite the same as 2010.

 

It sounds like yr water is totally unchorinated ??

I was told that they can not tell exact count, just told > 200 cfu/100ml unfortunately. 



Charles.C

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 08:55 PM

I was told that they can not tell exact count, just told > 200 cfu/100ml unfortunately. 

Hi Tresa,

 

Somewhere your control system is badly screwed up. !

 

I suggest you check the free chlorine level at distribution points. (Assuming Canada do chlorinate the public water supply ?)


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Tresa

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 03:06 PM

Hi Tresa,

 

Somewhere your control system is badly screwed up. !

 

I suggest you check the free chlorine level at distribution points. (Assuming Canada do chlorinate the public water supply ?)

Yes, Canada adds Chlorine as part of the drinking water treatment process

How could I check the free chlorine level?


Edited by Tresa, 20 September 2021 - 03:07 PM.


Scampi

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Posted 21 September 2021 - 12:05 PM

Tresa

 

Just repeat your sampling and see what comes back before you do anything else, the main line coming into the building and 3-4 more random locations, and have the lab test it against the standard that is used in your province (they are not all identical, but very close)  

 

Use the lab as a resource, send you samples, wait and see what comes back, then take next steps if required.  


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