House of Thaller conducts micro tests on ingredients, finished product, and the processing environment. Testing parameters include Staphylococcus, Listeria, Salmonella, Total Coliform, E Coli, Standard Plate Count, Anaerobic Plate Count, Lactobacillus, and Fungi. No pathogen testing is conducted on-site. All tests are conducted by an outside certified lab.
Adherence to these standards and verification of food safety and quality are achieved from many different sources. Within the company there are copious checks and verifications to ensure that all control measures are being monitored to maintain quality and safety. Cross department audits and verifications are conducted to give alternate perspectives and ensure that quality and safety parameters are in control. Many outside sources and viewpoints help us stay informed and up to date.
Environmental Sampling Programs
Our environmental sampling program is in place to monitor for food spoilage microorganisms and food poisoning pathogens. The program is well designed and enables the detection of unacceptable microbial contamination in a timely manner. Our methods are focused on risk assessment to determine the most appropriate methods for monitoring. The sampling programs include the collection of samples during production on a regular basis from work surfaces in a randomized manner which will reflect the differing working conditions. In addition, samples are taken from these sites after sanitizing and from sites which may serve as harbors of resident organisms. Sampling is not only conducted on food contact surfaces, but the evaluation of non-food contact surfaces such as conveyor belts, rollers, walls, drains and air is equally as important as there are many ways (aerosols and human intervention) in which microorganisms can migrate from non-food contact surfaces to food. The results of these samples are tabulated as soon as available and in such a way that they can be compared with previous results in order to highlight trends.
Determining the Frequency of Monitoring
Our environmental monitoring program reflects a balance between employing the available resources efficiently and monitoring at sufficient intervals so as to ensure that a meaningful picture of the levels and nature of bacterial contamination can be obtained. The frequency of monitoring different areas is determined based on trends discovered as well as routine planning as both relate to processing areas and environment.
Swab Samples for Microbiological Environmental Testing
Our examination of environmental swabs for specific food pathogens is achieved by transferring swabs into an appropriate enrichment broth for the specific pathogen being sought. In such instances, methods such USDA FSIS methods are applied to any specific pathogen.
Evaluation of the Results from Environmental Microbiological Testing
Following sampling and microbiological analysis a series of results will be available that provide an indication of the overall levels of hygiene in our processing environments. This body of information provides a valuable tool for maintaining and improving the quality and safety of our products. In addition, the detection of specific pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria is critical in ensuring food safety for the consumer.