The first step is to complete a risk assessment of biological hazards in your facility. You have likely already started this as part of your hazard analysis. Take into account your ingredients, the flow of production, your facility, and the nature of your operation to identify which specific pathogens may exist in – or enter- your environment.
Your next step is to create your environmental sampling plan, including the 4 major elements below.
1. Create a map of your facility, separated into Hygienic Zones
|All food contact surfaces
|Nonfood contact surfaces which are closely adjacent to food contact surfaces. These areas could lead to direct contamination of the food contact surfaces (Zone 1). Examples include overpasses, control panels, equipment legs, metal detectors, drip shields, hollow pipes and rollers, door gaskets, etc.
|Nonfood contact surfaces that are not adjacent to food contact surfaces (Zone 1). Pathogens in this zone could cause contamination to Zone 2 through employee’s actions or movement of machinery. Examples of Zone 3 areas include forklifts, walls, floors, drains, plant entrances, etc.
|Areas outside the processing environment. Examples include the warehouse, offices, locker rooms, washrooms, lunchrooms, etc.
2. Define a procedure for exactly how you will collect your samples
Who will perform the sampling? When will the sampling be done? What types of samples will be taken (Air, Swab, Water)? Have instructions for taking each type of sample. What sampling supplies will you use?
3. Define how often you will conduct each type of sampling (Air, Swabbing, water, etc.)
Will you conduct sampling daily, weekly, etc.
4. Define where you will take samples and what type of samples they will be (Air, swabbing, etc.).
For each of your Hygienic Zones, what are the exact locations from which you will be sampling? What will you be testing for on each sample? How many samples will be taken from each area or piece of equipment?
Need help with your environmental sampling plan? AEMTEK’s experts are available and ready to help! Contact us.
Plan for Analysis
Define what tests need to be done and how you will have the samples analyzed. Will you use a third-party laboratory? If so, include the name of the Laboratory, ensure they are properly accredited, and keep their accreditations on file in this section.
View AEMTEK’s accreditations here
Learn more about AEMTEK’s Environmental Monitoring Testing
Corrective Action Procedures
Define how you will respond to a positive result on one of your samples. What will you do?