Thursday, May 21, 2015

Protocol Lapses Happen

It is great when protocols actually work. Calf feeding equipment gets cleaned well using the prescribed steps every time.

OUCH! We slipped up. 

The dairy I was on yesterday has been doing a very consistent job cleaning the equipment used to feed colostrum. The bottles and nipples have been very clean each time we have checked them.

I used the Hygiena SystemSure Plus unit to do adenosine triphosphate (ATP) monitoring. The ATP test is a process of rapidly measuring actively growing microorganisms through the detection of adenosine triphosphate. An ATP monitoring system can detect the amount of organic matter that remains after cleaning a surface (for example, calf feeding equipment). 

Thresholds used in the food processing industry are less than10 RLU for direct food contact surfaces and less than 50 RLU for environmental surfaces. I have been using a reading of 100 RLU as a realistic upper threshold for calf feeding equipment. 

The readings yesterday were:

1. nursing bottle interior surface - April value = 1, May value = 22 -- acceptable
2. tube feeder inside upper end of tube - April value = 0, May value = 19 -- acceptable
3. tube feeder inside ball end of tube - April value = 2, May value = 894 -- NOT ACCEPTABLE

 So, what happened?

I looked around to find the brush used to clean the tube part of the esophageal tube feeder. Could not find it. I hunted up a person who should know about the cleaning - he could not find the brush either. It seems as though the brush is "missing in action."

Such a simple thing - a brush.

Fortunately I had an extra brush in my truck so we solved that problem on the spot (and, I sold him an extra brush to keep in reserve when the first one disappears).

This experience suggests the value of consistent monitoring of some kind regarding compliance with cleaning protocols. You might want to read this resource on how to monitor sanitation protocol compliance - click HERE to access this checklist. 

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