# Can critical limits be defined as a range value?

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### #1 hafidznf14

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Posted 12 February 2023 - 02:05 AM

Hello guys.

Can critical limit defined as range value ?  For example, critical limit for cooking temperatur of poultry established as a range of 165°F to 170°F ?

It is correct ? Or should I established critical limit of cooking temperature at minimum at 165°F ?

### #2 hafidznf14

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Posted 12 February 2023 - 02:08 AM

Please help guys, I need some advise because in the near future we will be audited by an independent party. thanks a lot

### #3 EagleEye

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Posted 12 February 2023 - 07:51 AM

Hi, Hafid,

As per my understanding, it could be a range as far as you can explain its suitability for your context.

It's the better option rather you define a minimum achievable value where an above limit could be anything technically which will have far reaching effect on your product, per say....

Good day!

### #4 RafifUtamaPutra

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 01:51 AM

Hello guys.

Can critical limit defined as range value ?  For example, critical limit for cooking temperatur of poultry established as a range of 165°F to 170°F ?

It is correct ? Or should I established critical limit of cooking temperature at minimum at 165°F ?

hello hafidz,

First of all, i wanna ask why you need to establish a range temperature for your critical limit.

as we know, the critical limit is "the limit to determine the hazard we want to disappear", e.g. salmonella, or other microbes.

So, we talk about safety, not quality.

if we talk about, minimum and maximum, it means if the temperature is more than 170 F, it will be dangerous to the product.

So i think we need to know, the reason for this limit first.

From my understanding, it could be a range as far as you can explain its suitability for your context.

as conveyed by eagle eye, It's the better option to define a minimum achievable value

Good Luckk..

### #5 Charles.C

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 04:36 AM

Please help guys, I need some advise because in the near future we will be audited by an independent party. thanks a lot

as per FSMA -

Critical limit. A maximum and/or minimum value, or combination of values, to which any biological, chemical, or physical parameter must be controlled to significantly minimize or prevent a hazard requiring a process control (the terms parameter or value are used more broadly in HARPC)

Of course, you may be auditorially asked to justify yr minimum/maximum values from a "hazard POV".

Kind Regards,

Charles.C

### #6 Tony-C

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 05:48 AM

Hello guys.

Can critical limit defined as range value ?  For example, critical limit for cooking temperature of poultry established as a range of 165°F to 170°F ?

It is correct ? Or should I established critical limit of cooking temperature at minimum at 165°F ?

Hi hafidznf14,

Welcome to the IFSQN forums.

USDA FSIS Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart doesn’t stipulate a temperature range, only minimum temperatures.

All Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground poultry, giblets, and stuffing) should be cooked to a 165 °F (73.9 °C) minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer before removing food from the heat source.

(Also note that steaks, chops and roasts have an additional criteria of resting for 3 minutes).

CODEX Definition of Critical limit:

A criterion, observable or measurable, relating to a control measure at a CCP which separates acceptability from unacceptability of the food.

Therefore, in some circumstances a range may be acceptable but I don’t believe I have ever seen a temperature range quoted for a critical limit for cooking. There are variations in time/temperature combinations for pasteurisation though, for example 71.7 °C for 15 seconds/63 °C for 30 minutes.

Also, I do see ranges for refrigerated products, say 1 - 5 °C but the lower limit is to preserve product quality by preventing freezing.

Another example where I could see a range for a critical limit might be chlorination of water or disinfection where you want to have a minimum ppm to kill any pathogens present but a maximum ppm level to prevent contamination of the product with excessive Chlorine. In this case though the upper critical limit is to prevent a different hazard, a chemical hazard.

Kind regards,

Tony

### #7 SHQuality

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Posted 13 February 2023 - 07:35 AM

You need a temperature high enough to kill microbes, but low enough to stop the formation of other harmful chemicals or burnt product.

Both max and min limit are risk-based.

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Posted 17 February 2023 - 06:24 PM

Personally, I would list a minimum temperature only.  What are you going to do if the temperature is 171?  Discard the product?  That could get expensive.

### #9 SHQuality

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Posted 20 February 2023 - 06:52 AM

Personally, I would list a minimum temperature only.  What are you going to do if the temperature is 171?  Discard the product?  That could get expensive.

If my pasteurization step is 90 degrees Celsius, I would set a max temperature too. Over 120 degrees Celsius would cause a risk of acrylamide that I don't want to deal with and heating something too much is going to produce off-flavors I also don't want to have.

### #10 G M

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Posted 20 February 2023 - 09:56 PM

Hello guys.

Can critical limit defined as range value ?  For example, critical limit for cooking temperatur of poultry established as a range of 165°F to 170°F ?

It is correct ? Or should I established critical limit of cooking temperature at minimum at 165°F ?

I'm voting NO for can a critical limit be a range.  A critical limit is a single value for a single risk.  If you have more than one value then you're addressing more than one risk.

A risk might involve a broad group, such as "pathogenic microorganisms", or something very specific like "E. coli" depending on how you need to manage them for your programs.  Looking at the examples others have given above those who seem accepting of the idea of a range are applying the concept to more than one risk, with a maximum and a minimum critical limit each addressing separate risks.

### #11 Marshenko

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Posted 21 February 2023 - 07:24 PM

If my pasteurization step is 90 degrees Celsius, I would set a max temperature too. Over 120 degrees Celsius would cause a risk of acrylamide that I don't want to deal with and heating something too much is going to produce off-flavors I also don't want to have.

I would imagine those would be two separate CCPs though, as your kill step is bacterial, and prevention of formation of acrylamide is chemical.  You also would need supporting documentation related to the formation of acrylamide at certain temperatures, and if the risk is reasonably likely, which hasn't been fully established if I am not mistaken.

As a quality control point, absolutely though.

### #12 Sayed M Naim Khalid

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Posted 21 February 2023 - 08:40 PM

For food safety, I would set minimum or maximum values such as temperature, time and pH.

But range might help you to maintain desired quality which is different than food safety. For example, if you cook beef to 145 F, it will be safe. But then comes the question of donennes (medium rare, medium, medium well, well and overdone), These attributes are not related to food safety. They are specifically about quality and customer preference.

### #13 Charles.C

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Posted 22 February 2023 - 01:07 AM

From a practical POV, I suggest a look at the HACCP Literature might be helpful. Even for FSMA's (return to the Ark) definition, i predict only one of the numerous offerings in this thread will be found, ie numerical variations of his 2nd option.

The OP sadly gave no haccp context other than poultry to his interesting query.

Kind Regards,

Charles.C