Environmental Testing: There's an App For That
There are two schools of thought on environmental testing locations. Some plants identify test locations and keep them largely consistent. They then cycle their testing through those test points. Others, identify criteria for a set of testing based on area of plant, zone, shift, etc. and send their team out to identify new locations each time they test. Both methods can be used in conjunction with a strong environmental program to keep your plant safe. Many leading companies leverage a combination of both.
Let's dig into the advantages and challenges of each approach and the tools that you need to manage them.
Set IT and FORGET IT
Using the HACCP plan, environmental data history and often expert consultants, plants can identify indicator points through out the plant. The frequency of testing can be defined based on the product type, point proximity, and regulatory implications. Maintaining consistency of these points from test to test is critical. This enables users to determine if there is a change in conditions since the last test. To support this approach, users need pictures or detailed descriptions so that collection is consistent. They also need to look at the history of that test point and analyze it for trends and changes. This approach makes most sense in plants were equipment is static, production is consistent and test points as defined are able to locate risk factors as they encroach on production.
Everyday is a New Day
Other plants are more fluid. Equipment is assembled and disassembled regularly, shifting locations, parameters, production conditions. In these plants, it is challenging and often ineffective to maintain static test points. Users must define a program that enables them to create new test points according to their program guidelines at the point of testing. These test points should be mapped. This can be very helpful in determining if a piece of equipment or supply is the source of contamination. To support this, users need an easy way to create new test points when sampling, capturing critical detail such as location, area and zone.
As with most things, the combination is ideal. Even if you are a plant with static points, when investigating a positive it may makes sense to add investigative points. And even if many conditions in your plant change frequently, over time you can likely identify some critical areas for consistent testing.
There's An APP for THAT
For any program to be effective, it is critical to have the right tools in place for you and your team. Sample6 CONTROL and Sample6 CONTROL Basic were originally structured around programs with consistent test points. However, as we worked with many of you,we've learned how critical the ad-hoc test points are to your programs and your workflow. There a few enhancements, we'd like to share:
Create A New Test Point
From the app, create a new test point, assign its room and zone and add it to a schedule. These enhancements have been added in the latest version.
Got a whole bunch?
Upload them to a schedule through the importer on your schedule tab!
Are you ready to make food safer?