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Coliform and eColi results in raw salmon


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LoredanaM

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 03:55 PM

I received the lab results and the coliform count was 103 CFU/g and the eColi <3 MPN/g ... The raw fresh salmon (farmed)  was sent out for a shelf life validation (7 days) and the tests were conducted on the 8th day. No Listeria or Salmonella were detected, and the S. Aureus came under <10 CFU/g.

 

I am not sure if I can validate the shelf life ( the organoleptic test came normal). Any insight would be very much appreciated.   



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Posted 25 September 2014 - 03:07 PM

I received the lab results and the coliform count was 103 CFU/g and the eColi <3 MPN/g ... The raw fresh salmon (farmed)  was sent out for a shelf life validation (7 days) and the tests were conducted on the 8th day. No Listeria or Salmonella were detected, and the S. Aureus came under <10 CFU/g.

 

I am not sure if I can validate the shelf life ( the organoleptic test came normal). Any insight would be very much appreciated.   

Dear LoredanaM,

 

This is a deceptively simple question. A meaningful direct answer probably requires  more info. regarding yr product.

 

A possible self-approach to shelf-life depends on, for example –

 

(1) Determining whether a shelf-life declaration is actually (legally) needed.

(2) Making a decision as to whether it needs to be based on safety or spoilage.

(3) Deciding on which parameters to base the decision of (2) on. This may also relate, for example, to yr intended storage / usage / customer.

(4) Selecting a method/appropriate conditions of testing for shelf-life, eg accelerated testing.

(5) Doing the tests/measurements/decisions as to cut-off.

 

Alternatively, the work may have already been done elsewhere for yr product / usage and you can simply use the available (assumed validated) results.

 

The legal requirements are likely to vary geographically.

 

There are a number of forum threads on this subject with attachments detailing methods/validations if you search a little. However there are unfortunately very few examples of actual validation studies here.

 

The attachment below focuses on general methods for  safety validation from an EC perspective and is quite comprehensive in scope. It includes (Pg 5) a microbiological decision tree for step (2) above (see Pg5). In the EC there are further (L.mono) trees available, eg for chilled foods,  as a continuation of Pg5 but i daresay the US has a different system.

 

Attached File  GN 18 Rev 1 FINAL.pdf   399.48KB   64 downloads

 

I am not aware of a direct US equivalent publication to above but other people here may know; the basic (legal?) US approach may also differ.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 25 September 2014 - 11:33 PM

Loredana,

 

  There is no need to do an accelerated test since you're dealing with raw salmon. At best you'll have 20 days. Again as everything in our QA/FS world it all depends. Are you dealing with whole fish head on?, gutted?, fillet?, skin on?, scales off? It all changes. You'll find to have more shelf life on something that is more complete than processed. A head on fish will have more shelf life than a fish that has been fillet. So that being said, a shelf life test needs to be done for all variations.

 

General things to include in your shelf life test:

 

organoleptic testing (smell, firmness, color [via Hunter Lab]) 

Yeast and Mold (generally shows spoilage)

APC

coliform

E.coli

beginning and end only: staph aureus; L. mono; Salmonella; lactic acid (depending how it's packaged)

 

Frequency of testing. Initial date of when received, better if you know the harvest date, and then five days there after until you hit spoilage.

 

Hope this helps.



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LoredanaM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 03:52 PM

I have to admit that this is my first attempt to do shelf-life and I thank you both for the insights. 

 

The product is raw salmon fillet; not sure if the validation has to be done for the safety or for the spoilage of the product?! (but of course, safety comes first). I joined the company after all decisions were made and in 6 weeks I was supposed to be ready for the first ever BRC certification ( first ever certification at this level). 

 

The only tests I request from the lab are the APC, Coliform, E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella, S. Aureus and organoleptic, and all are done the next day after the last day of shelf-life (7 days in this case).

 

The final product: the fillet is set in a meat tray and then the tray is wrapped. Do I need to request the lactic acid? And the reason for it would be?

 

 

I was told that with every step of the process the shelf-life of the product extends; like for no gutted there will be 5 days; once gutted there is a new product and that gains another 5 days shelf-life ...  



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:09 PM

Am not sure who you are using for the lab, but labs like Silliker specialize in Shelf Life studies and generally can be a wonderful source of help.  If you are not using a lab that specializes in food you might want to change to one that does and in these types of situations they are invaluable.  In this case it is not just the test but what does the test mean and you need food experts to help. 


