Bridging the GAPs: Approaches to Treating Water On Farms

Monitoring records

Corrective action records

Targeted sampling and testing

Calibration

All equipment used for monitoring must be calibrated. Adequate monitoring relies on accurate and precise measurements of parameters, such as temperature, pH, and chemical concentrations, to ensure critical limits are met. Calibration is performed by checking accuracy against a recognized standard at or near the condition that the instrument or equipment will be used, and performed at a frequency to ensure accuracy of measurements. Examples include a pH meter, which is calibrated against buffer standards when it is used to measure the pH of water. While test strips used for estimating free chlorine concentrations do not require calibration, verification activities must include checking the manufacture or expiration date, as well as the measurement of appropriate concentr ation’s range of use. Along with calibration, routine and preventive maintenance are extremely important, particularly for devices. Preventive maintenance helps prevent device failures resulting in a need for corrective actions. For example, UV light bulbs should be maintained and replaced when needed; tubing and seals on pumps should also be routinely checked.

Records review

Reviewing records generated from monitoring, calibration, and corrective actions are an important activity in ensuring critical limits are met. The records are reviewed to ensure that activities are performed adequately, at frequencies specified, and documented according to procedures outlined in SOPs. Records must be reviewed, dated, and signed by the supervisor or responsible party within a reasonable time after the records are made.

Targeted sampling and testing

While one cannot test their way to food safety, testing does offer verification that control measures are working. As previously described, determining the percent reduction of an indicator organism, or testing the treated water periodically, can provide assurance that the system is working.

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