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Case Study Exercise- Scenario 2: Packing Blueberries

Environmental Pathogens Intervention & Control Workshop

Case Study Exercise

Using your current knowledge and any resources available (FDA draft guidance, United Fresh guidance, your existing EMP, etc.), what would you do?


Scenario 2: Packing Blueberries

You are at the start of the packing season, getting ready to start up the line in 5 days. You take 50 swabs around the packinghouse (zones 1-3), sampling for Listeria spp. and Salmonella. The operation went through startup sanitation the previous day. Two samples come back positive for Salmonella, one at the junction of the of the tote dump and the floor, and one on the wheel of the forklift. This is the first time this location has tested positive for Salmonella, but it hasn’t been sampled in over a year.


  1. Does this product support growth of Salmonella (i.e., 1-log increase before the end of shelf life at 45°F)?


  1. What are your immediate next steps based on these test results?
    1. Should you do more testing?
      1. Should this include testing additional FCS?
    2. Should you still start up the line in 5 days?
    3. Should you notify FDA?
    4. What else would you do?


  1. Share your answers with a facilitator and they will provide you with some new information. What info did you learn from the facilitator in Phase 2 of this exercise, and how would you respond?

Does this change any of your answers from question 2?