Environmental swabbing plays a crucial role, especially in a food manufacturing plant. This process enables the food regulators and food business owners to know if a food processing area is clean and safe. In environmental swabbing, microbiological testing of equipment, utensils, and food preparation surfaces is conducted with the help of different swab techniques to detect the presence of any pathogens. Environmental monitoring has always been of pivotal importance. Due to which numerous environmental monitoring programs (EMPs) have been set up for screening pathogens and/or indicating microbes that would be growing in the surrounding areas and production facility. This provides an alert for the problems before contamination starts occurring. These programs are only successful if effective swabbing of the plant is done along with the typical testing and consistent implementation.
Below we are going to discuss a few of the reasons that highlight the importance of environmental swabbing.
- Maintains Health and Safety
Environmental swabbing enables all the different food and beverage manufacturing companies to make sure that health, trust, and public safety do not get compromised in any way. As a customer, you will not come to know about the actions that occur in a manufacturing facility which can end up having an adverse effect on the final products. There are some things like construction activities, water, and roof related issues, temporary repairs, changes in issues and processes with conveyors, refrigeration units, deteriorating floors, drains, etc. that can result in the formation of bacterial growth. Having a robust environmental swabbing program along with a comprehensive sampling site selection greatly helps a company to maintain high levels of health standards. This can be a standalone process, however, plays a crucial role in detecting a contaminated product in a facility.
- Determines the Pathogens
Environmental swabbing is highly beneficial in the determination of pathogens. Whether the pathogens are residents or transient of a facility, environmental swabbing proves to be an asset. There are several vectors that aid pathogens in moving through a facility including tools, people, water, movable equipment, contractors, pests, etc. Implementing a successful swabbing program allows the identification of transients before they find a shelter either the equipment or facility structure. The choice of swabbing tools and using a proper technique also need to be considered. In most cases, swabs are used for pathogen testing. The swab devices are used for critical purposes as holes and apertures, small cracks do not get swabbed correctly without using them. However, it is not best to use them for taking environmental samples from areas that are easily accessible. Applying proper pressure with a swab is usually insufficient, however, more pressure can be applied by using a sponge. Also, it is essential to use the correct swab as an incorrect swab can put a company at risk. Environmental swabbing should provide the best protection which can be ensured by performing a self-assessment for completely reviewing the program. A trained subject matter expert can perform the review.
- Prevents Regulatory Visits and Recalls
One another importance of implementing a diligent environmental swabbing program is for the prevention of recalls and regulatory visits. Having a strong environmental monitoring program is the perfect prevention insurance for a company along with helping to mitigate the potential of a recall. Getting its name mentioned in regulatory commentaries like documents and warning letters or in recalls that indicate provisionally approved status will have a negative impact on consumer trust. There are several components of recall prevention. Talking microbiologically, pathogen mitigation is an effective swabbing program and is a great investment in personnel and time, testing, supply, implementation, training, and maintenance costs.
Trusted and Reliable Provider of Environmental Swabbing Products
LABTEK Services is an industry leading provider of high quality environmental swabbing products. Below we are going to shed light on a few of our high grade products.
- Hygiene Swab Sampling 10ml Neutralising Buffer In Tube
The hygiene swab sampling 10ml Neutralising Buffer in tube includes a polystyrene shaft with a Polyester tip swab in a peel pouch. It is recommended for hygiene and environmental monitoring of surfaces or equipment testing with the presence of traces of disinfectants. This product is ideal if you want to maintain and transport microbiological samples and eliminate any sort of traces of disinfectants or sanitizers remaining on surfaces.
- Hygiena™ InSite Listeria
Hygiena™ InSite Listeria is a self-contained, easy-to-use, and environmental Listeria species test. Every device consists of a chromogenic liquid media that is formulated with antibiotics, color-changing compounds, and growth enhancers specific to Listeria species. The test area needs to be simply swabbed and then requires some waiting. After waiting for 24-48 hours of incubation, if there is a change in color is considered presumptive positive. There is no need to use any expensive lab equipment or handling of the additional sample is required.