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Do you all require COAs for fresh produce?

produce micro coa

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#1 qaccount

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 02:24 PM

Do you all require COAs for fresh produce?  I have one vendor who does not supply them and another who has a tolerable limit for coliforms...  We have a kill step in our process but I am new to fresh produce so it seems odd to me that this is normal.  Thanks in advance for the input!



#2 jdpaul

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 02:50 PM

Having a COA from the supplier would help mitigate the risks from said supplier. It would also help justify your rating of this said supplier as high, medium, low risk, etc. If your supplier doesn't provide COA then you are putting the burden on yourself to perform routine analysis of their product to confirm absence/presence of microbiological activity. You should be placing this burden on the supplier or find a new supplier that will provide a COA


Edited by jdpaul, 19 June 2018 - 02:50 PM.


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#3 Scampi

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 03:40 PM

I would add given the ongoing issues with Salmonella recalls in fresh produce, I would not be taking any chances

 

(produce is my #1 raw material)


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#4 FSQA

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 05:03 PM

It varies, as this can be a challenge with Fresh Produce specifically if you are directly sourcing from a Farm.

Not every supplier/location has a capability to perform Micro Analysis and issue COAs on individual supplied lots/batches.

 

As you mentioned, that you have a kill step in the process, i would consider handling your incoming Fresh produce as an untreated raw material, emphasize/validate your kill step and post production sampling & micro testing to ensure a compliant product. 

However a letter of conformity from your supplier, GAP/GFSI Certification and random incoming product testing (by your company) should be a good idea to move forward.

 

As shared in the above post, if you can find a source/vendor, who can provide a COA with every shipment, it should be preferred.



#5 qaccount

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 07:24 PM

Thanks, all.  Does anyone have any resources as to reasonable micro limits for fresh produce? 



#6 cindyhaz

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 08:39 PM

It's very unusual for produce companies to test fresh fruits and vegetables for pathogens because of their perishability. The likelihood of finding a contaminant is low because pathogens are not uniformly spread. Even large food service companies who put a slice of tomato on a hamburger do not test fresh produce.

 

Common practice is to rely on GFSI and GAP audits (field, harvest crew, and packinghouse), and letters of guarantee. Packinghouses routinely do environmental testing. I agree that you should treat incoming produce as untreated raw material. You're fortunate to have a kill step. Most produce is considered ready to eat.

 

You might find this article interesting. http://www.foodsafet...e/#.Wy1ZllVKjcs



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