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How to define CCP's for "Cold Sauce" Preparation?

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#1 foodguy63

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 12:03 PM

Hey all,

 

I'm looking for some advice on how to go about defining CCP's for a "cold sauce" (sauce that is not cooked). My facility currently produces a large variety of cooked sauces, but this is our first attempt at an uncooked sauce. Typically, our general plan for sauce consists of a cooking CCP, stabilization CCP, and some foreign material rejection CCP (i.e. metal detection or x-ray). WIth a cold sauce, would you just have a CCP ensuring stabilization is consistent as there is no "cooking"? Or do you need to provide a substitute CCP for "cooking"?

 

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated!

 

Best,

Foodguy63



#2 jcieslowski

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 12:09 PM

Hey foodguy, this is a pretty 'open' question so it's tough for me to provide any sort of definitive answer but I'll share my thoughts and maybe they'll help you think about things.

 

For your cold sauce, I'm assuming that you're using all fully cooked ready to eat ingredients (or fresh raw ready to eat ingredients).  If that's the case, and it's ready to eat, the only real typical CCP that I see is foreign material detection (metal detector / x ray).  I'm completely unfamiliar with a sauce stabilization process but if it's reducing a threat then you can also consider that for a CCP.   I feel like I'm not convinced stabilization would be a CCP in either hot or cold sauce processing but again, I don't really know the process.



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#3 foodguy63

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 12:16 PM

Hey jcieslowski, thanks for the input! This is the direction I was headed personally but without any experience, I wasn't sure if I was missing something. As far as I understand, the only other ingredients will be IQF vegetables.

 

As far as the stabilization in a cooked sauce, it depends on the sauce plan we are utilizing. Any plans that include ingredients with potential for spore formers we include a stabilization CCP to ensure we control that hazard.



#4 jcieslowski

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 12:23 PM

Sounds to me like you're on the right path then!

 

In my past we made a 'chicken Parmesan' dish that was a frozen chicken patty with a ready to eat pasta sauce and our only CCP was for foreign material, and only because we got the sauce from a can that we had to open.  When we later switched to 'pouched' sauce, we relied on our supplier approval program and their food safety measures (their CCP was metal detection) and had no ccps.



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#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 01:54 PM

Hey all,

 

I'm looking for some advice on how to go about defining CCP's for a "cold sauce" (sauce that is not cooked). My facility currently produces a large variety of cooked sauces, but this is our first attempt at an uncooked sauce. Typically, our general plan for sauce consists of a cooking CCP, stabilization CCP, and some foreign material rejection CCP (i.e. metal detection or x-ray). WIth a cold sauce, would you just have a CCP ensuring stabilization is consistent as there is no "cooking"? Or do you need to provide a substitute CCP for "cooking"?

 

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated!

 

Best,

Foodguy63

 

Are these refrigerated/frozen or shelf stable?


QA Manager and food safety blogger in Oregon, USA.

 

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#6 foodguy63

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 02:21 PM

They will be freezer meals.



#7 Scampi

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 01:48 PM

Even though you will be freezing this product, you still need a lethality step of some kind..........you need to prove you're product is safe

 

 

I'm assuming you're assuming your customer will heat this at home, but you cannot depend on them doing that correctly

 

are you relying on finished pH alone?

 

RTE needs to be free from pathogens regardless of how it's stored


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#8 foodguy63

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 03:16 PM

Scampi, that's the question I am trying to answer. It is a cold sauce preparation that has no heat lethality step. These preparations seem to be gaining popularity with quick set starches. Finished pH doesn't equal a lethality step either correct? Short of ensuring the product and it's ingredients never exceed 40 degrees F or 4 degrees C, I don't know of an applicable lethality step. 

 

This would be an NRTE product and would require a consumer lethality step, but I agree that this alone is not enough.



#9 Scampi

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 05:24 PM

So I understand the reasoning, the powers that be want to do a cold sauce because it's cheaper to buy the starch than cook?

 

The only way you can do this, is send tons (and i mean tons) of samples out for micro under WORST case scenario to see the micro load AND then use the suggested method of cooking, run micro again to PROVE that on your worst day, your product will not make anyone sick

 

 

OR could you use low temp pasteurization?  Depending on product type/finished pH your heat treatment could be quite mild........products with a pH below 3.3 do not always require thermal treatment

 

Is there a protein in the mix is that why you're calling it NRTE?


