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#1 jcieslowski

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:35 PM

Someone recently told me that a company cannot repackage or use yogurt in foods.  I'm not sure why and neither was this person.

 

We take yogurt (in bags we buy through GFS) and portion them out into cups and add granola on top.   Does anyone know of any problems with this or regulation I've missed?  

 

Thanks in advance,

 

John



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:55 PM

Someone recently told me that a company cannot repackage or use yogurt in foods.  I'm not sure why and neither was this person.

 

We take yogurt (in bags we buy through GFS) and portion them out into cups and add granola on top.   Does anyone know of any problems with this or regulation I've missed?  

 

Thanks in advance,

 

John

 

Hi John,

 

Legality no idea.

 

The obvious potential hazard is contamination via the environment/personnel/equipment and granola. + Possible growth via temp/time/pH.

 

The risk is dependent on your product/process/sanitation control.


Kind Regards,

 

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#3 jcieslowski

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:33 PM

Oh yeah, I didn't mean in terms of risk assessment, though thank you for the info.  I meant any strange legal / FDA thing.  (like the odd 'pizza rolls are FDA' rule)



#4 jcieslowski

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:34 PM

Apparently I can't edit, but I meant pepperoni rolls, not pizza rolls.



#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 01:26 AM

Someone recently told me that a company cannot repackage or use yogurt in foods.  I'm not sure why and neither was this person.

 

We take yogurt (in bags we buy through GFS) and portion them out into cups and add granola on top.   Does anyone know of any problems with this or regulation I've missed?  

 

Thanks in advance,

 

John

 

That is one of the weirder things I've ever heard. Yogurt can't be used in food? Yogurt is a food..

 

I'm assuming this is RTE yogurt not dried, correct?

 

Yogurt would fall under some of the provisions of the pasteurized milk ordinance for temperature control, all of the pasteurization steps should have already been completed by your supplier, if the yogurt is not pasteurized you need to do it or find a different supplier. That may be what they were referring to? Otherwise I've never heard any restrictions on using yogurt as an ingredient or product unless it has not been pasteurized.


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#6 jcieslowski

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:13 PM

That's what I thought too!

 

It's yoplait vanilla yogurt in a food service like bag from GFS we use in a parfait, basically.  I couldn't see any issue and I DO see yogurt (but not parfaits) in the FDA guidance document when detailing known hazards for various documents.

 

Anyway, I'm going to assume everything is fine, thanks for the consideration.



#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:55 PM

That's what I thought too!

 

It's yoplait vanilla yogurt in a food service like bag from GFS we use in a parfait, basically.  I couldn't see any issue and I DO see yogurt (but not parfaits) in the FDA guidance document when detailing known hazards for various documents.

 

Anyway, I'm going to assume everything is fine, thanks for the consideration.

No problem. And while it can invite scrutiny, if you're really concerned phone calls to your state inspector are always free and they're good at answering these types of questions around legality.

 

-Austin


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#8 jcieslowski

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:18 PM

I DID ask our USDA inspector, who informed me there are no issues in USDA product using yogurt (in, say, a chicken salad or something of the sort) so I can't imagine there's anything in FDA either.  I think my 'source' was confused and he wasn't even able to explain WHY he thought that or where or from whom he heard it so I'm going to keep my ears on but otherwise proceed. 

 

Thanks again



#9 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 05:08 PM

FDA PMO regulation prohibits you from repackaging yogurt.  Your facility must be an IMS listed dairy inspected facility by State and FDA to make, sell, distribute yogurt.  You cannot repack yogurt which is a Grade A item falling under the FDA PMO guidance document.

 

You would have to culture and make the yogurt at your facility and pack into the cups to be compliant / legal.  

 

This is why there is A LOT of co-packing in the dairy industry in the US.  Many, many regulatory hurdles to get a plant started up.



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#10 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 05:12 PM

FYI..here is a link to the 2015 revision of the PMO (Pasteurized Milk Ordinance).  The 2017 revision should be out within the next few months.

 

https://www.fda.gov/...k/ucm513508.pdf



#11 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 05:13 PM

Here is another link to the FDA interstate milk shippers information.  There's oversight and regulation of dairy laboratories as well.

 

https://www.fda.gov/.../ucm2007966.htm



#12 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 09:33 PM

FDA PMO regulation prohibits you from repackaging yogurt.  Your facility must be an IMS listed dairy inspected facility by State and FDA to make, sell, distribute yogurt.  You cannot repack yogurt which is a Grade A item falling under the FDA PMO guidance document.

