Food Safety Magazine

SANITATION SOLUTIONS | February/March 2011

Employee Training: Essential Tool for HACCP and GMP Compliance

By BioControl Systems

Employee Training: Essential Tool for HACCP and GMP Compliance

Employee training plays a critical role in facility Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure (SSOP) programs. In a recent National Institute of Food and Agriculture survey, 65% of the establishments surveyed characterized training as very important, with highest interest in the areas of HACCP regulatory updates, cleaning and sanitation, detection and control of pathogens and Escherichia coli regulations.[1] Reasons given for not having a training program included lack of time, lack of funds and lack of access to appropriate training resources. Higher overall knowledge scores were achieved by parti-cipants who recognized the importance of training, had computer access and participated in an ongoing training program at their plant.

To address these needs, BioControl has developed an on-line training and certification program for the LIGHTNING MVP® system. It is now easier than ever to train staff on all shifts and maintain up-to-date training records at all locations.

The new on-line training provides 24/7 access to interactive user training on the following fundamental aspects of ATP testing:

•    Why test for ATP?

•    The importance of using a consistent sampling technique

•    Operation of the LIGHTNING MVP instrument

•    How to configure test points and establish testing parameters

•    Upload of data via the TRAX software for analysis and reporting

Training can be completed when time allows around the clock, which is especially critical for second and third-shift employees who often lack access to training opportunities. Upon successful completion of the training module, participants may take a short quiz to test their mastery of the training material. Upon successful completion of the Quiz, the participant is issued a certificate of completion for their training records.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in SSOP compliance is managing employees, specifically communication and retention of required training materials. Finding the time and resources to provide successful and relevant employee training is challenging and time consuming. The LIGHTNING MVP on-line training and certification program makes it easy to deliver uniform and consistent training to employees regardless of location and work schedule. To address the need of low-cost, accessible training, this on-line training program provides instant implementation of a fully developed training program. These training modules provide a simple method to provide high quality training to all employees across all shifts. Testing modules evaluate employee knowledge and retention of training content with personalized training record documents and certificates for each individual who successfully completes the module.

The importance of training for new employees is widely accepted and understood, but ongoing training for existing employees is a crucial task that is frequently overlooked. The online training from BioControl Systems allows for new employees to become familiar with the instrument and technology, while allowing more seasoned employees a chance to review the information. It is recommended to make training a priority by budgeting time and resources for training activities.

Using an ATP bioluminescence system, such as the LIGHTNING MVP, enables a processor to verify sanitation effectiveness on a daily basis and instantly identify “hot spots” where microbiological testing should be done. The LIGHTNING MVP is the first quality monitoring system to utilize one instrument platform to collect, analyze and report data from quality and hygiene indicators, including ATP, temperature, pH, conductivity and sanitizer concentration. Results can be transferred to a PC for trending and reporting. The highly accurate and reproducible platform allows for on-site calibration of all parameters, supporting SSOP and HACCP requirements by ensuring your hygiene and quality assurance programs are effective and documented.

Changes in cleaning staff, raw materials, chemicals, seasons and many more variables impose challenges on any sanitation program and timely, reliable feedback on its effectiveness is vital. ATP monitoring provides that immediate feedback, allowing timely intervention if the daily cleaning was ineffective, as well as a window into the impact the program has over time. The LIGHTNING MVP Hygiene and HACCP Monitoring System provides producers with multiple tools to monitor, trend and review quality control data. With the introduction of the new on-line training program for ATP detection, BioControl is excited to offer yet another value-added innovative solution to the unique challenges encountered by our customers in the food processing industry.

biocontrolsys.com

References
1. Hirsch, D. and C. Nettles. 2010. Preparing Small and Very Small Meat and Poultry Establishments for the Future of HACCP: A Cooperative Approach. Funded by a National Integrated Food Safety Initiative grant.