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#10 foodguy63

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 05:34 PM

Hey Scampi,

 

Sorry for the delayed response.

 

I believe you are correct with the powers that be. I can't imagine the cost savings would be that large, but that's what the powers that be would like.

 

I hadn't thought of doing a massive scale validation study. Unfortunately, I doubt it will gain any traction. Also, I'm not a huge fan of validation instead of a consistent lethality step. I would typically like to see validation and a lethality step in conjunction with one another. I think you've echoed this point too.

 

I am unaware of a target pH, but I have a hard time believing that the sauces we intend to produce would be as low as 3.3. Nonetheless, that will have to be an idea to explore.

 

There is no protein in the mix, we are using NRTE to indicate that the product must endure consumer lethality step. Again, I agree with you here about the inability to rely on the consumer for the lethality treatment.

 

I honestly don't see a way that this particular product can be produced without any lethality step.


Edited by foodguy63, 25 September 2018 - 05:34 PM.


#11 Scampi

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 06:13 PM

I think you are maybe confusing VALIDATION with VERIFICATION

 

Validation-----------a collection of scientific data, studies, finished product micro etc  that PROVES your procedure, when followed, will always produce a safe product

 

Verification------------daily monitoring of given parameters that ensure the procedure is being followed as written/implemented

 

So here in Canada, there have been repeat recalls for salmonella in breaded chicken products. These packages all have the message printed "NOT COOKED" or some such language and that a microwave should NOT be used, but that doesn't absolve the manufacturer of responsibility in producing a product that is free from pathogens

 

I would think the cost savings are monumental........when you add up hydro/gas + labour, that's alot of money spent everyday that could be saved by using a binding starch instead of cooking

 

I just think your in a bind on this one.........I would be sampling like mad to make sure what I was sending out the door was safe

 

And make sure the labeling is clear that product needs cooked before serving


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#12 foodguy63

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 06:26 PM

Yeah, definitely inserted the wrong word there. Thanks for the catch, the difference between the two is important to point out.

 

It's ironic you mention the breaded chicken recalls, I was just reading about those last week. I think a lot of people inside and outside of the food safety world in the U.S. also have a hard time understanding that packaging does not absolve the manufacturer of anything. I've already been told several times that I shouldn't be worried because the cooking instructions state "cook to 165 F" and all I can do is smile. 

 

Sampling with stringent temperature control appears to be the only option. I'm still not thrilled about the lack of a lethality step and will make sure to voice this opinion in the coming meetings. I'm sure it will fall on deaf ears but I guess it's more of a principle thing. 

 

Thanks for all of your help and for being a sounding board, I really appreciate it!



#13 Scampi

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 03:08 PM

I found this (when researching for myself) and thought it may be of assisstance

 

Regulations and Guidelines for Thermal Pasteurization in Europe Refrigerated (or chilled) ready-to-eat meals have long been popular in Europe. The European Chilled Food Federation provides guidance for producing chilled foods in Europe (ECFF, 2006). ECFF defines chilled food as ―foods that for reasons of safety and/or quality rely on storage at refrigeration temperatures throughout their entire shelf-life.‖ According to ECFF recommendations, the common practice for heat-treated chilled food is to aim for a 6 log reduction of either (Table 4): 1) L. monocytogenes (this treatment will control other vegetative pathogens). 2) Cold growing C. botulinum (this treatment will not control other spore-forming pathogens such as B. cereus). L. monocytogenes is the most heat-resistant vegetative pathogen while Type B is the most heat resistant form of non-proteolytic C. botulinum. It is generally accepted that a mild pasteurization of low-acid food (F70°C=2.0 min) achieving 6 log reduction of L. monocytogenes is suitable for a shelf life of maximally 10 days at 5°C. A severe pasteurization process of F90°C=10.0 min aiming at a 6D process inactivation of non-proteolytic C. botulinum allows a product shelf life of up to 6 weeks at 5°C (ECFF, 2006; CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, 2010

 

http://www.fruitandv...iles/236858.pdf


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