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Cheese and Macaroni Production in 4 lb Frozen - Reheat n Serve Bag


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mark shumaker

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 04:13 PM

New to this site.  Working on a product taking Cheese sauce through a kill step of 170 F, dwell 2 minutes and then through a critical cool from 135 F to 70 F in T< 2 hours and 70 to 41 in T< 4 hours.


We will be filling 4 lb  10" lay flat Cook and Serve bags with frozen IQF pasta and topping off with cheese sauce.  The mix drops to almost 70 deg after sealing the bag.  We drive down the rest of the curve by stacking bags on carts and placing in our walk in freezers.


We have trialed the process and the CCP are the kill at the kettle and adherence to the time limits along the cooling curve.  Could anyone guide me on who is the governing body given that this is a frozen food with reheat requirements.


Do I need to submit the process to a Process Authority for review or simply demonstrate that my process is meeting FDA guidelines.    Can someone direct me through the steps?


Does anyone have information on freezing points of cheese?



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Posted 11 February 2018 - 05:11 AM

Just curious, you mention that you stack the bags on carts, what is the count that you stack assuming going in at 70F how does  this work with the top, middle and bottom bags - sounds terribly inconsistent from a cool down standpoint as opposed to single layer on trays.

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:52 PM

Could anyone guide me on who is the governing body given that this is a frozen food with reheat requirements. 


Since it's not shelf stable (maintained frozen or refrigerated) and not amenable (no meat) then this is simply an FDA product that does not fall under the low acid canned foods regualtions or acidified foods regulations. You do not need to speak with a process authority, you just need to make sure the product is microbially safe like any other frozen food, which it seems like you have done a good job validating. It may fall under the PMO rules depending on dairy content, so maybe ask your local state  department of agriculture inspector to help classify the product.


Freezing temps will vary wildly by formula, run some experiments on your personal recipe to determine the freezing point and if it causes any quality issues (separation etc.)

Austin Bouck
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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:17 AM

Could anyone guide me on who is the governing body given that this is a frozen food with reheat requirements.



Just curious,

Intended to be eventually (retail) labelled as RTE or NRTE ?

Kind Regards,



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