#08-090

Complete

Date Full Report Received

08/02/2009

Date Abstract Report Received

08/02/2009

Investigation

Institution:
Primary Investigator:

Allergens continue to be a challenge to the food industry from a public health standpoint as well as from a regulatory perspective. Several options exist to separate allergen-containing and non-allergen-containing products. These options include but are not limited to maintaining separate facilities, separate rooms and separate lines. However, some of these options are neither practical nor achievable for many businesses where shared equipment and last-minute product changeovers, no matter how undesirable for allergen control, do occur. The current study was designed to validate sanitation procedures used to clean equipment to prevent cross contact with allergens during the production of allergen containing pork products using the current technology, screening and quantitative test kits. Four major pieces of equipment of varying complexity (slicer, grinder, injector and tumbler) as well as associated conveying and packaging equipment were cleaned using two different cleaning procedures (water wash and scrub/sanitizer) and a “no clean” control to compare the reduction in the level of allergens as might occur in a processing environment during product changeover between allergen-containing and non-allergen containing products. Additional testing of packaging equipment and of employee PPE (personnel protective equipment; coats, aprons, gloves, sleeves) was conducted to validate the need for employee change out between allergen and non-allergen product runs. While both the water wash and scrub/sanitize treatments were effective in reducing levels of allergens no equipment, overall scrubbing the equipment with soap and water was more effective than rinsing equipment with water alone for consistently reducing the percentage of residual allergen and in reducing the levels of allergen to below detectable levels (< 1ppm). Some individual differences were observed for equipment of varying complexity