Tag Archives: Sanitation

How Clean is Clean?

Food manufactures know they must produce a safe, quality food product that their customers will continue to trust. To do this they must be diligent in their quality assurance programs. Are you giving your sanitation group the proper allotted time and training to always perform their duties correctly? If you are involved in food manufacturing you want to answer “YES.”  But in reality, you have to implement programs to ensure the effective cleaning of your processes and equipment prior to each day’s start of production.

To be proactive many food manufacturers use a surface ATP (adenosine triphosphate-the energy molecule stored in all microorganisms) bioluminescence testing method. The ATP that is measured from a sample may be from food residue, bacteria, yeast, mold or some combination of these. Keep in mind the ATP methods only give a broad indication of the presence of organic substances and not specific microorganisms. This is a quick and simple to use system designed to detect ATP on surfaces after cleaning and prior to applying sanitation chemicals. If the ATP level found surpasses your established threshold the equipment must be re-cleaned and tested to confirm the surface is clean. By utilizing ATP testing this allows the sanitization group to improve their work immediately.

Monitoring your facilities hygiene is critical when it comes to HARPC and HACCP compliance. As part of comprehensive food safety program, it can also bring a great deal of peace of mind. If you compare the investment in strengthening your sanitization program verses the total costs associated with an outbreak or product recall (consider possible harm to your customers, litigation costs, wasted product, production downtime, and damage to your brand), the choice becomes pretty clear.

Simply put, ATP testing methods are an important tool in looking beyond the surface when it comes to clean. Keep an eye out for more ATP news right here on the Wide Line blog, including exciting new developments in ATP technology provided by 3M later this year. In the meantime, we’re here to help you with all of your ATP and environmental testing needs! Help is just a click or a call away!

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A Year of Learning: Food Safety & QA/QC Courses Offered

Food Safety CalendarYou may have seen our announcement earlier this year that we started working with Cherney Microbiological Services to provide educational opportunities for customers interested in learning more about food safety, sanitation, and a host of other topics.

Well, we are happy to announce that Cherney has released their Cherney College course offerings for 2016!

Contact us at sales@nelsonjameson.com or call 800-826-8302 if you would like to learn more about any of the following course offerings or to register (early bird discounts are available for registrations submitted 30 days prior to the course date). Courses are held in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Course Dates Cost
Advanced Food Microbiology February 24-25, 2016 $995.00
Plate Interpretation March 15, 2016 $595.00
Food Safety for Suppliers March 16, 2016 $695.00
Sanitation and Environmental Monitoring Essentials April 13-14, 2016 $1295.00
Introduction to Food Microbiology – The Basics June 8-9, 2016 $995.00
Chemistry Analysis in the Food Laboratory August 16-17, 2016 $995.00
Plate Interpretation September 21, 2016 $595.00
Advanced Food Microbiology November 9-10, 2016 $995.00

Custom on-site training is also available from Cherney; contact us for more information.

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The Constant Student: The Importance of Continuing Education in the Food Industry

Books and appleBenjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” In the food industry, this old adage is put to the test each time consumers open up a food product or sit down for a meal. The ability to create a safe and high-quality product demands critical thought, innovation, vigilance, and a willingness to seek out best practices. The return on this investment comes in creating a product one can be proud of and in protecting the best interests and health of one’s customers.

Yet, making sense of regulations, rules, and best practices can be somewhat daunting for the average producer. Small and medium-sized operations especially may view something as comprehensive as the Food Safety Modernization Act as an imposing and confusing path they are not sure how to navigate. So, how can one balance the want for excellence with these sometimes seemingly overwhelming demands placed on food industry interests? Simply put, the best weapon against being overwhelmed comes through education.

Nelson-Jameson is working with Cherney Microbiological Services to provide accessible educational opportunities for operations of all sizes and levels of experience. This April 21st-22nd, consider taking part in “Sanitation and Environmental Monitoring Essentials,” a course for employees involved in facility control programs where attendees will learn about food microbiology, sanitation, and environmental programs in an interactive environment. The course will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin and an early registration discount is available through March 25th ($1195 early or $1295 after March 25th).

Contact us for additional information or to learn more about the course. We would like to know your ideas/thoughts on needed topics that you would like to see addressed in future courses and/or training opportunities, leave a reply in the comments section below or contact us at sales@nelsonjameson.com.

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Keeping it Clean with FSMA

j0444789A large part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) focuses on prevention when it comes to controlling our food supply. The steps to preventing foodborne diseases, according to FDA, on the part of the manufacturer, involve evaluating the hazards, specifying preventative steps, monitoring, and correcting problems that may arise.

An aid in reducing hazards is disinfection, cleaning and sanitation. Food Quality & Safety published an article in November 2013, titled “Keep It Clean” that takes a deeper look at the role of disinfectants and sanitizing solutions in FSMA implementation. While there are a few different methods of disinfection, we provide products for chemical disinfection:

Chlorine Sanitizers

Iodine Sanitizers

Quaternary Ammonium (QUATS)

Once a surface has been disinfected, verification will need to take place, which takes care of the monitoring part. A method of verification used prior to sanitation mentioned in the article is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. Our Laboratory & QA/QC product line offers a variety of items that can aid in verification: 3M™ Clean-Trace™ NG Luminometer3M™ Clean-Trace™ Surface ATP Test.

According to the article, ATP does not correlate with micro counts, therefore swabbing and the use of petrifilm is recommended. We feature the following items for swabbing and petrifilm: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates & Accessories3M™ Quick Swabs3M™ Hydra-Sponges, and 3M™ Sponge-Sticks.

We are a team when it comes to food safety, you can count on Nelson-Jameson to provide quality products that aid in FSMA implementation. For more information on FSMA, see the FDA website.

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From the Learning Center: Footbath Tips

NJ_Disinfectant Mat Flyer.QXDSome plant managers complain that employees don’t use them. Others say that they don’t get cleaned out often enough. Or, the sanitizing solution loses effectiveness, creating a source of contamination. Yes, these things can happen…but they don’t have to. Each of these problems has a simple answer. Quality assurance techniques require monitoring. Disinfectant Mats, by themselves, don’t create a sanitation program.

We can help you make it work. Because Nelson-Jameson has been in the business for so long, we’ve got some suggestions that have worked well for others: 

  • Have enough Disinfectant Mats so that employees don’t need to go out of their way to use one. Locate them at every entrance to processing areas.
  • If employees bypass footbaths, put several together to cover the whole entrance…so they can’t avoid them.
  • Limit access to processing areas, keeping drivers, warehouse workers and office personnel out, if possible.
  • Initiate a footwear and clothing program – work clothes and boots should stay at work.
  • Education is a powerful sanitation tool, so talk to employees about the problem.
  • Post “Use Footbath” signs as reminders to employees.
  • Check sanitizer concentration with test strips, which are convenient and simple. Keep daily or hourly log of results.
  • Replace regular mats with the Antimicrobial Disinfectant Mat.
  • Use longer lasting sanitizing solutions. Chlorine bleach dissipates rapidly, especially in the presence of a heavy organic soil load. Other compounds will last longer. Try quaternary ammonium, iodine, chlorine or acid sanitizers.
  • Don’t forget other aspects of your program, such as air sampling, HACCP, surface sampling, insect control, drain cleaning, condensation control, and cleaning of drip pans, condensers and air filters.

For more information on disinfectant mats, click here.

 About Our Learning Center
To make informed decisions in the food, dairy and beverage industries, you need to have in-depth product knowledge and a variety of educational resources. Our Learning Center is designed to help you with all that. Visit our Learning Center today!

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