I'm working in a 'traditional' family business comprising of a bakery and a butchery. During our last audit from the FSA the auditor has asked us 'to review the cooling rate and to ensure that the establishment of the critical limits for that CCP is documented. The risk of growth of sporulated bacteria should be specifically identified and controlled at that step. The FBA can justify the critical limits by either using recognised practices backed by scientific papers or by establishing them based in recognised methods such as modelling. Microbiological testing of the product ist unlikely to be able to justify, on its own, the chosen critical limits.'
Products concerned are cooked meat fillings for pasties (cooling down to <5Degree C in a maximum of 6 hrs) and cooked meats (e.g. beef, ham, chines, roast pork - LARGE joints), that are supposed to be cooled down within 14 hours to less than 5 Degree C.
My problem is that there is obviously guidance for how quick you're supposed to chill your products, but it usually doesn't refer to sporulated bacteria (I very much assume this is Clostridium mainly at this stage) in particular. I'm not familiar with modelling, but had a look and found my hands tied as we don't have pH values available (and company is not really willing to pay much money for additional testing). In some respect I would espect that there should be some pH ranges for those product groups, so I could assume best/worst case scenario?
I had asked another auditor from the FSA and also our lab for advice, but none were able to advice in particular how I could make 'my case'.
Now, as I have looked up on various topics in this forum in the past (and often found helpful information) I wondered whether there's anybody about who's able to give some further advice? I googled what I could to find scientific papers, but wasn't entirely happy with my findings...
Looking forward to any feedback! ;-)
Many thanks in advance!