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How do you make up a protocol for micro/nutritional/chemical analysis?

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 02:29 PM

Hi folks

I'm a fairly "green" QC in a small abattoir/meat cutting plant, trying to work towards BRC accreditation. A new customer wants our protocols for micro tests. We currently send carcass samples away, as well mince, surface and water. We need to do some shelf life tests on "their" products, as well as a nutritional and a chemical analysis. I just send these to the lab who take care of it.
What would a basic protocol entail? Do I need to mention ISO test numbers for specific pathogens etc? I'm no scientist, so I'm groping around in the dark, somewhat!
Any advice would be appreciated.

Mant thanks


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Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:19 PM

Dear smurf,

Not my product area but i thought in UK that the protocol (eg procedures for sample size / analyses / methodology) as described briefly in yr post is detailed / spelled out by certain legislative requirements. If so, you may not know them but the laboratory working with you surely will. The next step would then minimally be a simple request to the lab. for the relevant reference (and possibly a validation that the lab.methods in use actually conform to a given protocol :smile: ). I seem to remember that the "MIG" jumbo document (freely downloadable from FSA) is the prime source for such queries in UK.

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,



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Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:17 AM

There is good information for UK meat plants with regards to the statutory testing requirements at the FSA-run website: www.ukmeat.org

The same site has examples of microbiology laboratory testing SOPs; for example this one here http://www.ukmeat.or...eatProducts.pdf

which is on the 'laboratory testing' page.

Unless you are really low throughput, carcasses are required by law to be tested using ISO4833 for numbers of total aerobes (aka TVC), ISO 21528-2 for the Enterobacteriaceae and ISO 6579 for salmonellas.

Processed meats are a complex minefield and the ukmeat site has a 'what tests' page which will work out for you what you should be doing... and what the statutory sample sizes tested should be. It has to be ISO 16649 for E. coli testing if you need to do that.

The MIG mentioned by Charles is here: http://www.food.gov....guide6dec06.pdf

In the UK, all the water used for carcass processing has to be potable. Potable water is defined by the criteria in 98/83/EC (here: http://www.ukmeat.org/pdf/98-83-ec.pdf). That document has the required test methods for E. coli and Enterococcus and pass criteria for potable water.

best wishes


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