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Quality Supervisor

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Posted 28 February 2022 - 03:11 PM

Hello All,

 

What type of Allergen Swab do you guys purchase? I am looking to buy some for our company. We do not do allergens everyday but relatively often. We are looking ones that are inexpensive but can just show a good indicator of protein? I typed in Allergen Swab kits and most of them are $250/ 100 box



Spidey

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Posted 28 February 2022 - 06:34 PM

My company uses AllerSnap swabs from Hygiena.  It's a general protein allergen test, we pair it with ATP testing for allergen cleaning verification.  The swabs require the use of an incubator, which Hygiena also sells, and provide an easy to read color changing reaction.  Green is good, grey is caution, and purple is bad.  Results in 15 minutes or 30 minutes depending on your incubation temperature.  I don't remember how much these swabs cost us.



Charles.C

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Posted 01 March 2022 - 12:45 AM

Hello All,

 

What type of Allergen Swab do you guys purchase? I am looking to buy some for our company. We do not do allergens everyday but relatively often. We are looking ones that are inexpensive but can just show a good indicator of protein? I typed in Allergen Swab kits and most of them are $250/ 100 box

 

Hi QS,

 

Food allergens are almost always proteins, but not all food proteins are allergens.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Scotty_SQF

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Posted 02 March 2022 - 01:19 PM

I have used the same swabs as Spidey.  They were good and easy to use.  I also paired it with ATP swabbing.



Charles.C

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Posted 02 March 2022 - 02:33 PM

My company uses AllerSnap swabs from Hygiena.  It's a general protein allergen test, we pair it with ATP testing for allergen cleaning verification.  The swabs require the use of an incubator, which Hygiena also sells, and provide an easy to read color changing reaction.  Green is good, grey is caution, and purple is bad.  Results in 15 minutes or 30 minutes depending on your incubation temperature.  I don't remember how much these swabs cost us.

Hi Spidey,

 

Allersnap is useful but, despite the somewhat misleading URL, is  not an allergen testing kit.

 

AllerSnap™ is a quick and easy way to verify the cleanliness of surfaces by detecting protein residues left behind after cleaning. By simply swabbing the area and activating the device, you release a reagent that turns color, providing a qualitative and semi-quantitative result of the protein levels on the surface: green means clean and purple means re-clean. The more protein present, the quicker the color change to purple and the darker the color. AllerSnap™ quickly validates surface hygiene, allowing immediate corrective action to be taken when necessary.

https://www.hygiena....tion/allersnap/

 

ex SQF ver 8.1

 

Cleaning Validation and Verification  
One of the areas of possible confusion is the requirements for allergen cleaning validation and verification.    
Section 2.8.2.1.vii [Ver 9 >2.8.1.4] states; “Cleaning and sanitation of product contact surfaces between line changeovers shall be
effective, appropriate to the risk and legal requirements, and sufficient to remove all potential target allergens from
product contact surfaces, including aerosols as appropriate, to prevent cross-contact.”   
Section 2.8.2.1.viii [Ver 9 >2.8.1.5] states “Based on risk assessment, procedures for validation and verification of the effectiveness
of the cleaning and sanitizing of areas and equipment in which allergens are used shall be effectively implemented.   

Interpretation
The  SQF  Code  requires  validation  and  verification  of  cleaning  and  sanitizing  procedures  for  the  product  contact
equipment, and therefore the use of finished product testing for validation of cleaning is not considered adequate.  

A  program  of  verification  needs  to  be  built  on  an  initial  validation  study  that  identifies  the  target  allergen(s),
threshold levels, and the severity of contamination, and shows the cleaning process and testing used are effective
to  give  the  desired  results  consistently.  Once  the  cleaning  process  has  been  validated  as  effective,  a
verification/monitoring/inspection  program  shall  be  established  to  assure  that  the  validated  cleaning  process  is
being used, is maintained and effective.

