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Explore This IssueFebruary/March 2014
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For the Environmental Monitoring Decision Tree (click to enlarge image), products exposed to the environment are those that have a reasonable likelihood of becoming contaminated if the pathogen of concern exists in zones 2 or 3. If product is conveyed in fully enclosed piping into the final container with little to no likelihood of contamination or “hot filled” under controlled conditions, product would be considered to be not exposed to the plant environment. If the final kill step occurs after product is sealed in the final bacteria-impervious package the product would also be considered to be not exposed. Examples for the arrows:
- Shelf stable products are typically dry or low pH products that would be stored at ambient temperature (flour, extruded pet food, sugar, HFCS, soy meal, cocoa powder, etc.).
- Products receive a validated kill step for Salmonella within our facility (oilseed meal, extruded soy, roasted cocoa beans, whey powder, etc.).
- Products do not receive a Salmonella kill step within our facility (but they may have received a kill step before reaching our facility; cocoa powder, dried milk, soy flour, wheat flour, sugar, lecithin, refined veg oil, etc.).
- RTE ingredients are used to make RTE product within our facility (cold pressed cereal bars, powdered milk shake mix, etc.).
- Shelf stable products that do not receive a Salmonella kill step in our facility, and are not intended to be consumed without a further kill step after leaving our facility (not RTE; wheat flour, whole grains, corn flour, crude veg oil, etc.).
- Shelf-stable products are exposed to the environment after the kill step in a way that could reasonably contaminate product if Salmonella were in zones 2 or 3 (extruded pet food, oilseed meal, etc.).
- A shelf-stable product receives a kill step and is not exposed to the environment in a way that it could reasonably be expected to be contaminated if Salmonella is in zones 2 or 3 (refined oil going into bulk containers or small containers with minimal environmental exposure).
- Shelf-stable products that will receive a further reliable kill step after is leaves our facility, or has intrinsic properties that would kill Salmonella even if contaminated (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, mayonnaise, crude veg oil, soy flour going to cook-only applications, etc.).
- A shelf-stable or perishable product that is considered RTE with no further kill steps and was exposed to the non-refrigerated environment after the facility kill step (RTE extruded soy products, cold-gelling corn starch going into an RTE application, cooked IQF egg packaged in a non-refrigerated area, etc.).
- Shelf-stable product exposed after the kill step or perishable product exposed to a non-refrigerated area after the kill step that is a sensitive product for Salmonella and is RTE (chocolate, peanut butter, extruded soy products, etc.).
- Same as 10, but not a Salmonella-sensitive ingredient (RTE corn starch, frozen IQF RTE egg products).
- Perishable products require refrigerated or frozen storage (RTE turkey, pasteurized eggs, refrigerated sauces, raw ground beef, etc.).
- Products do not receive a L.monocytogenes kill step within our facility (but they may have received a kill step before reaching our facility; IQF cooked diced beef, pasteurized liquid egg, pasteurized milk, raw meat, and poultry, etc.).
- Products receive a validated kill step for L.monocytogenes within our facility (cooked meats, pasteurized liquid egg, etc.).
- Perishable products that do not receive a L.monocytogenes kill step in our facility and are not intended to be consumed without a further kill step after leaving our facility (raw meat and poultry).
- We bring in perishable RTE ingredients to produce a perishable RTE product (cooked roast beef brought into the facility and diced, packaged, and sold as a RTE product; cheese is brought into the facility, sliced, and added to gift trays to be sold as RTE).
- Perishable products receive a validated L.monocytogenes kill step in the final package or are not exposed to the environment in a way that would reasonably cause product to be contaminated if there was L.monocytogenes in zones 2 or 3 (cook-in-bag RTE meat or poultry products, hot filled sauces, pasteurized liquid egg, etc.).
- Perishable products that are exposed to the environment after the kill step and before packaging (sliced RTE meat or poultry product).
- Perishable product that is exposed to the environment in a non-refrigerated area (cooked IQF egg products packaged in an ambient temperature pack-off room). Note that with this type of product, both a Salmonella and a Listeria EMP will need to be considered.
- Perishable product exposed after the kill step, packed in a refrigerated area (sliced or diced meat and poultry products), or non-refrigerated area.
- A perishable product, exposed after the kill step and before packaging and is at risk for L.monocytogenes multiplication (sliced natural turkey with no listeriostatic formulation or post-package kill step).
- Same as 21, but product is frozen or formulated to prevent L.monocytogenes growth (RTE meat and poultry products with validated listeriostatic formulations).