Microbiological shelf life testing - new approaches
A member funded research project that started this year is reviewing the methods and procedures used to establish microbiological shelf life. Setting an accurate shelf life is key to a product’s success. The shelf life should be sufficient to allow the product to be economically viable and minimise waste whilst remaining safe and maintaining key sensory, chemical and microbiological characteristics. It is therefore vital that the correct procedure is used when assessing shelf life.
A working group has been set up, which includes producers, retailers and regulatory authorities. The aim of the group is to ascertain what current shelf life protocols and key temperatures are used in the food chain. Practical studies will also be carried out using these protocols. The resulting information will be used to update Guideline 46 on the evaluation of product shelf life for chilled foods.