Environmental testing involves the microbiological sampling of food contact surfaces or nearby areas to test for the presence of pathogens or indicator organisms. An environmental monitoring program (EMP) includes pathogen swabbing to detect risk in the sanitary conditions of the processing environment and is a verification of the effectiveness of pathogen controls in place at a facility.
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.
The Listeria Right Now™ test system detectsListeria, including the pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes, in environmental samples in under 60 minutes—with molecular-level accuracy and without the need to enrich samples. The test has also been submitted for AOAC Performance Tested certification to further validate its accuracy.
On Demand:This webinar will present recent research from the University of Wisconsin–Madison demonstrating this ATP-depletion phenomenon and how processors can guard against such false negative assessments.