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Charles.C

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:30 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

I was told that with every step of the process the shelf-life of the product extends; like for no gutted there will be 5 days; once gutted there is a new product and that gains another 5 days shelf-life

 

Interesting generalized hypothesis. Life should be so easy. :smile:  maybe try this (although farmed may be different again)  -

 

http://www.fao.org/d...fect of gutting

 

As far as shelf-life is concerned, I'm still wondering if the end product belongs to the sushi family. 

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Edited by Charles.C, 30 September 2014 - 04:53 PM.
9 > (

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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LoredanaM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:43 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

 

Interesting generalized hypothesis. Life should be so easy. :smile:  maybe try this 9although farmed may be different again)  -

 

http://www.fao.org/d...fect of gutting

 

As far as shelf-life is concerned, I'm still wondering if the end product belongs to the sushi family. 

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

 

 

Charles.C

Hello Charles,

 

Thank you for the link. In regards to the end use of the product, is not intended for sushi, just grilled/broiled or fried (as the customer enjoys his/hers salmon fillet :) )



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 04:45 PM

Am not sure who you are using for the lab, but labs like Silliker specialize in Shelf Life studies and generally can be a wonderful source of help.  If you are not using a lab that specializes in food you might want to change to one that does and in these types of situations they are invaluable.  In this case it is not just the test but what does the test mean and you need food experts to help. 

 

I was thinking of looking for a different laboratory for testing. I am going to look into Silliker; thank you for your suggestion.



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:02 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

It is usual to do shelf life testing on the finished, packed product under expected display/storage temperatures (unknown so far <5degC ?)

 

Is that what the data in posts 1, 4 refer to or ? (it's unclear to me)

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:03 PM

I have done shelf life testing with Silliker below. See contact information below. Because of your packaging I would include C.bot in your testing because you're dealing with a modified atmosphere with your product. For Lactic acid see this study http://www.scielo.br.../v36n4/v36n4a18.

 

Here is the contact information for Silliker

 

Tiffani Collins 
Client Service Manager 

708.367.4699

 

3600 Eagle Nest Drive, SOUTH BUILDING 
Crete, IL 60417, USA 


 



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:10 PM

Dear RG3,

 

Interesting deductions if correct. :clap:

 

Over to the OP.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


LoredanaM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:12 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

It is usual to do shelf life testing on the finished, packed product under expected display/storage temperatures (unknown so far <5degC ?)

 

Is that what the data in posts 1, 4 refer to or ? (it's unclear to me)

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

The way I sent the finished product out for testing is already packed; basically take one sample from the production run just ready to be shipped out. The storage temperature is indicated to be under or equal to 38 Fahrenheit. The lab was instructed to run the all the micros on 8th day of the shelf-life.



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LoredanaM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:15 PM

I have done shelf life testing with Silliker below. See contact information below. Because of your packaging I would include C.bot in your testing because you're dealing with a modified atmosphere with your product. For Lactic acid see this study http://www.scielo.br.../v36n4/v36n4a18.

 

Here is the contact information for Silliker

 

Tiffani Collins 
Client Service Manager 

708.367.4699

 

3600 Eagle Nest Drive, SOUTH BUILDING 
Crete, IL 60417, USA 


 

 

I thought about including C. Botulinum too and honestly I want to make sure I am including all tests that are required.

 

The only thing is how far do I need to go for a product that is not RTE (ready-to-eat) ... I have more experience dealing with SQF which is more partitioned ( safety vs quality); BRC is still confusing for me (it is just safety or is both?!)

 

Thank you for sharing the shelf-life study.



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:16 PM

BRC is both.



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 05:35 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

So the summary is that the product is a chilled, raw, non-RTE stuffed fish product possibly  using MAP /   US-oriented.

 

The MAP may be relevant legislatorily speaking (i recall RO..appears in Food Code but maybe only for RTE).  US-readers should know.

 

My guess is that the criterion will be OLQ based in which case yr data will presumably work if correctly selected.

 

(The US is "frantic" over L.mono as you probably know but possibly not in non-RTE) ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS -

 

BRC is still confusing for me (it is just safety or is both?!)

 

 

well it has no SQF level 3 weirdnesses AFAIK


Edited by Charles.C, 30 September 2014 - 07:15 PM.
2 strike throughs added

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


LoredanaM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 06:47 PM

Dear Loredata,

 

So the summary is that the product is a chilled, raw, non-RTE stuffed fish product possibly  using MAP /   US-oriented.

