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shelflife micro testing meat processedmeat

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#1 qalearner

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 12:40 PM

Hi all, 

 

I would like to review some of the shelf life that we have assigned to our processed meats. When I asked the lab about a shelf life study they quoted me +$1500 for one product. It is a little steep in my mind and I would like to move forward asking for my own testing to be done. 

 

The tests I am looking at running are:

 

APC

Lactic Bacteria

Mold and Yeast

Coliforms and E. coli

 

The micro results would be there to back up any sensory information I collect over the period. 

 

I will sample from the production date, the current shelf life date and then every week afterwards until I get to the proposed new BBD. I am planning on comparing micro results from the first day to the other test days, but do not know if there is a number value threshold that I should be looking at for any of the tests.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should be looking for? 


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#2 BrummyJim

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 02:23 PM

It depends on what you're getting for your $1500. What did you define in your plan? Temperature abuse, daily testing from DoP, or simply standard storage and testing each week from current EoL? Labs have a whole range of options for this. 

 

You might find that it's easier to submit samples from your production yourself if it's standard storage etc. Just remember to use a few different batches for comparison.

 

As for the limits, your national organisation will have a list. You missed out salmonella and listeria, which are often the limits set.


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 06:52 PM

Hi qalearner,

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should be looking for?

 

Do yr products of interest not have a specification ?  The specification typically defines the sensory requirements and other BCP limits. And the shelf-life.

 

It is usual IMEX to initially determine if the shelf-life is to be based on safety or non-safety parameters.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 qalearner

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 06:57 PM

It depends on what you're getting for your $1500. What did you define in your plan? Temperature abuse, daily testing from DoP, or simply standard storage and testing each week from current EoL? Labs have a whole range of options for this. 

 

You might find that it's easier to submit samples from your production yourself if it's standard storage etc. Just remember to use a few different batches for comparison.

 

As for the limits, your national organisation will have a list. You missed out salmonella and listeria, which are often the limits set.

 

Thanks for the reply. 

 

The lab is offering to keep our product in constant refrigeration and run the weekly tests that I have listed. 

 

I don't understand why for a shelf life test we would ask for Salmonella and Listeria? Those should never be present in our products or our facility and is not something that we would need to monitor the growth of over a period of time. Also, there is no standard for how high APC levels should be or any other levels. I think that this is often determined by the producer or the customer. 

 

 

 

Hi qalearner,

 

 

Do yr products of interest not have a specification ?  The specification typically defines the sensory requirements and other BCP limits. And the shelf-life.

 

It is usual IMEX to initially determine if the shelf-life is to be based on safety or non-safety parameters.

 

 

Nope, no spec. That is part of the reason for the shelf life validation. We have a sensory spec but no micro limits. I could do a sensory only shelf life study but I am interested in getting some micro data to back up whatever claims we make. 


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#5 BrummyJim

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:01 AM

Hi qalearner. We would all like to be sure that listeria is not present in our foods, but the only way to tell is to test. Unfortunately, it is quite good at surviving when we think we've killed it. Here's a link that you might find useful: https://www.food.gov...rage/readytoeat


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#6 qalearner

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 12:32 PM

Hi qalearner. We would all like to be sure that listeria is not present in our foods, but the only way to tell is to test. Unfortunately, it is quite good at surviving when we think we've killed it. Here's a link that you might find useful: https://www.food.gov...rage/readytoeat

 

Thanks for the link. I still think that when I am doing a shelf life test I don't need to waste resources looking for listeria. We do regular plant listeria checks elsewhere and unlike the spoilage organisms that grow over a product's shelf life all listeria testing would show negatives.


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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:21 PM

Hi qalearner,

 

I do agree that shelf-life is a highly complicated topic. Particularly because of the diversity of the food products world.

 

IMO it’s important to appreciate the purpose of carrying out a shelf life evaluation with respect to the end user. This typically overlaps date labelling which, legally, can be another topic again.

 

Regardless, afaik, the first priority is typically to determine whether the shelf-life is based on safety / non safety criteria.

 

There are (many) established procedures for doing shelf-life evaluations. The threads listed below contain a sampling of the ideas/ knowledge/attachments  recently posted on this forum.  Books also exist on this one topic alone.

 

The relevance of testing for pathogens IMO relates to specifications. For example quoting Tony-C's post in 1st link below -

 

For due diligence purposes you should be demonstrating that the product meets specified micro limits at end of life

.

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ies/#entry90126

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ing/#entry89613

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...0489#entry70489

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ice/#entry67808


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 wafa

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:29 AM

Hi all, 

 

I would like to review some of the shelf life that we have assigned to our processed meats. When I asked the lab about a shelf life study they quoted me +$1500 for one product. It is a little steep in my mind and I would like to move forward asking for my own testing to be done. 

 

The tests I am looking at running are:

 

APC

Lactic Bacteria

Mold and Yeast

Coliforms and E. coli

 

The micro results would be there to back up any sensory information I collect over the period. 

 

I will sample from the production date, the current shelf life date and then every week afterwards until I get to the proposed new BBD. I am planning on comparing micro results from the first day to the other test days, but do not know if there is a number value threshold that I should be looking at for any of the tests.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should be looking for? 

 

 

You need to add Listeria on the testing list because it is the most imortant test while testing frozen products especially meat, processed meat.


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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 12:40 PM

You need to add Listeria on the testing list because it is the most imortant test while testing frozen products especially meat, processed meat.

 

Hi wafa,

 

i would hv thought  RTE, chilled product more important than raw, frozen, NRTE items.

 

(unless "processed" is American for RTE ?)


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 Scampi

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 05:12 PM

In Canada there are seperate listeria tests that MUST be performed and are not in any way related to shelf life.

 

Charles I would agree chilled RTE is at the top of the meat risk column, that's why it is so tightly controlled......shelf life is up to the producer to validate


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