Last Update: 6 Jan 2022.
3.2 Length of storage and shelf life (chilled)
Quality Assured Pork Sausages / Temperature control and storage
3.2.1 Pork raw material shall be processed within kill+4 days, however if the raw material is held in chill rooms which are not disturbed, and the pork raw material is not intended to be used in a meat preparation, the storage period may be extended by up to 3 days. Where pork raw material is vacuum packed, gas flushed or deep chilled and subject to the requirements of Clause 3.2.3, additional storage life beyond these limits may be permitted
3.2.2 Any extension of shelf life greater than kill+4 days, shall be subject to satisfactory documented shelf life verification (sensory and microbiological evaluation) that shows that the extension of life does not, under worst case conditions, adversely affect product safety or quality. The microbiological limits shall not exceed the levels in clause 2.6.3.
3.2.3 Chill temperature, traceability and shelf life records shall be maintained.
For a co-located site where the pork has been slaughtered, cut and processed on the same site, extension of life beyond kill+4 days can be verified through the review of chill temperature monitoring records, without the requirement to package or deep chill the raw material. For standalone sausage manufacturing plants with no slaughter/deboning facility there shall be no extension to kill+4 days on air packed raw material. An extension to shelf life of such raw material can only be achieved if vacuum packed, MAP or deep chilled for which shelf life validation shall be conducted under worst case scenario conditions.
Consideration should also be given to the FSA guidance on the control of Clostridium Botulinum for products that exceed 10 days life.
Examples of temperature monitoring records since the last audit. Review kill dates aligned to storage period, including verification of sensory and microbiological to ensure shelf life extensions. In relation to vacuum packed, gas flushed or deep chilled raw material, additional supporting evidence e.g. shelf life records.