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Standard Plate Count Advice

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#1 qui

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 03:10 AM

Hi all, 

 

What do you think about having a product with < 260 000 cfu/g SPC at 72h

It's a baked pastry that contains Cheese (19%) according guidelines the acceptable value is <1 000 000 cfu/g

 

The test results at 0h 24 h and 48h is fine, but at 72h this value increases considerably, 

 

thanks for your opinions!!


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#2 Craig L.

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:39 PM

Can you tell me what guideline you are using. I can't help with your question, but maybe you can help with mine regarding setting limits for clostridium. 

 

CB


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#3 qui

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:27 PM

I follow FSANZ, WQA and Coles Standards, (Australia), 


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:55 PM

Dear Quimica,

 

I presume the incubation temp. is 30degC. (usually gives higher values than 35degC/48hr IMEX although for perhaps more psychrophilic type content in my case)

 

Some idea of the process might be relevant.

RTE ???

Only 1 datum ?

1M = "m" or "M" ? if "M" what is "m"? 100,000?

 

On basis of UK, RTE guidelines (30degC/48hrs) (2000) yr result is high (>= 10^5 is unsatisfactory) but in 2009 version it's borderline (more data required before action),  (>=10^6 is now unsatisfactory). take yr pick. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Sunny in OKC

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:07 PM

My guess is endospores - dormant through baking and the first two days of the test, then flourishing.

 

I would check the individual raw ingredients - lab pasteurize them, then run the same 72 hour test - to see if I could identify the source.

 

What about shelf life studies? Have you been seeing premature spoilage in the finished product?


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#6 Orla

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:00 AM

If the product contains cheese then of course you're going to have a high SPC. Cheese is cultured and contains millions of bacteria so therefore they will be present in the finished product. Cooking will probably kill a certain amount but not all and after time what's not killed will continue to grow.


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#7 qui

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 01:25 AM

Thanks for your replies. 

 

I have the SPC  test results for

0h (10 cfu/g) 

24 h ( 10 cfu /g) 

48 h (10 000 cfu /g)

72 h (260 000 cfu /g) ----- Guideline states satisfactory at 104, Marginal 105

 

Tested by  FM0011 I guess this is at 30 0C.

 

the rest of the parameters analysed comply with the guidelines.

 

How can I explain that increase to my customer???


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:22 AM

Dear Quimica,

 

Guideline from where ? (new data appears different to yr OP?)

 

it is maybe simply optimistic. I believe Australia often uses the same source I quoted earlier ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS- manufacturing process uses pasteurised or unpasteurised cheese ?

 

Regarding development of colonies on plates, this is related to  typical bacterial generation/time graphs, it is not a linear process. I doubt yr customer is interested in the details as long as the end result is in compliance (the final result is usually the only quote ?. :smile: )


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 qui

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:14 AM

FSANZ Guidelines.

 

the customer just want a conclusion that says if the product is satisfactory or not for consumption between 48 and 72 h, 

and I dont think the SPC is related to food poisoning at that stage.

 

Thanks Charles


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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:17 PM

FSANZ Guidelines.

 

the customer just want a conclusion that says if the product is satisfactory or not for consumption between 48 and 72 h, 

and I dont think the SPC is related to food poisoning at that stage.

 

Thanks Charles

 

Dear Quimica,

 

I had a look at the current (2012) Micro.stds for A/NZ. I do not see any data for the product type you are mentioning.

http://www.comlaw.go...ils/F2012C00862

 

I agree with you that the SPC result is a very debatable criterion  to be used for (solely) deciding whether a food item is safe to be eaten.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#11 qui

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:06 PM

http://www.foodstand...icrobi1306.aspx

 

That's the current Guidelines for Micro Criteria. And then some customers follow their own criteria, as WQA Version 8 for instance.

 

Thanks for your response Charles!


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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:05 AM

Dear Quimica,

 

Thks for FSANZ link. I had noticed it previously but had assumed that a 2001 Guideline document must by now have a later official revision (somewhere). Apparently not. It is curious that the document contains very little numerical discussion regarding  the included SPC limits and no end-list of references.

 

As previously noted, the FSANZ, SPC guidelines seeem closely linked to the UK, PHLS limits  issued in 2000, the latter have now been updated by the HPA guidelines of 2009. It’s disappointing that the FSANZ  document didn’t include a similarly useful table of related product categories.

 

Attached File  ba1 - FSANZ 2001 micro. guidelines RTE foods.pdf   68.59KB   68 downloads

Attached File  ba2 - UK,PHLS,micro.guidelines RTE foods, 2000.pdf   148.09KB   56 downloads

Attached File  ba3 - UK,HPA (ex PHLS), 2009 RTE micro. guidelines.pdf   998.98KB   64 downloads

 

I have extracted a few relevant (IMO) comments relating to SPC from the above documents.

 

The Aerobic Colony Count (ACC), also known as the Total Viable Count or Standard Plate Count, is an indicator of quality, not safety, and cannot directly contribute towards a safety assessment of ready-to-eat food.

 

(HPA 2009)

An examination of the microbiological quality of a food should not be based on SPC alone. The significance of high (unsatisfactory) SPC cannot truly be made without identifying the microorganisms that predominate or without other microbiological testing.

 

(FSANZ 2001)

(The table in FSANZ link implies (by omission) that all SPC values are  considered "non- hazardous", somewhat debatable IMO).

 

Immediate action in response to high ACCs is not usually warranted except for shelf-stable canned or bottled food products immediately after opening (Category 1, Table 5).The level will depend initially on the type and duration of processing that the food has received during production (see Table 5). Thereafter the level will depend on the way it is handled and stored. For example, immediately after a pasteurisation heat process, products will normally have an ACC of below 10^4 cfu/g, whilst a more rigorous heat process such as grilling, roasting or baking will result in counts below 10^3 cfu/g.

 

(HPA 2009)

 

I deduce from yr recent posts that all the components in yr product are fully baked in the process. Hence > level 1 in micro.limit table.

 

I noticed that some of the States in Australia (well, at least one :smile: ) seem to have further updated their controls (eg with respect to L.mono) and adopted more “aggressive”  action plans as compared to the FSANZ document, for example, here is the action plan from a NSW viewpoint in their short but rather neat micro. publication.

Attached File  ba4 - NSW micro.quality rte foods 2009.png   129.17KB   1 downloads

Attached File  ba5 - NSW,2009,microbiological_quality_guide_for_RTE_food.pdf   134.24KB   55 downloads

 

It is interesting to compare survey data where both level1 and level2 products were assessed for SPC (most surveys unfortunately seem to exclude SPC measurements).  Results are limited but suggest more control  is required over the additional  stages in “Level2” processes. A subsequent survey in 2010 further confirmed the necessity.

Attached File  ba6 - South Australia, survey 2007 micro. quality sweet baked goods.pdf   133KB   34 downloads

Attached File  ba7 - South Australia, Food Act report, 2010.pdf   603.81KB   29 downloads

(see appendix 10)

 

From a FSANZ microbiological POV, yr single datum is presumably (quality) unsatisfactory with respect to SPC and “borderline” for HPA (see their action comment pg27) . Any question regarding safety would require more data which you have indicated to be satisfactory for the sample under discussion. I hope you have some accumulated history / satisfactory end-product data for further process runs. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#13 qui

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 06:12 AM

Thanks for all info. I really appreciate it.


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