Appendix F: Processed cheese microbiological stability chart for non-refrigerated products

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, other requirements will be introduced in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

The following chart provides recommended pH and moisture content combinations for non-refrigerated products to prevent the growth of spore-forming bacteria after heat treatment. Moisture content and pH have an inverse relationship within a narrow range. For higher moisture contents lower pH's are recommended and vice-versa.

Image - Cheese spread microbiological stability chart for non-refrigerated products. Description follows.
Description of image - Cheese spread microbiological stability chart for non-refrigerated products

This image shows a cheese spread microbiological stability chart for non-refrigerated products. The chart shows, for a given moisture content, the recommended maximum pH and the minimum percentage of sodium chloride (salt) plus phosphate emulsifying salt solids needed to prevent the growth of spore-forming bacteria after heat treatment.

  • The Y-axis of the chart shows pH levels ranging from 5.0 to 6.2.
  • The X-axis of the chart shows the percentage of sodium chloride and phosphate emulsifying salt solids, ranging from 2 to 7.
  • Moisture content ranges from 51 to 60.
Note

If the product does not fall within the ranges given, validate the safety of the product.

Reference

  • Tanaka N, Traisman E, Plantinga P, Finn L, Flom W, Meske L, Guggisberg J. 1986. Evaluation of factors involved in antibotulinal properties of pasteurized process cheese spreads. J Food Prot 49:526–31.
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