As food safety concerns continue to grow, bakeries must take the necessary precautions.

AIB International is empowering bakeries to validate their food safety preventive controls with a first-of-its-kind baking process kill-step calculator and consulting service that accurately evaluates salmonella destruction in bakery products. New rules in the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) require validation and verification of thermal processes or kill-step, creating an industrywide need to scientifically validate thermal processes to ensure product safety.

Commercial bakers can use AIB’s free “Baking Process Kill Step Calculator” to evaluate the lethality of a thermal process (baking) to destroy salmonella in hamburger buns and demonstrate effectiveness of the process to comply with FSMA. The interactive calculator works by using oven time and temperature parameters to automatically determine the total process lethality for salmonella. If the desired log reduction is achieved for the baking process and pathogen of concern, the generated report can be used as guidance and supporting documentation for FSMA’s validation and verification process.

“The food industry has long believed that all biological organisms like yeast or pathogens are killed in the oven, and critical product quality attributes are achieved”, says Lakshmikantha Channaiah, microbiology director at AIB International. “Under FSMA, the FDA is requiring proof of that theory. However, prior to AIB’s latest contribution, there was no publically available research to use as foundational scientific validation.”

AIB International collaborated with stakeholders Kansas State University, ABA FTRAC, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to design, execute, and submit for publication peer-reviewed research supporting the hypothesis that typical baking processes for hamburger buns serve as a lethal kill-step. The initial calculator determines lethality of a bun baking process, with additional calculators for muffins, whole wheat bread, and cookies expected by early 2016.

Commercial bakeries looking for additional support can schedule AIB’s Kill Step Validation Consulting service. A professional will visit the bakery, collect appropriate time and temperature data, calculate lethality of the baking process, and assist with data interpretation.

In November, the FDA released three final rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act: the Produce Safety Rule, Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) Rule and Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors Rule.

  1. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce that are designed to work effectively for food safety across the wide diversity of produce farms.
  2. The Foreign Supplier Verification Program Rule requires food importers to verify that foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that meets U.S. safety standards.
  3. The Accredited Third-Party Certification Rule establishes a program for the accreditation of third-party certification bodies to conduct food safety audits and to certify that foreign food facilities and food produced by such facilities meet applicable FDA food safety requirements.