I had a discussion with a consultant on the risk of contamination to my product ( water activity less than 0.5/0.6 )from air-borne microbes in an air-conditioned room (22deg / 35-40 RH) which is being used for conditioning the product for a duration of 6 hours.
He was of the view that our HACCP study must include this as potential hazard and we should install means to reduce/prevent it.
In my opinion, this is not a hazard for us as the microbes would adhere to the minute dust particles which remain in suspended state, and since the air is in continuous motion they would not settle down on the product. In addition to this our product does not support microbial growth due to its low water activity and high sugar recipe.
Moreover, we are not looking for sterile conditions that I get HEPA or UV-lamps installed in the throw of ACs.
I did not get any clarification on my point of view, neither did I get any advice on preventing the risk ! But a cold shoulder reply that if I get an "NC" then he would not be responsible !
Seeking expert point of views to understand this requirement well !!