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Episode 1: An Introduction to Environmental Monitoring Programs

Episode 1: An Introduction to Environmental Monitoring Programs

Throughout Kellerman Consulting’s free nine-episode Environmental Monitoring Program video series, we are going to review all of the required components in setting up an environmental monitoring program. We will evaluate the main organisms a facility should consider at the start of a program, and review what resources are available to perform environmental monitoring on an ongoing basis.

Let’s begin with the basics of implementing and operating an environmental monitoring program for food and food packaging facilities. To do so, we are going to start with what an environmental monitoring program is for, and what the first steps are in setting the program up.

As we begin our discussion with the requirements of an environmental monitoring program, the first step to consider is looking for and actually finding either indicator organisms or pathogens in your facility. It is up to each company to determine what organisms they will swab for, based on risk. The company will swab for organisms that are most likely to grow in their manufacturing environment. That’s right, we are swabbing to produce positives in our environmental program.

You may be asking how on earth it is possible that it’s a good thing to find any bacteria in your facility, so let’s talk about why that is.We recognize that nobody wants to have the presence of an organism that could cause food poisoning, or may cause spoilage in the foods you process or handle in your facility. However the reality of the situation is that bacteria which may be pathogenic is involuntarily introduced into most, if not all food facilities and it’s important to demonstrate that you are addressing this concern quickly and efficiently before these contaminants do irreversible damage

Episode 1 of Kellerman Consulting’s Environmental Monitoring Program video series delves into the differences into how food contact services and non-food contact surfaces should be handled when it comes to swabbing.
In conclusion, aside from food contact surfaces, if we are successful in finding these organisms in places where they are not a threat to food, packaging, equipment or clothing, we can clean and sanitize and monitor those locations without necessarily interrupting operations.

In our next episode of the Environmental Monitoring series, we’ll review how to decide on the frequency of environmental monitoring throughout the year, and how to properly schedule environmental monitoring activities with key personnel.

Thank you for watching. For free downloads to accompany this video series, visit the free training videos & resources page of our website.

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