 

You would have to culture and make the yogurt at your facility and pack into the cups to be compliant / legal.  

 

This is why there is A LOT of co-packing in the dairy industry in the US.  Many, many regulatory hurdles to get a plant started up.

 

 

Learning a lot today, thank you Ryan, can you help me out though, I want to learn more about the diary regs:

 

1. If they only operate within the state, it depends entirely on state level regulations which may have adopted the PMO by reference (it has no federal authority as a guidance document, like the food code). So not sure which jurisdictions we need to evaluate for OP.

2. You don't have to sell grade A products, and I'm pretty sure the IMS is voluntary?

3. I can't actually find a regulation that says you can't repack dairy products?

4. Depending on state I'm very confused at where you're handling a "food" vs. a graded dairy product. Once the grade is assigned I would think it remains the same no matter who buys it?


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#13 jcieslowski

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 09:39 PM

Ryan, wow thanks.

 

I don't mean to sound dense but I imagine you know a lot more about this than I do and I don't REALLY want to read through 130 pages to figure it out but can you point me to where it talks about not being able to repack dairy products?  Keep in mind I am not performing any pasteurization or grading or anything.   Also, is this part of the food code or is it a law or codified?  I'm a bit confused on the whole thing.  

 

Thanks again for your help!



#14 Ryan M.

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:01 PM

Learning a lot today, thank you Ryan, can you help me out though, I want to learn more about the diary regs:

 

1. If they only operate within the state, it depends entirely on state level regulations which may have adopted the PMO by reference (it has no federal authority as a guidance document, like the food code). So not sure which jurisdictions we need to evaluate for OP.

2. You don't have to sell grade A products, and I'm pretty sure the IMS is voluntary?

3. I can't actually find a regulation that says you can't repack dairy products?

4. Depending on state I'm very confused at where you're handling a "food" vs. a graded dairy product. Once the grade is assigned I would think it remains the same no matter who buys it?

 

So here is the deal, the PMO is a Federal guidance document that's enforced nationally in the US.  All State enforce this at the state and local levels within dairy / milk plants, even if you don't ship across state lines.  Some states, like California, have additional requirements and restrictions (we are an odd state like that).

 

1.  If you are not shipping across state lines you don't have to be IMS (Interstate Milk Shippers) listed plant.  There is an FDA IMS list of all Grade A milk / dairy plants that are licensed to ship across state lines. It is broken down by region.  Each sate in the US has a specific two digit code, for California we are 06, Alabama is 01, and then each milk / dairy plant has a specific plant or BTU number.  This listing also includes all dairy farms.  Regardless if a dairy / milk company is IMS certified (ship across State lines) they must have a milk plant license to operate.  To obtain this license you must have State inspectors come in and inspect the facility and equipment to ensure you are compliant with the PMO and any other State applicable guidelines / regulations.  Our facility is plant number 06-16681.  Additionally, you are listed only for specific types of milk / dairy products (in the product code section).  So, our facility, since we only process fluid milk, cannot sell yogurt across state lines.

 

https://www.accessda...pa.cfm?state=CA

 

2.  Some items are not considered "grade A", but almost all fluid milk items and many cultured items are considered "Grade A".  you can't just opt to not label as Grade A either if you name the product within the standard of identity for that item.  What the heck does this mean, you may be asking...well, "Milk" for example has a specific FDA standard of identity it must meet in order to be called "Milk".  CFR 131.110 is the FDA Milk Standard of identity.  yogurt has one as well.  

 

3.  In the PMO there is a statement concerning transferring of milk / dairy products and reselling and then requirement to repasteurize whenever this is done.  So, the person repacking the yogurt would have to re-pasteurize it before they could legally repack it and call it yogurt.

 

4.  The dairy product is not necessarily regulated by "Grade A" or non-grade A, I think the new term is "manufacturing" for non-Grade A.  If the product is contains 65% ore more by weight in dairy ingredients and minimum 2.0% milk protein then it falls under a dairy product and thus needs to be regulated by the dairy branch for that state.  Additionally, if the product will be shipped across State lines the plant will need to be "IMS Listed", which means it is listed on that FDA IMS list for the product(s) in question.  To be IMS Listed you are not only inspected by the dairy branch for the particular state you are located, but State level appointed IMS inspectors inspect the facility every 18 months.  On top of this, the State inspector who inspects quarterly, is monitored / checked every 22 to 24 months by the FDA.  This is called a "check rating" which the FDA comes in and checks the State inspector's work and the plant / facility as well against the PMO.

