Working to identify specific goals with in your environmental monitoring program allows you to serve multiple complementary purposes. Although there isn’t a universally recognised framework for environmental monitoring, there are some approaches which are consistent with other parts of food safety and quality management e.g. HACCP.
Environmental monitoring programs include a variety of tests e.g. ATP and indicator organisms to pathogens, allergens and spoilage organisms. Samples are collected around a facility at different times of the day with alternate frequencies.
To begin this HACCP approach, a facility identifies food safety and quality-related hazards. Specific hazards in food manufacturing can be transferred through the processing plant environment. This environment could be a potential source or vehicle (or both) for cross-contamination. To monitor each hazard, a control strategy is put in place. This is similar to non-process preventative controls. Validating these controls will ensure you are targeting the hazards and verifying the effectiveness to ensure it’s consistently implemented.
Verification could include measurements and records as an alternative to classical environmental monitoring tests. Any corrective actions should be continuously developed in case the verification critical limits aren’t met.
Every environmental monitoring program has to be developed specifically to the facilities issues or concerns. To implement the program, key preventative controls need to be identified. This is not necessarily assigning specific hazards to each preventative control. Subsequent identification is needed to validate and verify each control. The approaches mentioned above could also lead to the existing environmental monitoring to be re-aligned. The realignment could mean removing tests which no longer have specific goals and purposes.
Perform seamless reporting for your BRC or retailer inspection with an audit ready system. Here at Gem Scientific, we offer a range of luminometers that are designed to minimise training time and costs whilst also making ATP testing simple.