Salmonella Cross contamination in Vegetable Plant

Category : Farming / Food production, fecal contamination, food hygiene, food hygiene inspection, food industry, Food Microorganisms, food poisoning, Food Processing / Packaging, food safety, Miscellaneous, poultry, quality control, Salmonella
Salmonella Cross contamination in Vegetable Plantby Andrew Routledgeon.Salmonella Cross contamination in Vegetable PlantToday’s post is a story that I heard from a colleague about a vegetable processing plant that became infected with salmonella and e. coli. Please understand that this is a major international company and it is for this reason that I cannot disclose any names in the content of this article. This particular plant buys […]




salmonella-549608_1280Today’s post is a story that I heard from a colleague about a vegetable processing plant that became infected with salmonella and e. coli.

Please understand that this is a major international company and it is for this reason that I cannot disclose any names in the content of this article. This particular plant buys vegetables of all sorts directly from large farms and after grading, cleaning and sorting the vegetables are frozen and packed for the consumer and institutional markets.

The company in question works with just two or three trucking companies which bring the raw materials to the plant and deliver shipments of finished product to the local and foreign markets. Good relationships had been established with the trucking companies which included both the haulage companies and the factory itself helping each other out as much as possible as a matter of course. This factory had the best weigh bridge in the area and one of the favors that was performed on an ongoing basis was to weigh trucks of the said three companies even though the payload of the trucks had nothing to do with the business of the factory.

Complaints had been arriving at the factory’s quality control department stating that their products had tested positive for salmonella and e.coli. The factory checked all of their production lines to check that everything was working as it should and indeed no faults were found inside the factory itself.

A decision was taken to bring in an expert in the area of HACCP’s. and indeed it took him a mere five minutes to discover the source of the problem. Many different types of trucks were coming in to be weighed. Among them were trucks hauling the following cargoes: cages for chickens and turkeys being shipped from farms to slaughter houses, deep litter from dairy farms and poultry farms, various types of manure, and soil.

Trucks carrying these loads often waited for quite some time alongside trucks hauling vegetables for the factory itself. Dust and spray that inevitably flew from one truck to another was enough to cause the cross contamination of the vegetables with whatever the other truck was hauling.. This was a very basic and critical flaw in the work procedures and food hygiene standards of this particular factory. This situation was more than enough to cause this food hygiene crisis for this particular factory.

A decision was instantly taken to stop the weighbridge service to all trucks not carrying vegetables specifically for the plant. In this particular case, good intentions led to a very bad result.


Author: 

Andy has many years of experience in food preparation, Food Hygiene, Catering and staff Training

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    Andrew RoutledgeJune 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad this article helped you. There are several more involve comtamination through salmonella and several which give insight into how salmonella spreads. Thanks again, Andy

  2. ELISHA KUTTOJuly 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for the article.It has really helped me.Iam an Msc student analaysing vegetable contamination by the Salmonella and E.coli.Pliz i will be gratefull for your updatesw and comments.Thank you.

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