Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Throwback Tip #50: Swab Test for Cleanliness

Most candy makers would probably agree it’s easier to keep a super-clean facility when the bows and boxes aren’t flying during the holiday season. However, we all know food safety is just as important during your off season as it is during the peak of the holidays.

One way to stay on top of this anytime of the year is to regularly swab test the cleanliness of your facility. We don’t mean a visual test where you look to see if the area appears clean, but an actual scientific test for allergens, sanitation and etc.

Sample test kits are available to perform on-site tests of a variety of areas in your production zone. Neogen Corporation is an example of a member-recommended company that supplies sample test kits. Using their food allergen tests you can do on-site tests to detect a target allergen (see list of allergens here) in ingredients, liquids, clean-in-place rinses, finished foods and on environmental surfaces. They also have sanitation tests to detect the amount of food residue and other organic matter, such as bacteria, yeast and mold, that may remain after cleaning.

Neogen is just one example of the many organizations that offer this type of product, however, through more online research you may find another source that better suits your needs. Another option would be to send swabs to a lab to be more thoroughly tested. Along with many others that provide this service Merieux NutriSciences, formerly Silliker Labs who presented at a past RCI conference, provides food testing and sanitation information for confectioners and food facilities.

Ensuring the treats created at your facility are not only delicious, but also safe for consumption is an essential part of good manufacturing processes. RCI Members: Access additional materials on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) by logging in to the member side of the RCI website. 

Do you have other tips for maintaining a clean food facility in the midst of your busiest production schedules? Please share with our blog community in the comments below!

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.

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