AREA OF CONCERN: AN AGED PIECE OF EQUIPMENT FOR SLICING TRIM AND HAM-ENDS FOR FURTHER PROCESSING.
A pork processor contacted Sterilex to inquire about Indicon Gel. The processor had aged and worn equipment in their further processing and grinding production area. The equipment had oxidation on the frame, and a scratched stainless steel plate on the outfeed end of the equipment. The equipment belting also showed signs of wear and had a stapled union that presented a sanitation challenge. The unit had been cleaned but was selected for testing with Indicon Gel for the presence of biofilm due to age and condition. The pork processor suspected that biofilm may be detected on the unit even after a sanitation cycle.
Indicon Gel was applied to multiple areas of the equipment, which had been through a detergent clean and rinse cycle. One area of the equipment that was not suspected for biofilm contamination was a stainless steel outfeed plate of approximately 18” x 32”. The flat stainless steel slide appeared to be one of the newer pieces on the unit, although it exhibited noticeable surface scratching.
When applied to the staple union of the belt, Indicon Gel yielded a positive result.
- Consequently, one section of the staples was scrubbed with alcohol wipes, and one section was left untreated. Upon re-application of Indicon Gel, the untreated area still showed a positive reaction, and the scrubbed area was negative.
- Indicon Gel was applied to the steel outfeed plate, and indicated a positive result.
- Indicon Gel was reapplied to the same area of the stainless steel plate after being wiped down with alcohol wipes. There was a positive reaction along the scratch lines in the stainless steel.
- The alcohol wipes were not effective in removing biofilm from the scratched surface.
- A decision was made by the sanitation executive to tag out (place on FSQA hold) this piece of equipment for further sanitation prior to being put in service for food processing.
Sterilex proposed the following actions:
- Re-clean the equipment, hand scrub all accessible areas, and apply Sterilex® Ultra Disinfectant Cleaner Solution 1 and Sterilex® Ultra Activator Solution to the surface, followed by a water rinse.
- Repeat all necessary sanitation steps and re-test with Indicon Gel until a negative reaction can be achieved.