Setting HACCP Critical Limits for the Precooking CCP of Commercially Processed Tuna

John DeBeer, Fred Nolte, Christopher W. Lord, Javier Colley, Lisa Weddig

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 176-188, May 2017

Volume 37, Issue 3: Pages 176–188

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Critical Limits (CLs) to prevent histamine formation while processing commercially canned tuna are developed for tuna precooking, using core temperatures and time. The CLs are developed from the thermal death times of Morganella morganii, the most heat-resistant of the histaminogenic bacteria in tuna. These CLs will deliver a 5 log reduction of this bacterium and ensure that histamine formation will be sufficiently restricted to allow enough time to continue processing tuna until the finished product is canned and retorted. The US-FDA Seafood HACCP Guide (4th ed) allows an intermediary heating phase Critical Control Point if the total processing time extends over 12 hours. More than 12 hours total processing time is required to process larger tuna fish, thus the need for this CCP and associated CLs. Based on prior work, a critical limit of 60°C for 1 min in the cold spot of the fish has been shown to result in a 5.68 log reduction in Morganella morganii. Alternative CLs, using cold-spot core temperature and holding time proposed for a reduction of more than 5 logs, are: 59°C for 2 min (5.41 logs), 58°C for 4 min (5.59 logs), 57°C for 7 min (5.30 logs), and 56°C for 12 min (5.30 logs).

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