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How to verify if supplied chocolate beans are safe to eat?

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Dee70

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 01:27 PM

Hi,

 

I hope I'm in the right place to ask this particular question  :giggle:

 

I am working with a Gelato business that adds chocolate beans as decoration after the pasteurisation process, so a real potential there for cross contamination. 

 

The company supplying the beans is a BRC accredited business, they have sent a rather dubious looking flow diagram outlining their process. 

 

We have been asked by the EHO how we know if the chocolate beans are safe to eat? ,,, Are we required to do some lab testing ourselves or can we ask our supplier for their lab results?

 

It is my understanding that the EHO want validation of our supplier processes? .. If we conduct the tests ourselves, are we not verifying rather than validating?

 

Could someone please clarify ... any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

 

Kind Regards & Thanks 

 

Dee



Marloes

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 02:06 PM

Hi Dee,

 

 

I am not in the gelato and chocolate beans industry (combination sounds delicious  :thumbup: ).
Which risks are you afraid off?

Generally when a company send you their product specification claiming it as a food product, with an intended use matching your process, you are good to go. (validation)

 

If there are specific risks identified by your risk assessment for your choco bean adding process you should mitigate them.
You can change your production process to prevent or eliminate the risk (although pasteurisation of choco beans is probably not the way to go).
Or if that is not possible depending on the severity of your risk implement an positive release or monitoring strategy for this risk. (verification)

 



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SQFconsultant

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 03:16 PM

You can do testing however, if you had an approved supplier program it would include a requirement that suppliers provide a certicate of analysis - coa, this would give you testing results.

Plus, your program should also include the requirement for documented specifications.

There of course woukd be other requirements bur nornally it is the suopkier that does their own testing and reports it to the buyer.


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Scampi

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 03:28 PM

Have the cocoa beans been roasted?  I'm assuming they are not raw

 

Yes, you could agree to send out samples each lot---and that would be a validation of their process not yours (assuming there is a kill step in their process)

 

It would be a verification if they provided a CoA and you sent the product for analysis as well


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Dee70

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Posted 16 June 2022 - 04:02 PM

There's been an incident here with Kinder Eggs and Salmonella recently, it seems to have stepped up the scrutiny on cocoa beans. And because they are being placed on top of a pasteurised product then I can see the real risk potential.

 

But given that the beans are roasted .. this should serve as a kill step .. I will seek out a COA .. I think that is definitely the right way to go! I will also look to put them on the lab sampling plan for verification. 

 

Thank you all so very much .. I'm so grateful for your time ... this site is just brilliant!  :spoton:



Scotty_SQF

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Posted 17 June 2022 - 11:13 AM

Look into their flow diagrams on what that kill step is, with roasting of cocoa beans it is a combination of batch size, temperature and time.  I have worked in the industry before and the important one there is batch size.  You cannot use the same time for a small batch size and then a big batch size as then you run the risk of contamination.  I'd also inquire how often they are checking this as that is important to ensure the roaster is functioning properly.  The other question I would ask is what happens to a batch that does not reach the requirements, does their system have something in place to dispose of the beans or can they send it through to re-roast.  The other issue with cocoa beans is cadmium.  Depending on where they are getting there beans from (region wise) there is a risk of cadmium in the beans.  I would inquire about that as well.


Edited by Scotty_SQF, 17 June 2022 - 11:14 AM.


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Charles.C

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Posted 17 June 2022 - 01:35 PM

There's been an incident here with Kinder Eggs and Salmonella recently, it seems to have stepped up the scrutiny on cocoa beans. And because they are being placed on top of a pasteurised product then I can see the real risk potential.

 

But given that the beans are roasted .. this should serve as a kill step .. I will seek out a COA .. I think that is definitely the right way to go! I will also look to put them on the lab sampling plan for verification. 

 

Thank you all so very much .. I'm so grateful for your time ... this site is just brilliant!  :spoton:

Hi Dee,

 

No offence intended but sounds like you have zero approved supplier setup (ie Post 3) and zero agreed ingredient specifications (?). This is a potential recipe for a disaster.

 

Assuming yr product is RTE, I would have expected the final step you refer would likely generate a HACCP/CCP >> Validation.(?)

 

Your supplier was surely obliged to generate for BRC the relevant validatory safety information if his BRC Certification Scope included the chocolate beans. (Did it ?).

 

The EHO could presumably have equally asked as to how you know that your product is safe to eat ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Dee70

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 01:37 PM

Hi Charles,

 

I'm not easily offended .. especially when I agree with you wholeheartedly. There is always something new to learn in this industry!

 

The supplier approval was dire .. I have spent a couple of weeks tightening this up .. and for my efforts (and all your advice) .. a good audit score was achieved & the EHO are happy with the improvements I've made so it has been a double victory!

 

You made an excellent point regarding the scope of the BRC accreditation - I actually hadn't thought of that!  :ejut:

 

I'm still baffled as to how a BRC AA accredited company (supplier) can get away with having such confusing (chaotic even) food safety documentation (Flow Charts, Hazard Analysis & Specifications) - the worst I've ever seen! :headhurts:



wtheriot

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Posted 01 July 2022 - 09:13 PM

I would still require a COA for each batch you purchase. 





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