Continuous Improvement is Key
COVID-19 Effect on EMPs
Going Beyond the Spreadsheet
Any effective environmental monitoring program requires frequent evaluation and evolution in order to mitigate risk to your consumers and your brand reputation. From updating best production practices to determining which risk factors are evaluated, your EMP should evolve as more data becomes available. Evaluating and mitigating bacteriological pathogens such as Salmonella & Listeria in addition to indicator organisms such as Enterobacteriaceae are standard practice. As your product line and consumer market expands, further evaluation of your EMP may require more frequent sampling of your current risk factors. In addition, other mitigation programs such as allergens and GMOs may need to be added to your EMP.
SARS-CoV-2 Reinforces the Need for Tools to Effectively Manage Your EMP
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic reinforces another aspect of an effective EMP: the health and safety of your employees. You need employees to not only carry out an effective EMP, but also be healthy and feel safe to do so. Non-food contact surface evaluation becomes critical to mitigate the potential spread of the virus in your production environment. The addition of surface testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA provides another tool in your EMP arsenal, in that it adds another evaluation criterion to an already growing list from which to make assessments on the effectiveness of your program.
Why Utilize an Environmental Mapping Solution?
The biggest challenge to evaluating and evolving any EMP is typically the gathering and utilization of data. As your EMP grows, the burden of using manual data collection tools such as Excel grows as well. Data collection and reporting takes a lot of time and effort, and adding another data point such as SARS-CoV-2 only adds to that burden. Having a digital tool in your toolbox to manage your entire EMP alleviates much of the time and effort not only gathering and reporting data, but also carrying out the day-to-day sampling tasks, mitigation protocols, and knowing where frequent non-conformance areas are located in your facility.
What is the Mérieux NutriSciences Solution?
Given the growing need for digital tools for managing total EMP effectiveness, the EnviroMap solution is available in addition to SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing, and many other services included in our Safer Stronger program to provide a holistic solution during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.