Source: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA submitted to
RISK ASSESSMENT OF TANKER-TRUCK SANITATION AS RELATED TO THE SECURE TRANSPORTATION OF JUICES AND DAIRY PRODUCTS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0196971
Grant No.
2003-51110-02075
Project No.
FLA-LAL-04140
Proposal No.
2003-04214
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
111.G
Project Start Date
Sep 15, 2003
Project End Date
Sep 14, 2006
Grant Year
2003
Project Director
Parish, M. E.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
BOX 100494, JHMHC
GAINESVILLE,FL 32610
Performing Department
CITRUS RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER, LAKE ALFRED
Non Technical Summary
A Tanker-truck transport of liquid foods such as juice and dairy products must be conducted in a clean, sanitary and secure manner. B Extension activities related to tanker transport of foods are minimal. C Education activities that include issues related to bulk transport of foods are minimal. A The purpose of this study is to investigate the microflora of tankers delivered to juice and dairy manufacturers for loading or unloading in Florida and Virginia. B Extension outreach efforts related to tanker sanitation and security will be produced for the food and tanker transport industries. C Educational modules related to tanker sanitation and security will be produced and incorporated into existing courses. Modules may be used to establish a web-based course on tanker transport of foods.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
40%
Applied
50%
Developmental
10%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
7120999110045%
7123450110045%
7124099110010%
Goals / Objectives
This project addresses the analysis, assessment and identification of sources of risk associated with the secure transport of liquid food commodities in tanker trucks. Tanker transport is commonly used to move juice and dairy products from one food processing facility to another across the U.S. Juices are moved by tanker across the U.S. on a daily basis from many geographically distinct areas. Milk and other dairy products are also moved in-bulk although transport is usually on a regional basis. It is not unusual for juice processors to ship tankers of concentrate from Florida to dairies in other states prior to packaging. Some small juice processors rely entirely upon bulk transport in tankers to move their product. Issues of tanker sanitation are of critical concern for the safety of various food products. Tanker transport of foods has been an overlooked aspect of farm-to-fork food safety. The normal elements of control utilized by a processor may not be present in the liquid tanker transport system since food processors usually rely on independent tanker truck companies to provide clean tankers to transport juice locally and long distances. A few of these trucking companies have their own tank wash facilities, while many others rely on independent tanker wash stations in various parts of the U.S. to provide this service. The rationale and significance of this study can be summarized by considering the need to ensure that liquid food commodities are transported in a sanitary and secure manner. We anticipate that results from tanker sanitation studies conducted in Florida and Virginia will provide information with wide-spread applicability for various liquid food commodities. Goals of this study are to evaluate the current state of tanker sanitation and to provide a blue-print for mitigation strategies that will enhance the safety of juices and dairy products that are transported in bulk. Specific study objectives are: 1. To investigate the microflora of tankers delivered to juice and dairy manufacturers for loading or unloading. 2. To produce extension/outreach products and workshops for appropriate stakeholders. 3. To produce educational products for appropriate stakeholders.
Project Methods
A survey to determine the cleanliness and sanitary quality of tankers arriving for loading or unloading at beverage processing plants will be conducted. Water remaining on the interior sides of a clean tanker after washing typically drains to the bottom rear of the truck during transport of the tanker to a food manufacturing plant. If the tanker is clean and empty, this water will be released through the tanker's rear valve assembly and a portion aseptically collected for microbial analysis. Portions of the valve assembly will be swabbed to determine the microbial load. From both loaded and empty tankers, swabs will be taken from various points of the tanker including the inner dome area, and rear valve assembly. Samples will be transported to the nearest cooperating laboratory (University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL; University of Florida Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Gainesville, FL; Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA; Virginia Tech Department of Food Science & Technology, Blacksburg, VA) for analytical testing. Samples will be assayed for total aerobic plate count, E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. Extension efforts will be focused on integration of research observations with training approaches to enhance quality and safety practices. Programmatic efforts will include educational/outreach and extension efforts that will help educate fluid food processors on methods to enhance tanker sanitation. Outreach activities will include workshops, trade publications and roundtable discussions. Information generated from the research efforts of this grant will be incorporated into existing courses at the participating institutions. Slightly longer term, stand-alone course modules will be developed that will provide fundamental knowledge about the microbiological sanitation of tankers used to transport juices, juice concentrates, fluid milk and other liquid foods, and also provide practical examples of appropriate transportation/handling practices. The complete modules can be utilized for a variety of needs: graduate level special study, flexible content for existing courses, and also in WebCT courses (or other web-based systems) that serve the distance learning strategic growth plans of the collaborating institutions.

