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Best Answer , 13 May 2022 - 12:13 PM

You are correct

 

The bag/shake option is probably your best scientific choice----it will allow microbes hiding at the base of the bristles to be more likely to be captured


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UnbakedOlive

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 01:41 PM

Hi all,

 

The brooms in our factory are being cleaned/sanitized on a monthly basis.

 

Before we take the brooms back into use, we would like to check if the brooms are free from Enterobacteriaceae.

 

What is the best way to do this?

(Drown the broom in maximum recovery diluent and send a sample to the lab?)  :uhm:

Cheers,

Bob

 



Scampi

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 01:57 PM

Out of curiosity---why?

 

Do you allow foot wear to go outside for breaks/lunch


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UnbakedOlive

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 02:13 PM

Hi Scampi,

 

There is a hygiene procedure in place, including a shoe change area.

 

However the brooms are being used to clean product from product contact areas.

 

And if the brooms are not clean we potentially introduce harmful bacteria into our hygiene zone.

 

Cheers,

Bob



Setanta

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 02:38 PM

Do you do any other zone 3 or 4 testing? Like for Listeria or Salmonella?


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Scampi

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 02:51 PM

Ah, you're not talking about floor brooms-hand held sweepers-got it

 

So they touch product contact surfaces, but only being cleaned once a month??

 

You can use rapid swabs, instead of rinsing them with BP or the like, In poultry,  carcasses are put in a sterile bag and shaken with solution, can't recall if it was 100 ml or 50ml for 2 minutes an then we diluted to varying degrees from there

 

I think, based on what you're using them for-washing once a month isn't nearly often enough---even if these were sanitation utensils, they should be cleaned daily--unless I've missed something


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Charles.C

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 03:56 PM

Hi all,

 

The brooms in our factory are being cleaned/sanitized on a monthly basis.

 

Before we take the brooms back into use, we would like to check if the brooms are free from Enterobacteriaceae.

 

What is the best way to do this?

(Drown the broom in maximum recovery diluent and send a sample to the lab?)  :uhm:

Cheers,

Bob

Hi Bob,

 

Unless you are sanitizing brooms (squeegees?) to an amazing "Power" or using in an extremely "clean" environment, i predict you are extremely unlikely to get "negative" results for Enterobacteriaceae after swabbing a typical contact area, eg 100cm2.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Kara S.

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 04:40 PM

Out of curiosity---why?

 

Do you allow foot wear to go outside for breaks/lunch

 

 

Hi Scampi,

 

There is a hygiene procedure in place, including a shoe change area.

 

However the brooms are being used to clean product from product contact areas.

 

And if the brooms are not clean we potentially introduce harmful bacteria into our hygiene zone.

 

Cheers,

Bob

 

 

Completely understand what you are saying, but, never knew a plant to actually test their tools. Maybe do it once for validating your cleaning SSOP. So if that is what you are looking to do, perform your SSOP as written and then swab the bristles. Plenty of in-house EB tests you can do. 3M has petrifilm for it. 

 

Typically you have dedicated tools and storage for food contact brushes/brooms. Most plants use ATP testing and visual inspection before releasing the equipment back into use. You may also perform EB or Yeast & Mold testing on the equipment as part of an environmental monitoring program to verify that cleaning frequencies are adequate. 

 

I would not recommend regularly swabbing food contact tools because then you would need to quarantine them and get results prior to using that tool again. So if you are saying you do it monthly and then you happen to get a positive result - what would you do with the month's worth of product that was produced using that dirty cleaning tool? Would you then need to perform salmonella testing because your food contact tools have an EB hit? Are you just looking to say hey - we didnt clean this well enough, clean it again? In my opinion, it's better to have a visible inspection in place and train employees not to use dirty tools and ask for new ones.  

 

Is this for a pre or post-kill step area? Would you mind sharing the type of products you produce?


Kind regards, 

 

Kara Scherer 

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

LinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


UnbakedOlive

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 10:05 AM

Hi all, thanks for having this discussion. Something I should probably clarify, the brushes are not cleaned after 1 month, they are used once and then discarded. Each month the discarded brushes are being collected and cleaned by a cleaning company. We have different batches of brushes, the cleaned brushes will be first placed in storage and are used based on FIFO. (first in first out)

 

The cleaning method has been validated, but we would like to have a procedure in place that we are able to check each batch of brushes before we take them into use. This is because we have had some incidents in the past with contaminated brushes. (Visually they looked fine)

 

ATP might work, but I would prefer to send a sample to an external laboratory for Enterobacteriaceae testing so that we can use the lab reports during audits.

 

So in summary: either we place the broom in a bag with x amount of solution, shake and send a sample from the bag to the lab, or we take a swab from the broom and send the swab to the lab?



Scampi

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 12:13 PM   Best Answer

You are correct

 

The bag/shake option is probably your best scientific choice----it will allow microbes hiding at the base of the bristles to be more likely to be captured


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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Marloes

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 12:34 PM

Hi Bob,

 

I don't have any particular experience with e.coli swabs in brooms (I did use the ''standard'' listeria swabs in between broom bristles for listeria, which seems to work).

 

But you can most likely also check with the lab you are using, they also often have great advice.
Most lab-managers I know are quite eager to give you a few tips. This will also help with them using the correct analysis method for your sample.



Charles.C

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 02:01 PM

Hi all, thanks for having this discussion. Something I should probably clarify, the brushes are not cleaned after 1 month, they are used once and then discarded. Each month the discarded brushes are being collected and cleaned by a cleaning company. We have different batches of brushes, the cleaned brushes will be first placed in storage and are used based on FIFO. (first in first out)

 

The cleaning method has been validated, but we would like to have a procedure in place that we are able to check each batch of brushes before we take them into use. This is because we have had some incidents in the past with contaminated brushes. (Visually they looked fine)

 

ATP might work, but I would prefer to send a sample to an external laboratory for Enterobacteriaceae testing so that we can use the lab reports during audits.

 

So in summary: either we place the broom in a bag with x amount of solution, shake and send a sample from the bag to the lab, or we take a swab from the broom and send the swab to the lab?

Hi UO,

 

I am curious as to (a) how the brooms are externally cleaned (Steam ?)  and (b) what limit you place on the EB for an acceptable cleaning.

 

You must have extremely sensitive Production/Products since afai can recalI, I have never seen a published report describing the monitoring of (cleaned) factory brooms. The measurement units must be interesting - cfu/broom ?

 

The nearest published datum I could find was for refrigerator door handles (USA) and other restaurant utensils which applied EB < 10cfu/cm2. I assume you monitor the floor also as a Verification step ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C




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