Validation   
The purpose of validation is to prove that the cleaning process employed is effective in removing the allergen of
concern.  This proof requires evidence that the specific allergen was in fact removed, or reduced to an acceptable
level by the cleaning procedure.  Therefore, only an allergen specific test will provide that evidence.   
The acceptable validation testing methods involve the use of a test specific to the allergen being removed.  These
generally require the use of a test method which uses an antigen (the allergen)  and an antibody specific to the
antigen.  One example of the antigen and antibody test is the enzyme linked immuno-assay or ELISA method.  The
ELISA  method  can  be  either  quantitative  or  qualitative  and  can  be  conducted  in  a  laboratory  or  with  test  kits
available for in plant use; either is acceptable.  ELISA test kits are available from several manufacturers and are
commonly used in the food processing industry.  Lateral flow test devices also use an ELISA-based method and are
also effective in detecting specific allergens.  While lateral flow devices are qualitative only, most have sensitivities
around 10 parts per million (ppm) and are available for most of the common allergens and are designed for use in
a plant environment.         
Both the ELISA tests and lateral flow test kits have been accepted by recognized allergen research scientists and
meet  the  requirements  for  sanitation  validation  of  the  SQF  Code.  It  must  be  noted  that  there  may  be  other
‘acceptable’ tests for validation methods that can be used but the test must meet the “allergen specific” criteria or
provide  some  other  evidence  that the  validation is effective.   The  SQF Institute  does not  endorse  any  particular
technology or methodology and relies on the site to provide the evidence of a scientifically validated and effective
cleaning method.   Like any validation of any food safety control, periodic re-validation is required to account for
any changes that may have occurred.  Not all allergens have specific test kits available which includes some fin fish
and allergens that have been modified by fermentation, heating or hydrolysis.  

Verification  
Once a validated cleaning method has been shown to remove the allergenic material of concern, the facility must
verify that the validated procedures were used each time.  This verification must be documented by a responsible
person from the site who has been trained in the validated cleaning method.  The most common method used is
direct  observation  of  the  validated  cleaning  procedure  during  the  sanitation  process.    Another  acceptable
verification method is the use of highly sensitive swabs that test for proteins.  These recently developed swabs will
detect  total  protein  at  approximately  20  ppm.    Since  these  devices  only  test  for  total  protein  and  not  specific
allergens,  they  are  not  acceptable  for  validation  but  will  serve  to  verify  that  equipment  has  been  thoroughly
cleaned
.    There  are  also  sensitive  ATP  test  swabs  available  however  the  presence  of  ATP  does  not  indicate  the
presence  of  protein  which  is  the  allergenic  material.    The  use  of  these  total  protein  swabs  or  the  ATP  sensitive
swabs  must  be  calibrated  with  the  validated  cleaning  procedure  by  using  them  immediately  after  the  validated
method is used and recording the results of both the allergen specific test and the protein or ATP swab test.   It is
also  to  ensure  surface  swabbing  is  occurring  at  corners,  joins,  and  crevices  in  the  equipment  as  well  as  open
surfaces, to check for protein held up in equipment.

 

 


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Rick Reyes

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Posted 02 March 2022 - 07:00 PM

Good afternoon all, we use Neogen Accupoint Advanced for our daily ATP cleaning verification in conjunction with Daily Pre-Ops. We try to schedule our non-common allergen products for later in the week or the last part of the day when that is not possible (these days just in time operations are not really possible). We segregate employees, equipment, and ingredients to prevent cross-contact issues. For the times that we can not follow a less to more allergen process due to supply issues we perform full sanitations on the allergen containing lines and use Biocontrol Total Protein Indicators to validate the allergen removal from cleaned equipment. We use Neogen Reveal 3-D for Egg, Soy, and Milk quarterly to validate our allergen control program.

The prices for each of the different test kits can vary based on volume of use, I believe that we only receive a volume discount on our ATP samplers since we do everything possible to minimize the need for the other testing from a food safety and cost avoidance perspective.






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