Progress 10/01/05 to 09/30/06

Outputs
We anticipate that results from tanker sanitation studies conducted in Florida and Virginia will provide information with wide-spread applicability for various liquid food commodities. Goals of this study are to evaluate the current state of tanker sanitation and to provide a blue-print for mitigation strategies that will enhance the safety of juices and dairy products that are transported in bulk. The current research consisted of a survey of the tanker cleaning protocols at various tanker wash facilities. Juice Products Association (JPA) protocols number 2 and 4 were observed and evaluated (103 and 58 tankers this period, respectively). In a separate study of hold times of previously-cleaned tankers, a study was conducted to determine if there was an effect on tanker sanitation when the washed and sanitized food grade tanker was held for a period of time after cleaning. Tankers were cleaned following the prescribed JPA wash protocol (Type 2 or Type 4). Tankers were sanitized either by the prescribed hot water method (HWS) or by a chemical sanitizer (CS). The tankers were sampled at Day 0 and closed up but not sealed for sampling either at 24 or 48 hours. Sampling sites for this study were split in half in order to not disturb a portion of the site for the next days sampling. Tankers were evaluated for APC, yeast, coliforms, fecal coliforms, E. coli, Salmonella spp, and Listeria spp. Tankers were sampled over a period of 1 year. The results indicate that when sampled at 24 hours of hold time, APC, coliforms, fecal coliforms, and E. coli were recovered in more than twice as many HWS tankers then in CS tankers. APC, coliforms, fecal coliforms and E. coli were found in 24 hour hold tankers in HWS and CS tankers but only APC and coliforms were found in both 48 hour hold tankers. Most 48 hour hold tankers were a Type 4 wash which may explain this. Microorganism populations in the HWS tankers had a 2 log increase from the Day 0 counts while the CS tankers were kept to less than 1 log increase. In CS tankers that had a 1 log increase or greater, the sanitizer residue was less than 25% of the recommended amount. Microorganisms recovered were either from residual bacteria left in the tanker after cleaning, re-contamination due to equipment handling, or from the cool down water.

Impacts
Tanker transport of liquid foods is currently receiving close scrutiny by regulatory and industry officials. Appropriate methods for tanker cleaning and sanitation efforts have not previously been investigated. Results up to this point indicate there are numerous areas related to cleaning protocols, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), clean-out-of-place procedures, and equipment operations that require attention. Specific interventions in Florida indicate that the number of tankers failing inspection after cleaning may be reduced up to 90% upon implementation of improved GMPs, SSOPs, and record-keeping.

Publications

  • Richards, M. and Goodrich, R. 2006. Microbial Composition, Biofilm Formation, and Removal from the Surfaces of the Manway Lid Gaskets of Citrus and Dairy Liquid Transportation Tankers (in preparation).
  • Winniczuk, P. and Goodrich, R.M. 2006. Evaluation of Hold Times for Cleaned Food Transport Tankers. Citrus Processors and Subtropical Technology Conference Abstracts, Lake Alfred, FL. p. 36. http://www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/processors/abstract.htm


