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Shelf Life and micro validation

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:04 PM



Please advise....


I would like to receive your comments regarding shelf life testing. Currently our shelf life validation is we take approx 200g of raw meat vac pack it as we would send to the customer and send to a UKAS accredited lab. We send for what ever days we need conformation on i.e. P+0, P+7 etc etc. We only send 200g as we deal in primal so sending a full cut would be costly. Do you agree with this way of sending the sample or is there something I am missing.


Water testing: 


What is the required water testing needs. Currently we have 50 points within the process area and we test 5 points per month. Personally I think this is an overkill as this is directly not in contact with the product. What advise can you give,


Our area is slaughter and cutting plant




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Posted 16 August 2016 - 05:01 AM

Hi Aps,


I think you are talking about shelf life verification and if you take BRC as an example: Interpretation Shelf-life verification
Sites are expected to have a programme of ongoing shelf-life evaluation across their range of products or product types. To achieve this, samples should be retained from some or all production runs.
Records must be available supporting the declared shelf life for each product or group of similar products.
These may include, as appropriate, microbiological and sensory analysis, as well as relevant chemical factors such as pH and aw. Shelf-life trials extending beyond the stated life of the product, to ensure a margin of safety, may be required for some product types.


Sampling should be fine if you have already validated your process and shelf life in commissioning trials and there is no reason for the samples to be any different in quality to the full size cuts.


Regarding water sampling, this will depend on distribution and use of the water, such as food contact surfaces.

For example BRC Section 4.5 UTILITIES:
Clause 4.5.2 - An up-to-date schematic diagram shall be available of the water distribution system on site, including holding tanks, water treatment and water recycling as appropriate. The diagram shall be used as a basis for water sampling and the management of water quality.


Kind regards,



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