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Micro limits for food which needs cooking by the end consumer


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#1 Nikki R

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 02:16 PM

I hope this is not a silly question but here goes,

 

We produce a product which does not undergo and heating or cooking process. It is a roll which is put together and frozen before despatch. The consumer then cooks it before they eat it. Micro tests show that if cooked as per the instructions that there is very little micro content. What I need to know and cant find out is, is there any micro limits we should be considering before this point? 

 

All our other products are ready to eat and we have micro limits set. 



#2 Alex C.

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 05:45 PM

No such thing as a silly question, however some necessary information is missing.

 

What ingredients are in the roll?

 

Can the roll be eaten without reheating? This is an important distinction! Think cookie dough or frozen pizza (they shouldn't be eaten without cooking but often are!).

 

How did you confirm the micros were good after cooking? Oven cooking, microwave cooking? What were the initial micro levels before cooking?

 

Many more questions but let's start with those...



#3 Charles.C

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 12:09 AM

I hope this is not a silly question but here goes,

 

We produce a product which does not undergo and heating or cooking process. It is a roll which is put together and frozen before despatch. The consumer then cooks it before they eat it. Micro tests show that if cooked as per the instructions that there is very little micro content. What I need to know and cant find out is, is there any micro limits we should be considering before this point? 

 

All our other products are ready to eat and we have micro limits set. 

 

It may depend on the specifics, eg Food matrix/packaging, but the UK generic "cooking" answer is typically based on a validated achievance of >= 70degC for >=2 minutes at core of product/slowest heating point.

 

Or equivalent thermal situation based on L.monocytogenes lethality tables. (again this can vary with packaging environment, etc)

 

afaik guideline micro limits at point of sale are only compiled in UK for RTE products but I believe some industries do have their own "raw" guideline/regulatory limits.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#4 Nikki R

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:53 AM

Alex C, the roll has got beansprouts, veg and various spices in it. It has to be cooked before consumption. Cooking instructions are deep fry in 220 degree oil for 10 mins (From Frozen). We have these tested by the lab and results show there is little to no micro presence after the cooking process.

 

Thank you Charles, that was what I was starting to think after some intensive research on the web and through the codex. I am new to the micro side of HACCP and I am teaching myself as I go. I just wanted to ensure there were no limits before the cooking process. All our other products are easy, ready to eat and nothing grows on them  :rofl2:



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 04:00 PM

Alex C, the roll has got beansprouts, veg and various spices in it. It has to be cooked before consumption. Cooking instructions are deep fry in 220 degree oil for 10 mins (From Frozen). We have these tested by the lab and results show there is little to no micro presence after the cooking process.

 

Thank you Charles, that was what I was starting to think after some intensive research on the web and through the codex. I am new to the micro side of HACCP and I am teaching myself as I go. I just wanted to ensure there were no limits before the cooking process. All our other products are easy, ready to eat and nothing grows on them  :rofl2:

Hi Nikki,

 

You also need to distinguish between micro for safety factors, eg salmonella and micro for "quality/wholesomeness" aspects, eg APC, generic E.coli.

 

A micro product specification will typically have both.

 

So IMEX it is customary to attach a set of "Typical" micro specifications for each product.

 

There are some "general" Literature Guidelines for various raw / RTE items but i have not seen the former specifically addressed in UK.

 

Some compilations here -

http://www.ifsqn.com...us/#entry127998

http://www.ifsqn.com...ds/#entry127333

(majority are for RTE but some include raw, eg COM1, COM4, ref4, ref5)

 

If no hits, my usual procedure is to guess a "similar" food(s) "X" and google "Microbiological specification X". And have a look in Books as indicated in 2nd link above.( One popular one is Microorganisms in Foods Vol 6 published by ICMSF).

 

PS - assuming not vac. or mixed gas packed and  only as a speculation, I suggest targets/limits of -

 

APC - 106 cfu/g, 5x106 cfu/g

E.coli - 10MPN/g, 100MPN/g

S.aureus Coagulase Positive - 10MPN/g, 100MPN/g

Salmonella - Not detected in 25g

E.Coli O157 - Not detected in 25g

L.monocytogenes - 10MPN/g, 100MPN/g

 

Some actual data is now required to compare with above.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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