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Microbiological Hazards in Green Coffee through to Roasting

microbiologicalcoffee green coffee HACCP hazards preventive controls roasting coffee roasting microbiological hazards

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#1 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 05:50 PM

Hello IFSQN, 

 

I'm curious, are there any microbiological hazards of concern for roasted coffee? I am assuming that, because the green coffee undergoes the roasting process (where temps range from 390-430 degrees F), micros aren't likely to survive. Does anyone have a resource to back this up? I would like to be able to identify the specific microbiological risks in my HACCP Plan but I would also like to show that our roasting process is one of the several process controls in place. No in-house testing for microbe activity has been done however, so far I've picked up that roasted coffee is generally a low-risk commodity because: (1) at the production stage we roast the coffee at high temperatures where, for most foods, time and temperature control for most micro hazards are met and perhaps even exceeded; (2) by nature, coffee is a low water activity food where microbes are not likely to survive; (3) at the consumer level, the coffee undergoes brewing at high temperatures. 

 

Any thoughts? Feedback? 

 

Thank you!



#2 jdpaul

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:00 PM

Take a look at this; I hope it provides help

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#3 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:12 PM

Take a look at this; I hope it provides help

 

Thank you jdpaul - this resource certainly sets a foundation for the justification that I hope to apply with each foreseeable hazard related to coffee.



#4 jdpaul

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:30 PM

You can also use FDA's appendix 1 at https://www.fda.gov/.../99581/download



#5 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:37 PM

You can also use FDA's appendix 1 at https://www.fda.gov/.../99581/download

 

Thank you again jdpaul - this is an excellent resource to have on-file!



#6 Timwoodbag

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:49 PM

You have to account for cold brew and ground coffee as a baking ingredient.  Those do not undergo high temperatures from the end user, and ground coffee as an ingredient does not get filtered either.  If you know your end users are say facilities, where they will not be cold brewing or eating, then you can assume they brew, but not at a retail level.  

 

Get some scientific literature about microbiological risks in coffee.  

 

FDA - https://www.fda.gov/...100921/download

Top of Page 14 has always been interesting to me.  

 

All that aside, no auditor has cared in the slightest about pathogens etc, they only care about Ochratoxin A for some reason???

 

We taste test all lots of Greens before purchase, and at that time I grab some greens from every lot approved for purchase and test for moisture content to ensure OTA growth is not a concern.  Luckily we had a Sinar BeanPro just sitting in the Managers office when I started, I did not have to ask them to purchase for me.  I do not do any water activity testing.  We also do a daily humidity log, to prove they will not gain moisture over time while in storage as greens.  

https://royalcoffee....water-activity/

The Red and Blue Chart on this page has been hanging over my computer for years.  

 

This has been sufficient for my SQF audits so far, but none have pushed for more information, they usually tell me there is no risk except for OTA, ask if I am aware of OTA, I show them Moisture Content Testing and they don't even bother to read through it.  



#7 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:04 PM

You have to account for cold brew and ground coffee as a baking ingredient.  Those do not undergo high temperatures from the end user, and ground coffee as an ingredient does not get filtered either.  If you know your end users are say facilities, where they will not be cold brewing or eating, then you can assume they brew, but not at a retail level.  

 

Get some scientific literature about microbiological risks in coffee.  

 

FDA - https://www.fda.gov/...100921/download

Top of Page 14 has always been interesting to me.  

 

All that aside, no auditor has cared in the slightest about pathogens etc, they only care about Ochratoxin A for some reason???

 

We taste test all lots of Greens before purchase, and at that time I grab some greens from every lot approved for purchase and test for moisture content to ensure OTA growth is not a concern.  Luckily we had a Sinar BeanPro just sitting in the Managers office when I started, I did not have to ask them to purchase for me.  I do not do any water activity testing.  We also do a daily humidity log, to prove they will not gain moisture over time while in storage as greens.  

https://royalcoffee....water-activity/

The Red and Blue Chart on this page has been hanging over my computer for years.  

 

This has been sufficient for my SQF audits so far, but none have pushed for more information, they usually tell me there is no risk except for OTA, ask if I am aware of OTA, I show them Moisture Content Testing and they don't even bother to read through it.  

