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Allergen cleaning - Assignment Example

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Dry cleaning involves wiping, brushing, or sometimes vacuuming and does not engross chemicals or water. Application of air hoses is highly…
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Allergen cleaning
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Question Understanding the Basics of Allergen cleaning a. Compare and contrast wet, dry and combination allergen cleaning.  Which is better?  Which is better for different processes?
The three main methods of allergen removal are dry cleaning, wet cleaning and product purge, a combination of both wet and dry cleaning. Dry cleaning involves wiping, brushing, or sometimes vacuuming and does not engross chemicals or water. Application of air hoses is highly discouraged in this method of allergen cleaning because of the high risk of scattering the allergen. Dry cleaning is suitable for dry allergens that have exceptionally little or no oil content.
In wet cleaning, water and other chemicals either acidic or alkaline are involved in the cleaning process. Much emphasis is kept on sanitizing surfaces in contact with food because undeclared allergens pose a risk to people’s lives. However, it is essential to understand that this method does not remove residues containing allergen proteins.
In product purge, the product is passed through a series of processes to remove the residue left in the prior production. This is the best method used to clean enclosed surfaces and areas that are not easily accessible. Wet cleaning is the most efficient method of eliminating allergenic residues in food processing equipment. However, there are situations where water is incapable of cleaning. In such occasions, the best methods involve dry cleaning.

b. Summarize the creation of an allergen cleaning SOP including validation (include an explanation of validation vs. verification).  Choose a specific allergen and cite its critical limit to determine "absence".  What type of sampling and assay would you use for validation of this protocol?
In order to create a good allergen cleaning SOP, it is necessary to carry out risk assessment tests to establish the best management measures. It is crucial to create an allergen process flow table or a map. This will enable the facilitator understand where the foods and allergenic ingredients exist in the factory and where they ought to be introduced in the cleaning process. It is also essential to create an Allergen Control Plan to each processing facility. Lastly, it is crucial to review and update if necessary the Allergen Control Plan on a regular basis especially when new processes, protocols or ingredients are changed. Depending on the risk being assessed, effective cleaning and sanitizing measures for validation and verification of the equipment and areas in contact with the allergen should be implemented effectively. The main aim of validation is to ensure that the cleaning process used is capable of removing the concerned allergen.
Immunological screening methods are commonly used to determine the presence or absence of allergenic residues at trace levels in foods. These techniques involve binding an allergenic protein with an antibody. Immunological techniques come in various formats, with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAs) being the most conventional format. In ELISAs, the proteins of the allergenic substrate are detected by an antibody labeled with an enzyme, and predicted by the enzymatic reaction that results to the formation of a colored substrate. Absence of an allergenic compound in a sample can be detected from a calibration curve developed from the analyzing standards. In order to carry out an effective ELISA test, trained laboratory personnel, a micro-titer plate spectrophotometer and standard laboratory equipment are required.
Question 2: Allergen cleaning verification
a. Assuming you have completed the above allergen cleaning SOP and validated it.  How would you go about verifying cleaning after each allergen process run and clean up?  Describe the details.
Once the validated cleaning method has proved to have eliminated the concerned allergenic residue, the product must also confirm that the validation procedures were one at a time. This verification should be acknowledged by a qualified person from the plant who is acquainted with validation cleaning methods. Direct observation forms the most commonly used validation cleaning technique used in the sanitation process. The use of extremely sensitive swabs that detect proteins is also another commonly accepted verification method. These lately developed swabs identify the overall protein at about 20 ppm. Because these devices only detect overall protein content and not the wanted allergens, they are not adequate for validation but would serve to validate that the equipment has been carefully cleaned.
Works Cited
Monique, Bremer. Selecting a Suitable Food Allergen Detection Method. Food Safety Magazine, June/July 2009, pp. 1-5. Read More
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