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These guidelines are intended for manufacturers of retail NRTE products (both FSIS- and FDA-regulated)
that, by definition, require a pathogen lethality treatment (cooking) by consumers
before consumption in their homes. Use of these guidelines will help assure that the cooking
instructions are capable of achieving a time/temperature combination sufficient to reduce the
number of vegetative pathogens that might be present in NRTE food products to a safe level.
These guidelines cannot cover in detail all methods of preparation for all types of NRTE products. Rather, these guidelines highlight myriad issues that should be considered when conducting validation studies. There are many acceptable procedures for validation of cooking instructions; these guidelines should not be construed as setting a standard that limits industry’s ability to employ other science-based validation methodologies.
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