Israel – How did salmonella spread in the Strauss production facility? – analysis


How does salmonella spread in a food production facility and can it be prevented?

Because salmonella is a pathogen that is prevalent in the gut of many animals and insects, it can spread by the animal’s feces into the soil, water and food. From there it can easily be introduced into and spread throughout a food production facility by way of raw ingredients, as was the case with the Strauss facility. It can also spread through the facility via contaminated packaging, equipment and workers’ hands and clothing.

Salmonella thrives in moist, warm environments such as drains, floors and processing equipment, making a food production facility the perfect environment for it.

However, there are several ways to ensure that the risk of salmonella contamination in a food facility is lessened, according to international cleaning equipment supplier Vikan’s hygiene and compliance manager Stine Lønnerup Bislev.

The first step to controlling the spread of the bacteria is to ensure that only clean and disinfected equipment, tools and utensils are brought into the processing area, Bislev explains on the company’s website. Then, all incoming ingredients and materials that pose a risk for contamination should be tested for salmonella ahead of production.

Ingredients must be cleaned and disinfected properly, using either a wet or dry cleaning method, depending on the moisture content of the ingredient. High moisture ingredients that require wet cleaning include meat, vegetables and dairy products, Bislev notes.

To avoid the spread of contamination, raw and processed foods must be handled in separate areas, using separate tools and equipment. Cleaning equipment should meet the appropriate hygiene standards to facilitate easy cleaning and prevent microbial growth.

Hygenic design features include smooth surfaces, one-piece construction, easy dismantling and a lack of crevices.

Finally, Bislev states, a program should be developed by the production facility’s management in order to routinely sample the space for salmonella.

“An environmental monitoring program will assess the effectiveness of your overall hygienic practices, monitor the environment for transient pathogens and help mitigate potential harborage and growth niches,” she concludes.

Read more at the link above.

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