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Yeast and Mold in RTE Chocolate Product

Chocolate Yeast Mold CFU

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#1 LittleC's

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 01:25 PM

Hello All,

 

I am a new quality manager with a small chocolatier in the US. I have had most of my experience in the RTE Pork industry with bacon and sausage. I am playing catch up on some of the micro and had a question.

 

I have two clients that have defined their product spec with regards to micro testing as "all sampling must comply with the FDA regulations set". We use an outside tester (microbac) for our COA's and micro testing. My problem is I can't find any sort of limits on results for yeast and mold. I have looked through our SOP's and SQF plan, but they are very basic and generic. I have read through the FDA BAM and there are no limits posted.

The product is chocolate, carmel and pecans, I assume pecans would be the biggest contributor of yeast and mold. The supplier of the pecans gave us a COA has limits of  <500 cfu, and after speaking with their quality department I was told their limits are customer driven and is not based on any research or ties to the FDA. The product tested at 300 cfu and I was told that this was the highest result that the operations manager had seen.

 

I am looking for some industry research or FDA requirement that I can use in the justification of our micro policy with there are any questions from the clients. This is a quality driven company and I want limits that reflex that and provide products that are safe with a long self life. I not sure that the <500 cfu from the supplier is where we should be.

 

Dominic



#2 Scampi

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 02:10 PM

This link may help..Thailand lowered levels in 6 items, including chocolate to less than 100 cfu/g

 

gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Thai%20FDA%20Revising%20Yeast%20and%20Mold%20Level%20in%20Foods_Bangkok_Thailand_10-12-2010.pdf

 

It's the only country I could find quickly with yeast/mold limits for chocolate specifically, but hopefully this will help

 

I would think that if the supplier is saying 500 cfu, then they are not roasting quite long enough to satisfy your requirements


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#3 LittleC's

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 04:12 PM

Our pecans are not roasted, they are raw.



#4 QualitySafetyPro

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 07:36 PM

Where are you located LittleC's?  I feel like your story hits a bit close to home.  Would you like to discuss further?



#5 LittleC's

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 07:41 PM

I am in Ohio.



#6 QualitySafetyPro

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 07:48 PM

Please PM me and we can communicate via email.  Your story sounds familiar! 



#7 LittleC's

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 08:04 PM

I am not sure I can PM on the forum. I am also not giving away my email right now. I would value your input, but I see no reason why you can't post in the forum.

 

Thanks



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 05:38 AM

Hello All,

 

I am a new quality manager with a small chocolatier in the US. I have had most of my experience in the RTE Pork industry with bacon and sausage. I am playing catch up on some of the micro and had a question.

 

I have two clients that have defined their product spec with regards to micro testing as "all sampling must comply with the FDA regulations set". We use an outside tester (microbac) for our COA's and micro testing. My problem is I can't find any sort of limits on results for yeast and mold. I have looked through our SOP's and SQF plan, but they are very basic and generic. I have read through the FDA BAM and there are no limits posted.

The product is chocolate, carmel and pecans, I assume pecans would be the biggest contributor of yeast and mold. The supplier of the pecans gave us a COA has limits of  <500 cfu, and after speaking with their quality department I was told their limits are customer driven and is not based on any research or ties to the FDA. The product tested at 300 cfu and I was told that this was the highest result that the operations manager had seen.

 

I am looking for some industry research or FDA requirement that I can use in the justification of our micro policy with there are any questions from the clients. This is a quality driven company and I want limits that reflex that and provide products that are safe with a long self life. I not sure that the <500 cfu from the supplier is where we should be.

 

Dominic

 

Hi Dominic,

 

The difficulty from expecting FDA interest is that this is not usually a safety-related characteristic so not a priority factor.

 

However there are certainly official US non-safety specs published for other RTE items, eg USDA/ice cream.

 

I did a quick search and found nothing from FDA POV.

 

Also see this sort of related thread which is kind of "negative"

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...-united-states/

 

There are probably official standards elsewhere though.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 Charles.C

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 05:57 AM

addendum

 

Noticed -

 

https://www.accessda...cfm?CFRPart=163

(no micro from quick look)

 

and -

 

https://www.fda.gov/...7.htm#SECTION 3

(see section 3)

No micro other than Salmonella


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 LittleC's

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 11:16 AM

Thanks for the links Charles, I will but something together.







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