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Shelf life extension on frozen meats


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#1 Rui

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:33 PM

Hi everyone 

 

I recently started a new job as a Quality Assurance Manager in a meat processing factory.

 

We have a frozen product which is approaching expiry best before and we were wondering if we could extend its shelf life. I can only think of testing the product but how do I determine how long can its best before be extended? Is there any legislation when it comes to shelf life extension? Is there any procedure that you can share with me?!

 

I'd be very grateful as I haven't dealt with a situation like this before.

 

I'm in the UK if it matters.

 

Thank you 


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 03:28 AM

Hi everyone 

 

I recently started a new job as a Quality Assurance Manager in a meat processing factory.

 

We have a frozen product which is approaching expiry best before and we were wondering if we could extend its shelf life. I can only think of testing the product but how do I determine how long can its best before be extended? Is there any legislation when it comes to shelf life extension? Is there any procedure that you can share with me?!

 

I'd be very grateful as I haven't dealt with a situation like this before.

 

I'm in the UK if it matters.

 

Thank you 

 

Hi Rui,

 

I think yr query was the motivation behind the Vacuum Packing Industry.

 

In general you will probably have to detail what yr product is  to get relevant responses. "Shelf Life" is a book-sized subject.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 Rui

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:18 AM

Hi Charles

 

Thank you for your swift reply  :smile:

 

I did mention that I work in a meat processing factory.

 

I wasn't expecting an answer on how to solve my problem with this specific product (Frozen chicken), I never had to deal with shelf life extensions before but I know some companies do this. I was just wondering if there's any legislation or guideline on how to do it if you need to.  

 

I was asked about it and I can think of a few things we can do but I'd rather do it properly if there is any legislation/procedure/guidelines to do so.  Last thing I want is to do something that will cause us or anybody else "trouble".

 

Thank you 


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:55 PM

Hi Charles

 

Thank you for your swift reply  :smile:

 

I did mention that I work in a meat processing factory.

 

I wasn't expecting an answer on how to solve my problem with this specific product (Frozen chicken), I never had to deal with shelf life extensions before but I know some companies do this. I was just wondering if there's any legislation or guideline on how to do it if you need to.  

 

I was asked about it and I can think of a few things we can do but I'd rather do it properly if there is any legislation/procedure/guidelines to do so.  Last thing I want is to do something that will cause us or anybody else "trouble".

 

Thank you 

 

Hi Rui,

 

Regarding yr query on legislation.  I'm not in UK but IMEX there is some legislation for almost everything but typically depending on precisely what it is. Shelf lives are often no exception.

 

JFI (I note yr "product" is frozen) there is a well-known, micro.driven (Listeria monocytogenes) UK legislation for chilled, vacuum packed, RTE foods. You can read it on the FSA website.

 

I guess terminologies vary with user but, for me, meat = beef, pork etc,  chicken = poultry. No problem.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Derf

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 05:22 AM

Hi - Not aware of any legislation on shelf life extension other than generally frowned on. In terms of frozen meat any extension will unlikely be a food safety issue but more one around chemical degradation/rancidity. The amount of degradation will depend on rapidity of freezing and storage temperature as well as boneless will generally perform better than bone in. (the lower the temp the more life is possible   ie. -20C > life than -18C etc.)  

 

For your situation I would be looking at what is my shelf life currently (is it conservative, say 12 months) What are my storage temperatures, are there any fluctuations, how is the performance of my product at shelf life etc. What is the use of the frozen meat, in a cooked product etc. If all good, and storage temperature is good (say <-18C) a few months extra (until used) is unlikely to make much of a difference, all be it you can monitor organoleptically on use. (and tossing it out is always very costly)  (p.s. have seen pork meat 9 years old stored at -40 to -50 that was fine. 24 months for poultry not uncommon)


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#6 SudarshanR

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 06:02 AM

Hi,

 

I would like to share my opinion here:

 

The simplest method is to use the old method of preserving, by sprinkling 20% salt concentrated water on the surface of the product as it kills almost 50% of the microbes.

 

I am uncertain about how effective it is in terms of preserving taste but definitely would be a better method to control microbes.


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