I'm a quality officer working for a pasta manufacturer, certified SQF. We manufacture fresh pasta, filled and unfilled (ravioli and lasagna).
Process as follows:
Raw materials --> minced meat, veggies, oil, spices, cheese ---> kitchen (MEDIUM AREA) for the filling preparation. Meat filling is cooked 90C for 10mins (CCP) and then cooled down in 6 hours in blast chiller (CCP). We also mix uncooked fillings in the kitchen (i.e. ricotta and spinach).
Fillings are used next day in forming machines and filled pasta is formed with semolina and egg dough (MEDIUM AREA).
Formed pasta --> Pasteurized (CCP, 80C for 6 secs min) --> straight into HIGH CARE area in chillers (CCP cool down in 6 hr) then packed in high care under MAP --> goes into base area to be boxed and dispatched.
I recently found listeria (spp innocua) in raw meat (minced beef) during my random tests. I asked supplier to address the issue and he claims Listeria can't be avoided on raw meat, it's everywhere he says. They slaughter their own cattle and have their processing room in the building next to the abattoir.
- I know I have controls in place to monitor Listeria (CCPs cooking, different risk areas, separation, EMP, my product is not ready to eat etc)
- I know Listeria is quite spread in raw - low risk- meat processing plants because you're supposed to cook the product
- I know meat processing plants are not required to test for Listeria
- I know Listeria innocua is not a pathogen (although an indicator), I audited the plant and would not be surprised to find L. Mono in there.
- I have no experience in meat processes
Now my question is:
Is it too much to expect your raw meat supplier not to have Listeria on the minced raw meat? Is it too much to ask him to control and address the issue, separate rooms, enforce sanitation and PPEs? What's the point of having an approved supplier program then?
I refuse to believe we need to accept Listeria as inherent in fresh raw cuts, maybe it's just me-at (ahah) . I'm not sure.
Thanks in advance.