 

The MAP may be relevant legislatorily speaking (i recall RO..appears in Food Code but maybe only for RTE).  US-readers should know.

 

My guess is that the criterion will be OLQ based in which case yr data will presumably work if correctly selected.

 

(The US is "frantic" over L.mono as you probably know but possibly not in non-RTE) ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS -

 

 

well it has no SQF level 3 weirdnesses AFAIK

 

The product is chilled, raw fillet ( no stuffing) in a tray that is wrapped in plastic wrapper.

 

The US legislation is very confusing, as Listeria is supposed to not be present in RTE; no comment in regards to fresh salmon ( or other fish).

 

 

To be honest, I liked better SQF - I founded it more structured than BRC (both paperwork as practice).



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Posted 30 September 2014 - 07:09 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

I daresay you are familiar with this already (hence the 38degF perhaps) -

 

http://www.fda.gov/F...e/ucm188201.htm

 

There are a lot of potential issues potentially involved.

 

Paragraph H appeared of possible relevance ?.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - i certainly agree that SQF, at least level2, is more intelligible  than BRC, the latter is somewhat "restricted" due to its necessity to also act as a support function for UK due diligence purposes.

However, technically, SQF also has its oddities, notably regarding the interpretation/definition of certain HACCP principles.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


LoredanaM

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 08:50 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

I daresay you are familiar with this already (hence the 38degF perhaps) -

 

http://www.fda.gov/F...e/ucm188201.htm

 

There are a lot of potential issues potentially involved.

 

Paragraph H appeared of possible relevance ?.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - i certainly agree that SQF, at least level2, is more intelligible  than BRC, the latter is somewhat "restricted" due to its necessity to also act as a support function for UK due diligence purposes.

However, technically, SQF also has its oddities, notably regarding the interpretation/definition of certain HACCP principles.

 

I was reviewing the definitions for MAP and I cannot find some that can apply to the method applied by us; guess this is what makes my job interesting :D ... the final package looks just like the ones we all (maybe ;) ) purchase from store level packaged fresh products.  

 

PS - true, but it all depends in the end of the auditors ( types / experience / background ).



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Posted 04 October 2014 - 04:02 AM

Dear Lorendana,

 

I was reviewing the definitions for MAP and I cannot find some that can apply to the method applied by us; guess this is what makes my job interesting :D ... the final package looks just like the ones we all (maybe) purchase from store level packaged fresh products.  

 

Sorry, not too sure what the above means.

 

Do you mean the tray is not gas flushed to reduce oxygen ? ( = MAP?)

 

PS - true, but it all depends in the end of the auditors ( types / experience / background ).

 >  Whomsoever audits the Certification Board ? > SQF ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


LoredanaM

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 02:57 PM

Dear Lorendana,

 

 

Sorry, not too sure what the above means.

 

Do you mean the tray is not gas flushed to reduce oxygen ? ( = MAP?)

 

 >  Whomsoever audits the Certification Board ? > SQF ?

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

The package is not MAP from what I found out; it is considered air permissible.

 

 

The plant is BRC certified; and I get USDC and Environmental Health Department (the plant division district) audits on a quarterly basis. I found out that every auditor has a different approach to the application of regulations (I think that is mainly based on their own industrial background, or what they gathered as experience in their auditing "times" ). 



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Posted 06 October 2014 - 05:37 PM

Dear Loredana,

 

The package is not MAP from what I found out; it is considered air permissible

 

I guess in the context of my earlier post, the crucial question is regarding the typical O2 content ?.

 

The plant is BRC certified; and I get USDC and Environmental Health Department (the plant division district) audits on a quarterly basis. I found out that every auditor has a different approach to the application of regulations (I think that is mainly based on their own industrial background, or what they gathered as experience in their auditing "times" ).

 

IMEX, prior to confirmation of the result, all BRC audits are vetted by the organisation accrediting yr CB so as to ensure  "CB auditing consistency".  Significant CB variations would therefore imply a supervisory failure "upstream". I daresay all CBs have a similar external control aspect.

 

It is less surprising if  different  audit organisations are interpreting similar items in various ways. For example, the expectation of BRC and SQF for a facility's implementation of  haccp  "Validation" has been demonstrated  on this forum to be significantly at variance, albeit internally consistent, despite both standards referencing Codex as their source.  IMO this suggests another upstream issue, particularly as the, seemingly, odd-man-out appears immovable. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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