Shelf life guidance for manufacturers

Related tags Retailing Manufacturing

A new guide from UK-based research group CCFRA has been published
that will help chilled food manufacturers and retailers determine
the shelf-life of their products. The guide aims to improve both
the safety and quality of chilled products through a series of
step-by-step diagrams.

"Basically this is a generic guide that can be used for any chilled product,"​ CCFRA publications manager Leighton Jones told"It is aimed at all manufacturers of chilled foods, and also retailers."

However, establishing shelf-life for a chilled product is not easy, and a wide range of factors must be taken into account.

Entitled Evaluation of product shelf-life for chilled foods​ (CCFRA Guideline No. 46), the guide is organised around a series of shelf-life 'evaluation sequence' flowcharts from pilot scale through pre-production run to full scale production. Jones believes that an understanding of product shelf-life is essential in assuring the safety and quality of chilled products at the time of consumption, and also impinges on issues as diverse as storage, distribution and marketing.

The guide has been written by a team of CCFRA and industry specialists with expertise in all aspects of chilled product shelf-life. It features supplementary information such as tables of information on factors limiting microbial growth, microbiological tests that can be used in shelf-life trials, and factors that can affect shelf-life.

"The last edition of this guide was written some ten years ago, and things have moved on,"​ said Jones. "There have been technological changes and legislative changes."​Copies of the guide can be obtained by visiting the CCFRA website​.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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