Progress 09/15/03 to 09/14/06

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Surveys to determine the cleanliness and sanitary quality of tankers arriving for loading or unloading at beverage processing plants were conducted over a 2-year period. Evaluation of the water remaining on the interior sides of a clean tanker after washing that typically drains to the bottom rear of the truck during transport of the tanker to a food manufacturing plant was used as a screening tool. Portions of the valve assembly were swabbed to determine the microbial load. From both loaded and empty tankers, swabs will be taken from various points of the tanker including the inner dome area, and rear valve assembly. Samples were transported to the nearest cooperating laboratory (University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL; University of Florida Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Gainesville, FL; Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA; Virginia Tech Department of Food Science & Technology, Blacksburg, VA) for analytical testing. Samples were be assayed for total aerobic plate count, E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. Extension efforts have focused on integration of research observations with training approaches to enhance quality and safety practices. This has occured through the delivery of juice food safety programs, including standardized Juice HACCP regulation training by the University of Florida, Florida Cooperative Extension. Other utreach activities will include workshops, trade publications and roundtable discussions. Information generated from the research efforts of this grant will be incorporated into existing courses at the participating institutions. Slightly longer term, stand-alone course modules will be developed that will provide fundamental knowledge about the microbiological sanitation of tankers used to transport juices, juice concentrates, fluid milk and other liquid foods, and also provide practical examples of appropriate transportation/handling practices. The complete modules can be utilized for a variety of needs: graduate level special study, flexible content for existing courses, and also in WebCT courses (or other web-based systems) that serve the distance learning strategic growth plans of the collaborating institutions. PARTICIPANTS: In addition to project investigators listed above, graduate students from the University of Florida, Virginia State University, and Virginia Polytechnica University (5 total) were partially and/or completely supported on this project. Thus, the training impact of this funding was substantial for the area of food safety and microbiolgy, the focus of most of the graduate work accomplished by these students. Partner organizations with whom there have been formal and informal collaborations include the Juice Products Association and the Assocation of Tank Truck Haulers, both of whom have provided opportunities for discussion of these results and their implications for the industry. TARGET AUDIENCES: This research serves the food processing industry, primarily juice processors and packers, but also those industries (dairy, baking, etc.) that rely on the sanitary bulk transport of liquid food products. Additionally, designers and manufacturers of food sanitation equipment are targeted for dissemination of these research results, in order for them to enhance the efficacy of their systems in liquid food transport applications.

Impacts
Juice Products Association (JPA) protocols number 2 and 4 were observed and evaluated (103 and 58 tankers this period, respectively). Some microbial and allergen issues remained post-cleaning/sanitizing, even when protocols were accurately performed. The incidence of detection of fecal coliforms, E. coli, and allergens after cleaning was higher than expected. Microbial issues were due to either 1) poor cleaning technique (i.e., cleaning parts with the high pressure wand using only ambient temperature water and no soap), 2) inadequate protocol adherence due to at least one of the cleaning parameters (heat, soap concentration, etc.), or 3) recontamination due to poor post-cleaning/sanitizing handling (i.e. placing parts on light bars or fenders). Allergen recovery on stainless steel was relatively low (range 1 to 5 ppm per 100 sq cm) while on non-stainless steel surfaces (rubber gaskets, Teflon seals, plastic vents) were higher (range 1 to 75 ppm per 100 sq cm). The allergen recovery is believed to be due to 1) poor cleaning technique (as #1 above) 2) heat denaturation of the allergen protein onto the surface which requires other cleaning treatments 3) inadequate soap concentrations required to remove the soil or contact time, 4) embedding of allergen soils in soft surfaces (i.e. rubber materials) or 5) recontamination of parts due to post-cleaning/sanitizing handling (i.e. placing parts on light bar, inadequate rinsing of soap). Differences in location and/or previously hauled products are highglighed by the following results. The microflorae at three points on a tanker-truck (1. rear port valve, 2. inner tank at rear port, and 3. hatch area) were assayed for microbial load, and the presence of coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella before and after cleaning at four truck wash stations in Florida and three in Virginia. Tankers in Florida were used for juice, dairy or liquid egg while those in Virginia were exclusively dairy tankers. In Florida, 79 tankers were assayed. Before cleaning, coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella (unconfirmed) were detected on 64, 26 and 9 tankers, respectively, and were found on 54, 18 and 1 tankers, respectively, after cleaning. Points 1 and 3 on the tankers were more difficult to clean than point 2. In Virginia, 23 tankers were assayed. Before cleaning, coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella (unconfirmed) were detected on 22, 19 and 1 tankers, respectively, and were found on 19, 13 and 0 tankers, respectively, after cleaning. Points 1 and 3 on the tankers were more difficult to clean than point 2. Visual observations of cleaning procedures suggests that wash station management and employees require training in good manufacturing practices and sanitation standard operating procedures.

