Uncooked / Unpasteurized (Short Shelf-life) Products

This category is meant to include foods which are known to occasionally contain low levels of L. monocytogenes and do not have a kill step, and/or ready-to-eat refrigerated foods with a shelf-life of ≤ 5 days. The rationale for these products is that the latter time period would not allow sufficient time, under reasonably foreseeable conditions of distribution, storage and use, for L. monocytogenes to grow to levels above 100 CFU/g throughout the stated shelf-life (e.g., durable life date shown as a “best before” date on the package).

These products are classified as Category 2A under Health Canada’s Listeria Policy on Ready-To-Eat foods. For these foods, processors should validate and verify their processes to ensure that the levels of L. monocytogenes are consistently equal to or less than 100 CFU/g throughout the stated shelf-life.

Examples of uncooked / unpasteurized foods include, but are not limited to: cold-smoked salmon, fresh cut produce, fresh salads, fresh fruit juices.

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Important Validation Considerations

Some of the most critical validation considerations include the product characteristics, otherwise known as growth factors (i.e., pH, Aw). It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what organisms are likely to survive and grow based on the product characteristics of the finished product. In many cases, either of these factors, or their combination may already offer some degree of food protection. However, this does not preclude the need to also incorporate possible abuse conditions during consumer use as part of the initial validation study.


Given that contaminants may be introduced from a variety of sources (e.g., inadequate sanitation practices, insufficient employee hygiene, high microbial loads from other untreated raw materials such as spices, unsuitable processing environment, absence of antimicrobial agents, etc.) it is imperative that a comprehensive risk assessment and product monitoring be conducted on a regular basis.

What are some performance standards or targets?

Even though Category 2A products are expected not to exceed 100 CFU / g throughout the products shelf life, additional control measures should be included as part of the formulation process. These include the use of antimicrobials (e.g., sodium lactate as a Listeria spp., inhibitor), as well as the use of irradiated raw materials whenever possible.

Our validation services only uses the most rugged, high-accuracy instruments currently available. We closely monitor the different factors required to attain and maintain an adequate level of food protection. We also use validated predictive modelling tools, such as ComBase to effectively increase the level of food safety of your products.

Daniel Dorigiola

Co-Owner / QA Manager – Venetian Meat and Salami Co. Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario

“We have used the services from Quantum Food Solutions for a number of years to help us manage our written food safety program and validate our food safety controls (e.g., cooking, cooling, fermented/dry-cured products). We are very pleased with their practical approach to resolving issues and finding opportunities for process improvement. We certainly appreciate the high level of service they continue to provide our company and highly recommend their services”.

Pawel Zwerello

HACCP Coordinator, Sikorski Sausages, London, Ontario

“Renzo is very knowledgeable in Food Sciences, and we hired him as a process authority to help us approve a custom process, which received ‘no objection’ from CFIA. Renzo works in an efficient, professional and timely manner. We look forward to working with Renzo in the future, and have no reservations on recommending him to others looking to improve their processes and take their Food Safety to the next level. Thanks Quantum!”

Marius Kamerbeek

Plant Manager, Erie Meats, Listowel, Ontario

“We manufacture cooked meat and poultry products at our federal facility. We hired Quantum to evaluate our cooking processes including our smokehouses and spiral oven. We appreciate their high quality of service that has enabled us to comply with CFIA and FSIS requirements. We certainly recommend their services.”

Pete Holowachuk

Quality Manager, Winkler Meats Ltd., Winkler, Manitoba.

“We are a CFIA inspected plant certificated to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. Renzo came to us highly recommended and we have contracted him on multiple occasions to validate our cooking and chilling processes. He uses a practical approach and specialized tools that allow him to provide a fairly comprehensive service. We look forward to working with him again and definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a robust, yet affordable food safety service.”

Stefan Cartmale

General Manager, Bright Cheese Ltd., Bright, Ontario.

“Thank you Quantum for all of the work to help us attain BRC certification. It has been one of the most rewarding achievements of my lifetime and I am so proud that we were able to achieve the BRC AA rating! By doing so, it has opened many new doors for us and also enable us to expand and continue to grow our business. We definitely recommend Quantum’s food safety services.”

Ramon Eberle

Plant Manager, Stonetown Artisan Cheese Ltd., St. Marys, Ontario.

This is to acknowledge that Renzo Gomez from Quantum Food Solutions facilitated the
installation of a solid HACCP plan, which allowed us to reach our goal of becoming federally licensed with CFIA. Thanks to our upgraded food safety standards, we were able to get in to business with Farm Boy and sell our product in new markets outside of Ontario. His service is affordably priced, very streamlined and his communication is honest and straight forward. It was a pleasure to work with Renzo Gomez and we are looking forward to work with him again in the future”

Julia Banton

Vice President of Operations, Kitchen Partners Limited, Edmonton, Alberta.

“Renzo has a wealth of knowledge, whilst maintaining a logical and common sense outlook to the tasks ahead. His approach is unique to that of other consultants I have worked with, in that he is pragmatic and makes light work of global codes/standards. We definitely look forward to continuing to work together and highly recommend Quantum to anyone looking to upgrade their food safety and quality systems.”

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