NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: evaluation of respiratory concerns at a cream cheese manufacturing facility.

Bailey-RL; Piacitelli-CA
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2011-0102-3194, 2013 Sep; :1-29
In April 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health received a confidential employees' request for a health hazard evaluation at a cream cheese manufacturing plant. The employees submitted the request because of respiratory concerns related to exposures during the manufacturing and packaging processes. We visited the plant on two occasions. On our initial site visit, we toured the plant, talked with employees, and collected bulk samples of flavorings and cardboard debris. We analyzed the headspace air over each bulk sample we collected during our initial visit and identified the ketone chemical compounds diacetyl, 2,3-pentanedione, and acetoin in the headspace of a liquid dairy flavoring. We identified diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione in the headspace of a liquid strawberry flavoring and liquid smoke flavoring. We found small amounts of diacetyl in the headspace of a powder cheesecake flavoring, a powder cheese flavoring, a liquid blueberry flavoring, and a liquid kosher strawberry flavoring. We also found a small amount of diacetyl in the headspace of a strawberry puree. On our follow-up industrial hygiene survey visit, we performed area and personal air sampling alongside the production and packaging of various cream cheese products. We identified diacetyl in air samples at levels above the NIOSH proposed recommended exposure limit in several areas (free ingredients room, free cook room, cook room, 703 fill room) and jobs (703 fill operator, free cook, condiment cook, soft cook). We identified 2,3-pentanedione and 2,3-hexanedione in air samples in the free ingredients room during clean-in-place and clean-out-of-place operations. We have provided recommendations to decrease exposures to flavoring chemicals, cardboard dust, and cleaning chemicals. We recommended additional sampling for diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione during cleaning operations and after the additional of local exhaust systems. We also recommended that employees see a healthcare provider if they develop or have developed persistent or worsening respiratory or other symptoms.
Region-2; Dairy-products; Food-additives; Food-processing; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing-workers; Food-handlers; Ventilation-systems; Ventilation; Respiratory-system-disorders; Exhaust-ventilation; Cleaning-compounds; Author Keywords: Cheese Manufacturing; flavorings; diacetyl; 2,3-pentanedione; respiratory symptoms; ventilation
600-14-6; 3848-24-6; 431-03-8
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
HETA-2011-0102-3194; M112013
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division