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Cooked Chicken Water Retention

USDA Chicken Ingredient Declaration HACCP Food Fraud

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Guitardr85

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Posted 29 July 2022 - 05:21 PM

We recently received a new USDA inspector who is very diligent about process and HACCP risk analysis. This morning, he told us that we are not in compliance due to chilling cooked chicken in an ice bath due to the increased volume of water that the chicken will absorb during the chilling process (the cooked chicken is a WIP for later addition as an ingredient in a meal kit. 

 

We stated that we take weights before cooking and that weights are taken per ingredient per meal during the final assembly of the meal. He has stated that we are likely out of compliance with our ingredient order for water on our finished product label.

 

We have historical data that shows volume loss during the cooking process (yield is approximately 75% of raw weight after cooking).  He disagrees with us and is telling us we need to include this risk in our HACCP process (which ingredient volume wouldn't be a food safety risk in the first place) and that we are going to get a non-conformance for HACCP risk analysis AND a potential NC for food fraud. 

 

Does anyone have any advice or experience working with cooked chicken and water absorption or could point in me in the direction of resources to make our process more robust? 

 

Any by all means, if I need to clarify anything to help with this opportunity please let me know.

 

Thanks!



Scampi

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Posted 29 July 2022 - 06:51 PM

I would tend to agree with your inspector

Water retention is poultry is regulated and this isn't the ideal way to keep your ingredient cold

 

What you are probably missing in your calculation is the BEFORE water bath weight and POST water bath weight 

 

I would suggest that you 

A) tag and weigh pieces before you put them into the ice/water bath

B) weigh them again just before addition to the finished good (run a 2 column table so you can see each piece before and after)

C) have a full nutritional analysis done on your FG using this method to keep it cold AND another chilling method (dry ice/blast chiller/walk in cooler) and compare the 2

 

When warm/hot poultry (cooked or raw) is placed into cold water, the laws of thermodynamics kick in, and the meat absorbs the cold water as it cools-then the meat does NOT inversely release it all as it cooks.   So not only will the amount of h2O be higher than you expect, but your protein value may be lower than declared


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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Scampi

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Posted 29 July 2022 - 07:15 PM


Edited by Scampi, 29 July 2022 - 07:18 PM.

Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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Guitardr85

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Posted 29 July 2022 - 08:39 PM

@Scampi...

 

Your input is GREATLY appreciated!!! I am passing along the information you provided along with some additional resources I compiled today. 

 

Have a great weekend :)







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