Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

Can freezing extend the expiry date of processed meat (Ham)?

FSANZ Australia

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 PRABAKARAN PILLAI

PRABAKARAN PILLAI

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 33 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 10 May 2019 - 12:45 AM

I am seeking for your advice on expiry of processed meat (Ham).  Currently we stored our ham in freezer (-18oC) once its arrive at our premise. The given (printed) expiry date for the ham is 3 months from production date. Please advice if frozen storage can extend its shelf life, and if yes how long it would be. 

 

 


#2 zanorias

zanorias

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 759 posts
  • 219 thanks
140
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Motorcycling, Food Safety, Science, Water Sports, Nature

Posted 10 May 2019 - 08:04 AM

Hi Prabakaran,

 

Is the ham transported and delivered chilled? 3 months seems an odd date for frozen. Yes in general freezing will extend shelf life though if I were you I'd query with the supplier so you have something more official if needed to justify to any visitors etc. If you are freezing down product on site make sure you keep a log of dates i.e. don't freeze it with one day shelf life remaining then defrost is 6 months later and leave it defrosted for a month before processing.



#3 The Food Scientist

The Food Scientist

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 932 posts
  • 242 thanks
180
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Food Science, Nature, SQF, Learning, Trying out new foods, Sarcasm.

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:12 PM

Hi,

 

So I am assuming chilled is 3 months shelf life? I'd think yes freezing it will extend the shelf life. Don't you have any recommendations for storage though indicated on the product spec sheets? All that info would (should) be on there. 


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#4 Scampi

Scampi

    Fellow

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 2,832 posts
  • 779 thanks
344
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:27 PM

Yes, the freezing essentially halts the shelf in it's track..............held under continuous low temp frozen, SAFETY shelf life is essentially indefinite.

 

However, freezing, tempering and thawing have QUALITY impacts on your finished goods.............especially in a high water content product like ham

 

Why are you freezing when you have fresh with 3 month shelf?


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#5 PRABAKARAN PILLAI

PRABAKARAN PILLAI

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 33 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:42 PM

Yes, the freezing essentially halts the shelf in it's track..............held under continuous low temp frozen, SAFETY shelf life is essentially indefinite.

 

However, freezing, tempering and thawing have QUALITY impacts on your finished goods.............especially in a high water content product like ham

 

Why are you freezing when you have fresh with 3 month shelf?

 

 

Thanks for useful information on SAFETY shelf life. We have limited storage space hence we stored in freezer instead of chiller.



#6 PRABAKARAN PILLAI

PRABAKARAN PILLAI

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 33 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:49 PM

Hi,

 

So I am assuming chilled is 3 months shelf life? I'd think yes freezing it will extend the shelf life. Don't you have any recommendations for storage though indicated on the product spec sheets? All that info would (should) be on there. 

 

Yes, 3 months of shelf life indicated on packaging, however, there are no recommendation for storage indicated on product spec sheet. Thanks, its a good idea to request info about this



#7 zanorias

zanorias

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 759 posts
  • 219 thanks
140
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Motorcycling, Food Safety, Science, Water Sports, Nature

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:50 PM

Indeed whilst not ideal quality-wise, sometimes it can be a matter of necessity when chilled storage is unavailable, it has happened in my place - poor planning and communication between purchasing, planners and production management.



#8 PRABAKARAN PILLAI

PRABAKARAN PILLAI

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 33 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:52 PM

Hi Prabakaran,

 

Is the ham transported and delivered chilled? 3 months seems an odd date for frozen. Yes in general freezing will extend shelf life though if I were you I'd query with the supplier so you have something more official if needed to justify to any visitors etc. If you are freezing down product on site make sure you keep a log of dates i.e. don't freeze it with one day shelf life remaining then defrost is 6 months later and leave it defrosted for a month before processing.

 

No the ham transported and delivered in frozen state. Thanks for the idea on keep log of dates to keep tract the expiry. I will liaise with supplier for further information. Thanks once again.



#9 PRABAKARAN PILLAI

PRABAKARAN PILLAI

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 33 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • Malaysia
    Malaysia

Posted 10 May 2019 - 01:56 PM

Indeed whilst not ideal quality-wise, sometimes it can be a matter of necessity when chilled storage is unavailable, it has happened in my place - poor planning and communication between purchasing, planners and production management.

 

Indeed, its clearly showed poor planning and management. I suppose the quality deteriorate over time period.



#10 majoy

majoy

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 230 posts
  • 84 thanks
56
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Female

Posted 10 May 2019 - 04:18 PM

Science says when its frozen, it is SAFE indefinitely and only quality issue may arise. This is known to all of us - QA practitioners. And we can be practical in all sense of the world and may allow the use of this out of shelf life ham because it is frozen anyway.

 

However, just to give you some perspective on a worst case scenario:

 

If god forbid, there was a food poisoning incident and the source of illness is your product that uses the HAM as one of its ingredient. During investigation by you and your country's regulatory agency, it was found (the regulatory agency discovered based on your record trail) that the ham used to make this product was already out of shelf life, and then now your regulatory agency is already incriminating that the source of the illness is the out of shelf life ham or simply let's assume after all the info is collected and investigated the actual source of illness is the ham.

 

How are you going to justify this to your regulatory? How are you going to justify this with the people who got sick? Technically, you cannot go after your supplier of ham because they indicated the shelf life of product at 3 months and then you decided to store it in freezer and extend the shelf life.

 

My point is, logical and practicality comes with our job - but it is important to cover you a** very well. Maybe ask the supplier for a shelf life extension, or for a specification which says that if the product is kept frozen, then the shelf life is 1 year. Or if this is a recurring issue, you can even make your own shelf life study for the frozen ham to see how's the microbial load by 6 mos, 1 year etc.

 

Apologies as shelf life issues is very close to my heart as this is one of my hard limits in my QA job.


"Whatever you do, do it well..." - Walt Disney






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users