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What cooling process is recommended for a pre-cooked food (poultry gravy) sterilized in a metal can?

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 12:39 PM

What's the cooling process is recommended for a pre-cooked food(poultry gravy) sterilized in metal can?
Should it be rapid cool with the help of tap water
Or dry cooling is recommended (12hours)
NOTE: Can is completely sealed by seamer machine.

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 04:30 PM

Thermally processed, commercially sterile meat and poultry products are packaged in hermetically sealed containers and remain shelf-stable under unrefrigerated conditions.  “Canned product” is defined in §318/381.300(d) as a meat or poultry product with a water activity above 0.85 which receives a thermal process either before or after being packed in a hermetically sealed container. Example products may include canned spaghetti with meatballs, canned corned beef hash, and canned soups with meat or poultry.


If the above is true for your product, and you meet CCP's for cooking, and immediately seal the can before it goes into the "danger zone" temperature, then as far as HACCP is concerned I think you may pick whichever suites your operation.


I used to can soda and carbonated drinks, and we would use a water bath to warm the cold cans to room temperature to prevent sweating in the paper cases. I don't see anything wrong with cooling with water if they are sealed. The only concern I would have is the can possibly being damaged from the quick temperature change. Maybe do a test? Also, will the water affect labeling?


Hope someone else comes and weighs in, since I have never worked with canned foods, but either way good luck!

Edited by dsnyder9785, 29 May 2020 - 04:33 PM.


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Posted 13 December 2020 - 08:26 PM

Hi talhakhan,


I guess the question here is whether you have validated the process at the site of microbiological concern. If the sterilisation process eliminates C. botulinum spores, as well as any other pathogenic species to an acceptable level (for example a 6 log reduction), then the cooling process can be validated for either of the 2 methods you have mentioned (or any other method for that matter!). 


I work in smallgoods and cooling is determined by compliance to AS4696:2007, however we have a couple of large ham products that have achieved alternative compliance (as assessed through validation studies before my time) using samples augmented by a predictive microbiological program (ComBase). Essentially, for meat cooling, the target pathogen of concern is C. perfringens. With the addition of nitrites, salt and smoke, we can comfortably extend the window of cooling quite significantly past the standard.


So my advice would be to determine the target pathogens of concern and validate the process. You might find that both are acceptable for pathogen control, but one (my guess is rapid cooling) achieves better shelf life than the other.  

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