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Hygiene Inspection for Packaging manufacture

packaging BRC Hygiene inspection

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Posted 28 April 2022 - 12:51 AM

Hi all,


We just complete our BRC Packaging Standard Issue 6 audit.

During the audit, the auditor was asking for "Hygiene inspection to assess cleaning & housekeeping performance."

We already had our General housekeeping inspection and the auditor said that "hygiene inspection" is different from the housekeeping inspection.


Can some share some example for the hygiene inspection?

Also, we also do ATP test in the critical area for EMP.


Thank you.

Evans X.

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Posted 28 April 2022 - 09:44 AM

Greetings Amirah,


The hygiene inspection in general requires environmental monitoring. This can include:

- Environmental air quality checking for TVC or Molds/Yeasts.

- Checking for TVC, E. coli/Total coliforms/Staphylococcus (usually from personnel hands/work uniforms or approns/boots). Salmonella is not likely, but Listeria, which can form biofilms, can potentially be introduced via water/air-condition systems and for this you check non-critical areas also.

ATP testing is good for the use you mentioned but it's not indicative of cross-contamination that can be introduced to the critical areas from other sources during production.



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Posted 28 April 2022 - 11:44 AM

Hello, I think your ATP check is already better than most company. You manufacture packaging and not FOOD.
As long as you have an plan to swab your critical area in your process (parts in contact with the surface of the packaging in contact with food + people's hand + water quality and air quality) you should be OK. 

The KEY thing to do is, if your ATP test or your lab tests for air & water come back positive, then you must carry further analysis on WHAT is causing it to be non conform and solve the issue.

I contacted BRC directly a year ago to ask specifically what was expected in term of environmental monitoring, and their answer for packaging company was to carry a risk assessment...(not even testing)

But I prefer to test to be sure all is OK at the plant.

So we purchased an ATP machine too and I'm now looking to purchase some agar pads and an incubator so that I can carry further investigation in case of high ATP results (ATP gives an overall count of contaminants without allowing you to know what type it it, the agar pads allow you to determine this).


Don't get bullied by auditors that ask for things not asked in the standard.

Hope this helps.

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Posted 28 April 2022 - 11:57 PM

Thank you Evan & kbrandler.


We had risk assessment done for EP and selected to do weekly ATP test inspection on the critical area.

However, the auditor insisted for us to do another hygiene inspection for overall area.


It quite confusing as the auditor wants it to be a part of auditing program (e.g monthly inspection).

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