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Lino

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  • Italy
    Italy

Posted 10 June 2024 - 07:30 AM

Hi All,

 

I have some doubts about environmental testing. Let me explain. If the target microorganisms in the environmental monitoring plan are spoilage  (also) microorganisms, how and when should they be searched for?  If the target microorganisms in the environmental monitoring plan are the spoilage microorganisms when and where should they be searched for zones 3 and 4? It is clear that if the target microorganisms were pathogens (listeria and salmonella) they should be searched for during work operations. But if pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., listeria) are not considered, should they still be looked for during work operations? Would it make sense to look for total Enterobacteriaceae on the floor or wall during work operations?

 

Thank you

Lino



johnct

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Posted 10 June 2024 - 05:05 PM

Hi Lino, 

 

I take Eurofins Environmental Monitoring guide (White Paper)  and build on it according to my facility. This should give you an idea.

 

ZONE 1: Direct Product Contact Surfaces

 

Surfaces where cooked/finished product is exposed to the environment before final package closure.
 
Locations
Tables, conveyor belts, buckets, fillers, hoppers, utensils, employee hands and gloves, items and 
surfaces directly over or in close proximity to direct food contact surfaces such as lights 
fixtures and piping, compressed air lines, and water filters.
 
Tests
Pathogens (Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes) and indicator bacteria (Listeria species, aerobic 
plate count, coliform count, total Enterobacteriaceae count, lactic acid bacteria count).
 
Frequency of Testing
Weekly
 
Minimum Number of Samples
Depends on line complexity
 
Program Validation
Necessary if only using indicator organisms in the routine program. Validation includes periodic 
testing for pathogens of concern.
 
Product Disposition
All product produced on the line tested should be held until final results are received when 
testing any Zone 1 sites for pathogens.
 
ZONE 2: Non-Product Contact Surfaces Close to Zone 1 Surfaces
 
Locations
Equipment frames, drip shields and pans, control panels and buttons, overhead fixtures and piping 
not directly over or in close proximity to food contact surfaces, computer screens, maintenance 
tools.
 
Tests
Salmonella and indicator bacteria (Listeria species, aerobic plate count, coliform count, total 
Enterobacteriaceae count, lactic acid bacteria count)
 
Frequency of Testing
Weekly
 
Minimum Number of Samples
10 to 15
 
ZONE 3: Non-Product Contact Surfaces in Open Processing Area
 
Locations
Floors, walls, ceilings, drains, hoses, cleaning equipment including brooms and brushes, air 
handling units, condensate drip pans, carts, pallets, forklifts, trash cans, foot baths, sink area 
including soap and towel dispensers
 
Tests
Salmonella and indicator bacteria (Listeria species, aerobic plate count, coliform count, total 
Enterobacteriaceae count, lactic acid bacteria count)
 
Frequency of Testing
Weekly
 
Minimum Number of Samples
10 to 1
 
ZONE 4: Support Facilities Not in Open Processing Area
 
Locations
Bathrooms, locker rooms, cafeteria and break rooms, office rooms, hallways, warehouse, loading 
docks, maintenance shop, storage areas
 
Tests
Salmonella and indicator bacteria (Listeria species, aerobic plate count, coliform count, total 
Enterobacteriaceae count, lactic acid bacteria count)
 
Frequency of Testing
Monthly
 
Minimum Number of Samples
10 to 15
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Good Luck
John CT




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