At the start of each new year, we endeavor to set new goals that deliver performance improvement throughout the facility. A new year also brings to mind a new set of audits and inspections. For quality assurance (QA) managers and directors looking for ways to make Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance and audit preparation easier, there is hope.

The MVP ICON® is a complete Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) management system that combines high-sensitivity bioluminescent detection with room-storable sampling swabs that are resistant to sanitizer interference, allowing fast, accurate detection of low levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on surfaces after cleaning or sanitizing. But for QA managers, the real value lies in the system’s ability to measure other parameters, such as water conductivity, chemical concentration, pH and temperature; present up-to-date visual performance indicators; and most importantly, provide audit-ready reporting. Unlike other ATP systems, which only measure and store ATP data, the MVP ICON offers QA managers time savings and peace of mind, knowing their hygiene-monitoring program is effective, in control and compliant, with the added benefit of being able to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness with relevant, print-ready reports.
For most ATP systems, the data management software is nothing more than simplified bar graphs/charts, pivot tables and raw data views that QA managers must spend time organizing in a meaningful way. But with the ICON Dashboard software, dedicated widgets and graphs instantly provide a clear, color-coded indication of key performance indicators, like Pass/Warn/Fail and Re-Test rates, by test point over user-adjustable time frames. These automatic reports can be quickly generated in preparation for an audit, saving countless hours of data manipulation and preparation.

Validating Chemical Concentrations
In addition to ATP testing, sanitation managers need to verify and document that their cleaning and sanitizing chemicals are consistently prepared at the correct concentrations to ensure optimal performance. Prepared at too low a concentration, chemicals may be ineffective and can result in growth of unwanted microorganisms; chemicals prepared at too high a concentration could result in unnecessary increases in chemical expenditure, adverse effects on equipment and food contact surfaces, and may even serve as adulterants.

Using the ICON Conductivity & Concentration probe, sanitation managers can quickly and accurately measure and validate that each batch of chemical standard used has been prepared at the specified, effective concentrations. When synced to the ICON Dashboard software, all measurements from all parameters are downloaded from the probe for storage, tracking and reporting.

According to one QA manager of a ready-to-eat meat processor, “I knew a more accurate measurement of our sanitizers would be useful, but I had no idea it would prove its value so quickly. I estimate I’m using 35 percent fewer sanitizers than before I started using the Conductivity probe. Overusing sanitizers by that much runs into big expense. I’m very pleased with the results.”

As an alternative method, test strips can be less precise and are subject to incorrect visual interpretation. And other alternate methods, like titration kits and inline chemical injectors, are laborious and/or require a lot of maintenance.

No Muss, No Fuss Audit-Ready Reporting
In addition to on-demand corrective action and trending reports, the ICON Dashboard software also provides QA managers with four audit-ready HACCP reports that include numeric and graphical data: Sample Plan Summary, Test Point Frequency, ATP Swab Usage Count and Calibrations/Verifications.

Unlike other ATP systems on the market that require return-to-factory calibration or intensive calibration testing, the MVP ICON is the only multi-parameter hygiene-monitoring system that allows complete on-site, anytime instrument calibration using the MVP ICON Calibrator Rods. Calibration takes less than 1 minute, and results can be synced to the ICON Dashboard software. And as importantly, the date of last calibration is displayed on the instrument screen, and all calibration records and verification results are stored in the Dashboard. Come audit time, QA managers can instantly produce a complete print-ready PDF report of calibration and verification records for each ICON instrument.

Take the Next Step
To learn more about the full capabilities of the MVP ICON system and how easy it is to integrate into your hygiene-monitoring and sanitation program, contact BioControl Systems at 800.245.0113, or www.
. BioControl Systems Inc. is part of the biomonitoring business of Merck KGaA.