I am working as the quality control manager at a kombucha brewery that is working towards SQF certification. I know that environmental monitoring is necessary in order to achieve SQF certification but it is not clear what level of monitoring is necessary. Our pH of the product starts out around 3.5-3.7 and goes all the way down to 2.9-3.1 at the end. I know anything under pH 4.6 is considered not able to grow or support pathogens.
My question is, do we need to monitor for pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria? These organisms would not survive or grow in the product, so common sense tells me no although I haven't found a clear answer. We do ATP swabs to confirm that our cleaning processes are effective so as of now I was thinking of just having ATP swabs be our environmental monitoring program. Would this be sufficient?