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US: Study shows need to monitor microbial levels in dump tanks

Good Fruit Grower: The study by Seattle-based iDecisionSciences collected and examined dump tank monitoring data from five Washington apple packing houses to determine whether dump tank water preventive controls are controlling microbial levels and meeting requirements of the companies’ food safety plans. “We used microbial water testing data to establish how effective those preventive controls are during the course of normal packing operations,” said iDecisionSciences CEO Diane Wetherington.

“Overall, we’re finding a mixed bag. Facilities would benefit from examining their individual operations in light of recently published industry research and determining how the science can best be applied to their individual operations.” The researchers collected samples over 180 operational hours at the five facilities over the course of two years — 368 total coliform tests and 74 generic E. coli tests.