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SQF Edition 9 Ambient Air Updates

TRACE ANALYTICS - the leading air testing laboratory since 1989

SQF Edition 9 Ambient Air Updates

SQF Edition 9 will be implemented on May 24, 2021. This new update includes several changes and clarifications, including requirements for annual ambient air testing in high-risk locations. This change is included in the following sections:

Food Manufacturing 11.7.1.2: Ambient air in high-risk areas shall be tested at least annually to confirm that it does not pose a risk to food safety.
Pet Food Manufacturing 4.7.1.2: Ambient air in high-risk areas shall be tested at least annually to confirm that it does not pose a risk to pet food safety.
Animal Product Manufacturing 9.7.1.2: Ambient air in high-risk areas shall be tested at least annually to confirm that it does not pose a risk to food safety.
Dietary Supplements 17.7.1.2: Ambient air in high-risk areas shall be tested at least annually to confirm that it does not pose a risk to food safety.

A manufacturers’ level of risk is dependent on their potential hazards and risks that are posed to the consumer if a loss of control occurs. “High risk” can be applied to a food or process declared by a customer or relevant food regulation. Trace Analytics can supply microbial testing for high risk areas through either passive or active sampling.

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Ambient Air Testing

Microbial sampling performed with active sampling (using the Trio.bas) allows for air volume control, the use of multiple different kinds of media, and is portable and handheld. Using this piece of equipment, we can detect and report down to < 1 colony forming unit per m (CFU/m ).

Controlled environments must be regularly monitored to ensure that applicable protocols and procedures are effective and are adequately preventing cross-contamination to products. Ambient air testing for high risk areas can help facilities monitor for bacteria, yeast, and mold that could be damaging to their products and harmful to their end users.

Passive Air Sampling:

settle plate for ambient air testing

Settle plates are used for passive air sampling. The plates are simply placed in high risk areas and allowed to rest for up to 4 hours. The results are reported in colony forming units per plate and do not take air volume into account. Instead settle plates inform the user of the amount of viable microbiological contaminants that settle from the ambient air in sampled space. This can be a powerful tool for high traffic, high risk areas.

Active Air Sampling:

triobas

Best for specifications that require reporting in CFU/m 3, the Trio.bas Mono is used for active air sampling. This method allows customers to account for a specific volume of air in the location and provides qualitative and quantitative results. This piece of equipment can detect and report down to < 1 colony forming unit per m (CFU/m ). Learn more about ambient air sampling here.

About Trace Analytics

Trace Analytics is accredited to ISO 17025:2017. Our A2LA accredited laboratory is an unbiased, third-party laboratory capable of handling your SQF testing needs from compressed air to ambient air to surfaces. Our team of experts can set you up with the appropriate sampling plan to pass your upcoming audit and ensure your end-products are not affected by contamination from the air impacting them.

Our state-of-the-art microbiology lab can perform analysis from total plate counts, to Gram staining, to further identification of organisms. Contact us to get started today.