 

I can go on and on about this....I think I've said it before, but dairy is probably the most regulated food in the US, period.



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#15 jcieslowski

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:10 PM

1. We are not a milk or dairy plant.

2. We aren't 'transferring' yogurt and when I say 'repackaging' perhaps that's misleading too.  We're not selling yogurt.  We're selling a parfait which is made with yogurt as an ingredient. Maybe it's still subject to the regulation about pasteurizing.

3.  We are inspected by the FDA every few years and just had an inspection in 2017 - they didn't bring up yogurt at all.

 

I'm also wondering why Dannon would sell 'pro' yogurt if people couldn't use it: http://www.dannonfoo...on-pro-vanilla/



#16 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 11:35 PM

1. We are not a milk or dairy plant.

2. We aren't 'transferring' yogurt and when I say 'repackaging' perhaps that's misleading too.  We're not selling yogurt.  We're selling a parfait which is made with yogurt as an ingredient. Maybe it's still subject to the regulation about pasteurizing.

3.  We are inspected by the FDA every few years and just had an inspection in 2017 - they didn't bring up yogurt at all.

 

I'm also wondering why Dannon would sell 'pro' yogurt if people couldn't use it: http://www.dannonfoo...on-pro-vanilla/

jcieslowski, I'd really defer to Ryan on this one.

 

1. You aren't a milk or dairy plant..right now, depending on your state you may need to be to do this yogurt thing. I'll stick with my original advice, this may be a really simple question for your state department of agriculture to answer, as the dairy license will be issued at the state level. Your USDA guy on site doesn't audit that jurisdiction and can't speak to it.

2. Probably depends on the final contents by weight as to whether your parfait is a dairy product or not (see GMO's reference above). Your parfait isn't necessarily different than adding nuts and other ingredients to ice cream for example. And generally if you expose the product to the open air, you are "processing" it.

3. Do not rely on your inspectors to keep you in compliance. It offers you no protection. Remember that FDA also inspected every single plant that's ever had a problem and didn't shut them down. Inspectors aren't there to make sure you do the right things, they're there to do their job, and some are better than others.

 

And Dannon sells the Pro yogurt because it's a foodservice item, direct to consumer sales. No different than dispensing soft serve ice cream. It doesn't always make sense in terms of risk, but restaurants and retail outlets are not regulated like manufacturers are. Same reason you don't have USDA inspectors on site at the steakhouse.

 

Just because I can buy steak, put it into ziplocs, and ship it out without anyone stopping me doesn't mean I'm doing it in compliance. All in all, at the end of this discussion, I would include your local department of agriculture to make sure you have all the licensing/requirements met here. Sorry for bad news.

 

@Ryan, thank you so much for taking the time to lay this all out for us! If you know the specific section of the PMO that states pasteurized products need to be re-pasteurized if shipped bulk I'd love to have it as a reference, I still can't seem to find it in there.


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#17 jcieslowski

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 06:42 PM

In case anyone was wondering what happened:

 

I emailed the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development - Food and Dairy division and asked them.

 

They said "Dairy Division confirmed that they would not have jurisdiction over the proposed parfait products.  You would be able to produce the products under your current license  They did have a couple issues to confirm.  The yogurt ingredient must be from an approved source.  The final product cannot be labeled as Grade A.."

 

So it looks like there's no issue.  I then wanted to make sure, although we don't call the parfait grade A we list the ingredients and for 'Vanilla Yogurt" the ingredients list (on the package we get) "Grade A milk",  We carry that over onto our ingredient statement.  After several days I got back "I didn’t get any information back from Dairy.  Our Food Division label person looked at it and said it looks okay. "

 

So there's an official and sort of not official response.  



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#18 SQFconsultant

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 02:30 AM

Just wondering, how do you handle traceability when purchasing a product from GFS and then repacking it?


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#19 jcieslowski

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 02:46 PM

They have lot codes on all of their stuff.  We have a production sheet where we assign a lot code to a finished product and a sheet that shows all the items and lot codes that went into that item.  For example, on a parfait it might look like (numbers just made up):

 

Parfait Lot: 1859

 

Doubleview Container: 55288951
GFS Yogurt: 2/23/18

GFS Pineapple: 153922

Nature Valley Granola: 12004004

 

Etc. Etc.  I will say that GFS hasn't done a good job of getting any food safety documents from their suppliers - at least not in a why that's useful to their customers (us).  We sometimes go through GFS to get, for example, letters of guarantee but sometimes have to contact the companies directly.   We are not currently GFSI level certified and I think it would be hard right now for us to achieve that with our supplier situation.






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