Salmonella control options in frozen raw breaded chicken products

Reminder: The measures for controlling Salmonella in frozen raw breaded chicken products must be implemented by April 1, 2019.

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Introduction

The purpose of this page is to provide information on measures for controlling the risk of Salmonella in frozen raw breaded chicken products.

For a full list of products that are impacted by these requirements, please see Appendix 1: List of raw breaded poultry products.

Interventions

To reduce the risk of Salmonella in frozen raw breaded chicken products, the addition of preservatives (antimicrobials) approved for use by Health Canada in these products is permitted. All preservatives added to these products must be included in the list of ingredients.

Control measures

Option 1

Include as part of the manufacture of the frozen raw breaded chicken products a cook process that has been validated to achieve a 7-log reduction in Salmonella, which will result in a ready-to-eat product.

The resulting product may be exempt from Listeria monocytogenes requirements provided:

  • the label indicates clearly that it requires cooking by the consumer; and
  • the label contains cooking instructions; and
  • ready-to-eat production requires validation or other steps to finalize its implementation or
  • packaging inventory remains

If at the time of implementation a validated 7-log reduction can be achieved, products will be subject to the Control measures for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods.

Option 2

Implement a Salmonella testing program for the raw chicken mixture to demonstrate it has no detectable Salmonella.

The sampling program must meet the following requirements:

  • The lot for the purposes of sampling must be one batch, that is, common input materials. Provided that effective controls for tracing product are in place, the lot may be used in manufacture of different frozen raw breaded chicken products.
  • For each lot, the operator must take 5 sample units of raw chicken mixture and submit them for analysis. The sampling plan must be representative of the lot.
  • Each sample unit must consist of at least 25 g of product. Samples must be taken in accordance with standard microbiological techniques to avoid contamination of product.
  • Each sample must be tested for the presence of Salmonella spp.
  • The method used to analyze the raw chicken mixture samples must be one of the methods listed in Health Canada's Compendium of Analytical Methods. The application section of the method chosen must be appropriate for the intended purpose.
  • Testing for both screening and confirmation methodologies must be performed in a laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) or another accreditation body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) as conforming to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for the specific tests.
  • In the case of a presumptive positive result, if the operator chooses not to proceed with confirmatory testing, the sample will be considered positive and the actions taken will be the same as if the laboratory result had been a confirmed positive.
  • In case of a positive result for Salmonella spp. the entire lot of raw chicken mixture and/or any frozen raw breaded chicken products made from the mixture must be submitted to a lethality process which results in a 7-log reduction or destroyed.

Option 3

Implement a Salmonella hold-and-test program for finished frozen raw breaded chicken products.

The sampling program must meet the following requirements:

  • The lot for the purposes of sampling not exceed one production day.
  • For each lot, the operator must take 5 sample units of finished product and submit them for analysis. The sampling plan must be representative of the lot.
  • Each sample unit must consist of at least 25 g of product. Samples must be taken in accordance with standard microbiological techniques to avoid contamination of product. Sampling of intact product packages is strongly recommended. It is unacceptable to take multiple samples from one intact package as this is not considered representative of the lot.
  • Each sample must be tested for the presence of Salmonella spp.
  • The method used to analyze the finished product samples must be one of the methods listed in Health Canada's Compendium of Analytical Methods. The application section of the method chosen must be appropriate for the intended purpose.
  • Testing for both screening and confirmation methodologies must be performed in a laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) or another accreditation body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) as conforming to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for the specific tests.
  • In the case of a presumptive positive result, if the operator chooses not to proceed with confirmatory testing, the sample will be considered positive and the actions taken will be the same as if the laboratory result had been a confirmed positive.
  • In case of a positive result for Salmonella spp. the entire lot of finished product must be submitted to a lethality process that results in a 7-log reduction or destroyed.

Option 4

Include as part of the manufacture of the frozen raw breaded chicken products, a process or combination of processes that has been validated to achieve a 2-log reduction in Salmonella and implement a Salmonella sampling program for the raw chicken mixture

The sampling program must meet the following requirements:

  • The lot for the purposes of sampling must be one batch, that is, common input materials. Provided that effective controls for tracing product are in place, the lot may be used in manufacture of different frozen raw breaded chicken products.
  • For each lot, the operator must take 5 sample units of raw chicken mixture and submit them for analysis. The sampling plan must be representative of the lot.
  • Each sample unit must consist of at least 10 g of product. Samples must be taken in accordance with standard microbiological techniques to avoid contamination of product.
  • Each sample must be tested for the presence of Salmonella spp.
  • The method used to analyze the raw chicken mixture samples must be one of the methods listed in Health Canada's Compendium of Analytical Methods. The application section of the method chosen must be appropriate for the intended purpose.
  • Testing for both screening and confirmation methodologies must be performed in a laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) or another accreditation body that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) as conforming to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for the specific tests.
  • In the case of a presumptive positive result, if the operator chooses not to proceed with confirmatory testing, the sample will be considered positive and actions taken will be the same as if the laboratory result had been a confirmed positive.
  • In case of a positive result for Salmonella the entire lot of raw chicken mixture and/or any raw frozen breaded chicken products made from the mixture must be submitted to a lethality process which results in a 7-log reduction or destroyed.

Appendix 1: List of raw breaded poultry products

Products covered by these requirements

  • Non-intact (that is, ground, chopped or formed) raw, breaded, par-fried chicken products for retail sale (only), for example chicken nuggets, pieces, strips (cutlettes), burgers, popcorn chicken, chicken patties, balls, fries, fritters, whole muscle formed products (products formed from multiple whole muscle pieces) including meat mixed with other ingredients, such as a nugget of chicken and cheese.

Products that are not part of these requirements

  • Whole muscle, intact, raw breaded par-fried chicken products, such as chicken breast, chicken filets, chicken strips, chicken morsels, schnitzel, chicken sandwich, chicken tenders, chicken popcorn, chicken bits
  • Raw breaded chicken products, not par-fried
  • Raw breaded par-fried chicken products for sale to food service
  • Raw breaded turkey products (par fried or not par-fried)
  • Raw non-breaded chicken and turkey products
  • Raw breaded par-fried stuffed chicken products, such as cordon bleu, divan, Kiev, Swiss

More information

Notice to Industry – New requirements to reduce Salmonella to below detectable amounts in frozen raw breaded chicken products

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