 

Thank you for the thorough input Timwoodbag - this is great information to consider. Our facility sells directly to consumers as well as retail establishments. Because of this, we do not have much control over how the product is consumed. So far, (I hope) I am covering ourselves up using our Product Descriptions to suggest that the product is not considered a ready-to-consume product and therefore, requires additional downstream processing at the consumer level (IE; grinding, brewing, filtering according to equipment manufacturer's instructions). Do you think this is sufficient for HACCP and FSMA?

 

Also, regarding cold brew - this is a tough one because I am that we do use our roasted beans to serve cold brew in our cafe and also, we are collaborating with a local brewery to have our roasted beans used in a coffee stout. Overall, I am at a loss of how to navigate those areas but am not too concerned considering we are not currently certified to a third-party food safety standard and have not been asked for this information. 

 

Lastly, regarding OTA - I appreciate your input on how you manage this risk and am hoping that my management would be open to incorporating moisture testing of some type. I believe that the frequency you implemented at your facility is reasonable for our operations. Thank you again!



#8 Timwoodbag

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:16 PM

The better way to cover yourself is to make sure every piece of retail packaging you have says "How to Brew Coffee:" Followed by only listing filtered hot brewing for your product.  Then you can kind of sort of say "See we told them not to eat it!"  But that will not hold up in a court of law, and will likely not hold up to an aggravated auditor, it's just what coffee industry has been doing forever.  As far as HACCP Product Descriptions are concerned, you need to realistically consider cold brew and RTE consumption by consumers, it is 2020 you can't really play dumb anymore.  But most places still are.....

 

Moisture Content and Water Activity affect the roast, so if you guys are micro roasting super premium stuff that is knowledge your roaster will want for consistency purposes.  

 

Prove that there are no risks present after the roast stage and cold brew is easier, but companies that don't even wear hairnets while packaging are having a hard time adjusting to coffee suddenly being ready to eat.  (We have fully enclosed systems from the roaster cooling chamber through the packaging machines, and our hand pack area is covered from dust and debris etc, and considered a more "at risk" area than the rest of the facility.  



#9 S@feF00d4@ll

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:32 PM

The better way to cover yourself is to make sure every piece of retail packaging you have says "How to Brew Coffee:" Followed by only listing filtered hot brewing for your product.  Then you can kind of sort of say "See we told them not to eat it!"  But that will not hold up in a court of law, and will likely not hold up to an aggravated auditor, it's just what coffee industry has been doing forever.  As far as HACCP Product Descriptions are concerned, you need to realistically consider cold brew and RTE consumption by consumers, it is 2020 you can't really play dumb anymore.  But most places still are.....

 

Moisture Content and Water Activity affect the roast, so if you guys are micro roasting super premium stuff that is knowledge your roaster will want for consistency purposes.  

 

Prove that there are no risks present after the roast stage and cold brew is easier, but companies that don't even wear hairnets while packaging are having a hard time adjusting to coffee suddenly being ready to eat.  (We have fully enclosed systems from the roaster cooling chamber through the packaging machines, and our hand pack area is covered from dust and debris etc, and considered a more "at risk" area than the rest of the facility.  

 

Timwoodbag I come from a BRC-Certified facility and can totally understand how important it is to understand and be aware of potential misuses of the finished product - it's just really annoying trying to cover all your bases when people come up with new ways to consume your product. In my previous life our concern was related to overnight oats where we knew as the producer that the product did not undergo a sterilization step and therefore could be susceptible to hazards if it did not go through the cooking instructions we laid out on the packaging. Nevertheless, in the coffee world you are right - we can't be blind to the fact that cold brew is the new fad for coffee. 

 

What you described is the scope of our operations - roasting to Specialty Coffee standards and packing for retail sale. We hope to also branch into cold brew processing and bottling where we will definitely have to venture into the world of hazards. Any advice on what I should look out for in that area?

 

I visited a roaster and packer where there didn't seem to be stringent rules or emphasis on cGMPs in the area of hair restraints, uniform enforcement, chemical control, etc;. It's a little worrisome from my end as a consultant because I feel that I am going to be pushing for some controls that the coffee industry has not seen before. Fortunately, I am working with a great team that I believe will be cooperative but still, a little worrisome.



#10 Charles.C

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:12 AM

Some more coffee information -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...fee/#entry80491

https://www.ifsqn.co...ns/#entry140552

https://www.ifsqn.co...ck/#entry139538

https://www.ifsqn.co...ee/#entry113244

https://www.ifsqn.co...ee/#entry116222

https://www.ifsqn.co...vp/#entry126542

https://www.ifsqn.co...ts/#entry138360


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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