Does anyone have experience with determining shelf life validation frequencies? We have done the microbiological and organoleptic testing for all of our different types of products in 2016 (when we became SQF), and then I did it again last year (November 2018) to be safe.
Does anyone know if these need to be re-done yearly? I do not want to waste money on sending samples to the lab for microbiological testing unnecessarily, especially since it seems we got by in 2017 without re-doing them. I am just not sure if this was luck, or if auditors are okay with this being done only once.
Our products are dried spices/herbs and dried soup/sauce bases, so I am pretty sure all of our products would reach the end of their shelf life due to loss of colour/flavour long before anything would be unsafe to eat. (all previous validations indicate the products are safe microbiologically almost indefinitely and we end up determining the shelf life based on organoleptic testing in any case)
Any insight/suggestions on what auditors might expect from this would be greatly appreciated! Our window for our unannounced audit is quickly approaching and I would hate to get a non-conformity for something I had thought of, but then dismissed as unnecessary.