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Shelf Life Monitoring


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#1 Miss Tammy

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:37 PM

I am in the process of reviewing our entire Food Safety and Quality department in an effort to streamline the job requirements.  Currently, we keep a sample from each production run (fresh bagels) until 4 days past the stated shelf life.  As we have many varieties and customers, this can be as much as 20 samples daily.  Each sample is logged into a spread sheet and checked daily for mold, staleness.  These checks are entered for EACH product.  We rarely have had any issues with any products, and I feel this is a huge waste of time.  We are BRC certified, and the only requirement concerning shelf life is about establishing what they are at start up and for new products. 

 

My question is (finally): Is there any reason to continue this?  It is a practice that I inherited and had assumed it was required by someone???  I am thinking about a new policy that states product is checked at the end of shelf life prior to disposal, with root cause and corrective action for any issues. 

 

Any guidance on this will be appreciated!



#2 Ehab Nassar

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 05:29 PM

Hi Miss Tammy ,

the business using the retention sample to follow the quality deterioration of the products during the shelf life and make sure that the shelf life is sufficient , it is very beneficial  in the launching of a new product or trails , as you said it is required with heavy frequency in the starting  , usually we try to keep the products in the same conditions of the market or end users and in some cases we try a worst conditions in the acceleration test for prediction in a short period what will be in the longer period , based on the shelf life length , history of consumer complaints , changes in the taste , texture , freshness ,.... you can decide the frequency of inspection and number of retention samples from each batch , I assume you have now a good data base for each product so you can use this data for assessment , and make a trend for Quality deterioration , and number of mold issues .

So you can reduce the number samples from each batch and reduce the tests to be at the end of shelf life , the disadvantage that you may know the problem from your customers before  you discover it and withdraw it from the shelves , so I think the decision requires a good assessment to be confident that there is no issues in the products , then you will keep the retention samples for investigation in case of consumer complaint , 

this is for retention samples , but samples for positive release should be the same as per your HACCP and quality plans .

good luck



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#3 Miss Tammy

Miss Tammy

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 06:52 PM

Thank you very much for confirming this.  That is why I love this forum!  Expert advice on practically any subject!






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