Publications

  • Winniczuk, P. and Goodrich Schneider. 2007. Allergen and microbial assessment of pre-cleaned food grade tankers. IFT National Meeting, Abstract 228-06. Chicago, IL. July 2007.


Progress 10/01/04 to 09/30/05

Outputs
The rationale and significance of this study can be summarized by considering the need to ensure that liquid food commodities are transported in a sanitary and secure manner. We anticipate that results from tanker sanitation studies conducted in Florida and Virginia will provide information with wide-spread applicability for various liquid food commodities. Goals of this study are to evaluate the current state of tanker sanitation and to provide a blue-print for mitigation strategies that will enhance the safety of juices and dairy products that are transported in bulk. The current research consisted of a survey of the tanker cleaning protocols at various tanker wash facilities. Juice Products Association (JPA) protocols number 2 and 4 were observed and evaluated (103 and 58 tankers this period, respectively). Some microbial and allergen issues remained post-cleaning/sanitizing, even when protocols were accurately performed. The incidence of detection of fecal coliforms, E. coli, and allergens after cleaning was higher than expected. Microbial issues were due to either 1) poor cleaning technique (i.e., cleaning parts with the high pressure wand using only ambient temperature water and no soap), 2) inadequate protocol adherence due to at least one of the cleaning parameters (heat, soap concentration, etc.), or 3) recontamination due to poor post-cleaning/sanitizing handling (i.e. placing parts on light bars or fenders). Allergen recovery on stainless steel was relatively low (range 1 to 5 ppm per 100 sq cm) while on non-stainless steel surfaces (rubber gaskets, Teflon seals, plastic vents) were higher (range 1 to 75 ppm per 100 sq cm). The allergen recovery is believed to be due to 1) poor cleaning technique (as #1 above) 2) heat denaturation of the allergen protein onto the surface which requires other cleaning treatments 3) inadequate soap concentrations required to remove the soil or contact time, 4) embedding of allergen soils in soft surfaces (i.e. rubber materials) or 5) recontamination of parts due to post-cleaning/sanitizing handling (i.e. placing parts on light bar, inadequate rinsing of soap). Along with the microbial and allergenic testing, numerous notes were taken of observations of procedures and personnel behavior at the various facilities in order to evaluate current procedures throughout the industry. Data from this survey suggests that the manway lid, specifically the gasket, was the hardest-to-clean region of the tanker. The rubber gasket was most likely to be contaminated by coliforms, fecal coliforms, and E. coli after cleaning. Seventy-two tankers were selected and grouped by a range of criteria including previous haul, previous wash type and gasket type. Results from statistical analysis of these tankers show that recovered aciduric oranisms/total gasket was less for ETC gaskers from citrus tankers with a cold wash than HTC gaskets from dairy tankers that received a cold wash. E. coli was detected on the surface of dairy, HTC gaskets with both types of washes.

Impacts
Tanker transport of liquid foods is currently receiving close scrutiny by regulatory and industry officials. Appropriate methods for tanker cleaning and sanitation efforts have not previously been investigated. Results up to this point indicate there are numerous areas related to cleaning protocols, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), clean-out-of-place procedures, and equipment operations that require attention. Specific interventions in Florida indicate that the number of tankers failing inspection after cleaning may be reduced up to 90% upon implementation of improved GMPs, SSOPs, and record-keeping.

