SQF Edition 9.0 Updates Regarding High Risk Areas
The SQF Edition 9.0 Update requires Annual Testing for AMBIENT AIR in facilities conducting high risk processes in food safety. This includes airborne contaminants, microorganisms, and pathogenic bacteria involving raw and ready to eat foods, kiln steps, and controlled conditions. Whether your food manufacturing facility is classified as a high-risk areas is to be determined by the certification body and auditors.
Areas of Impact for SQF Edition 9.0 Updates
Drains • Doorways and other openings • Sanitation tunnels • Compressed air supplies • During cleaning and washing operations • Packaging • Poorly designed/maintained air handling systems • Roof leaks • Besides that, various processing operations such as dicing, chopping, mixing, etc., generate aerosols, increasing the risk of contamination.
Ambient air is atmospheric air within an enclosed food facility. The SQF requirement 18.104.22.168 is for annual air testing in high-risk processing areas, i.e., rooms or areas where food is subject to physical or microbiological contamination or growth.
The main air purity updates for risk assessment in the F&B industry affect Food Manufacturing 22.214.171.124, Pet Food Manufacturing 126.96.36.199, Animal Product Manufacturing 188.8.131.52, and Dietary Supplements 184.108.40.206. Our support team can be reached at 512-263-0498 to answer specific questions or you can find more specific information here.
First and foremost is to come to the determination whether your Food Manufacturing facility is classified as a high-risk food processing facility. The updates to air purity testing may require additional testing to remain compliant. Our support team can be reached at 512-263-0498 to guide you through new testing requirements and set you up for updates to any additional changes regarding SQF air quality standards.
High-risk areas require a higher level of hygienic practice to prevent contamination of exposed food by pathogenic organisms or airborne allergens. These are rooms where food is post-process and may be subject to contamination. (1) air in food products facilities is a vector of contamination, moving from one place to another. Contaminants can be dispersed by aerosols consisting of solid (e.g., dust) or liquid (e.g., condensation water) microscopic particles dispersed in the air. These particles may carry microorganisms (bioaerosols) such as pathogenic bacteria or fungi or even viruses, spores, or allergenic substances.
AIR TESTING ALSO AVAILABLE FOR:
- Supplied Air Respirators
- Fire & Emergency Services
- Commercial and Recreational Diving
- Commercial and Military Services
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