Many methods are available for verifying the viability of a sanitation program, and most facilities use a combination of different methods to ensure that the sanitation program is performing as expected. Pathogen environmental monitoring (PEM) programs are a key prerequisite program to a sanitation program and to any facility's overall food safety program. There is no one-size-fits-all PEM program for facilities; rather, a PEM program is based on a facility's risk factors and what product(s) the facility manufactures.
The Investigations Operations Manual is the standard for FDA field investigations. It explains how FDA investigators are taught to act, what to look for, and what to do when they find a noncompliance at a food facility. The latest version, which came out in June 2022, contains an important update on environmental monitoring.
With the COVID-19 pandemic (hopefully) solidly in the rearview mirror, we wanted to find out what projects and initiatives food companies are focusing on for the rest of this year and into 2023. We heard from more than 200 food processors in every major category. They reported a wide-ranging wish list of projects and priorities, with improving their food safety culture, more training, improving their supply chain management (especially with their foreign suppliers), and improving their sanitation and environmental monitoring programs at the top of the list.
In the BONUS episode, we hear from Dr. Michele Sayles, Diamond Pet Foods, and Dr. Vik Dutta, bioMerieux about testing and the environmental monitoring approaches that have worked for Diamond Pet Foods.
In this BONUS episode of Food Safety Matters, we sit down with Dr. David Acheson and Ben Katchman, Ph.D., to discuss the critical role environmental monitoring plays in managing risk in food processing.
Food safety does not end with the creation of a documented plan. It must be an ongoing effort, especially in processing facilities producing ready-to-eat (RTE) products, where product contamination may lead to public health risks, costly recalls and reputation damage.
A robust environmental swabbing program will greatly help dairy processors in ensuring the prime directive: public health.
June 12, 2018
The importance of environmental swabbing in dairy operations cannot be overstated. Some reasons are rather obvious, while others may not be so. But the responsibility falls on all food and beverage manufacturing companies to ensure that public safety, health and trust are not compromised in any way.