Publications

  • Richards, M. 2005. Microbial Composition, Biofilm Formation, and Removal from the Surfaces of the Manway Lid Gaskets of Citrus and Dairy Liquid Transportation Tankers. Thesis. University of Florida, Gainesville.
  • Richards, M.R., Winniczuk, P., Goodrich, R.M., Archer, D.L. and Parish, M.E. 2005. Microbial Composition, Biofilm Formation, and Removal from the Surfaces of the Manway Lid Gaskets of Citrus and Dairy Liquid Transportation Tankers. Citrus Processors and Subtropican Technology Conference Abstracts, Lake Alfred, FL. pp. 21-22.
  • Winniczuk, P. 2005. Observations of the Sanitation of Food Grade Tankers in Florida. Citrus Processors and Subtropican Technology Conference Abstracts, Lake Alfred, FL. p. 23.
  • Goodrich, R.M., Schneider, K.R. and Schmidt, R.H. 2005. HACCP, An Overview. Florida Cooperative Extension Services, EDIS FS122.
  • Goodrich, R.M., Schneider, K.R. and Parish, M.E. 2005. The Juice HACCP Program, An Overview. Florida Cooperative Extension Services, EDIS FS124.
  • Schneider, K.R., Goodrich, R.M. and Mahovic, M.J. 2005. Dealing with Food Allergies. Florida Cooperative Extension Services, EDIS FSHN05-13/FY123.


Progress 10/01/03 to 09/30/04

Outputs
The microflorae at three points on a tanker-truck (1. rear port valve, 2. inner tank at rear port, and 3. hatch area) were assayed for microbial load, and the presence of coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella before and after cleaning at four truck wash stations in Florida and three in Virginia. Tankers in Florida were used for juice, dairy or liquid egg while those in Virginia were exclusively dairy tankers. In Florida, 79 tankers were assayed. Before cleaning, coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella (unconfirmed) were detected on 64, 26 and 9 tankers, respectively, and were found on 54, 18 and 1 tankers, respectively, after cleaning. Points 1 and 3 on the tankers were more difficult to clean than point 2. In Virginia, 23 tankers were assayed. Before cleaning, coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella (unconfirmed) were detected on 22, 19 and 1 tankers, respectively, and were found on 19, 13 and 0 tankers, respectively, after cleaning. Points 1 and 3 on the tankers were more difficult to clean than point 2. Visual observations of cleaning procedures suggests that wash station management and employees require training in good manufacturing practices and sanitation standard operating procedures.

Impacts
Tanker transport of liquid foods is currently receiving close scrutiny by regulatory and industry officials. Appropriate methods for tanker cleaning and sanitation efforts have not previously been investigated. Results up to this point indicate there are numerous areas related to cleaning protocols, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), clean-out-of-place procedures, and equipment operations that require attention. Specific interventions in Florida indicate that the number of tankers failing inspection after cleaning may be reduced up to 90% upon implementation of improved GMPs.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/02 to 10/01/03

Outputs
Goals of this study are to evaluate the current state of tanker sanitation and to provide a basis for mitigation strategies that will enhance the safety of juices and dairy products that are transported in bulk. Specific study objectives are: 1. To investigate the microflora of tankers delivered to juice and dairy manufacturers for loading or unloading. 2. To produce extension/outreach products and workshops for appropriate stakeholders. 3. To produce educational products for appropriate stakeholders. The grant was recently funded and activities thus far are limited. The PI has coordinated efforts with collaborating universities (Virginia State and Virginia Tech) to address the research portion of the study. The necessary financial accounts have been established, supplies for the research are being ordered, and a project manager was hired. Preliminary tests of one milk allergen test kit indicate that the reported sensitivity level of 5 ppm was achieved in both water and juice systems. This suggests that the test kit is appropriate for use in this study.

Impacts
Tanker transport of liquid foods is currently receiving close scrutiny by regulatory and industry officials. Appropriate methods for tanker cleaning and sanitation efforts have not previously been investigated. This study will illucidate specific cleaning steps and conditions necessary to yield tankers of adequate sanitary quality for food transport. This will provide a scientific basis for cleaning and sanitizing protocols. The study will also produce extension and education products to relay this information to stakeholders.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period