A Canadian Member reached out to the GCCA Inquiry Service with a question regarding tempering/thawing meat products for sensory analysis. The WFLO Scientific Advisory Council responded stating that there is no set ‘standard’ that can be applied to all products or situations, since the rate of initial freezing, initial microbial load on the surface of the products, size of the package, internal packaging (bags), and the rate of thawing can all influence the potential for food quality deterioration or microbial spoilage. The WFLO Commodity Storage Manual includes a topic on thawing and tempering, which can provide additional background information. The key is to consider each product to be thawed, and considering your thawing parameters (cooler temperature, airflow, product size and packaging, etc.) develop a specialized thawing procedure for each product. When developing the procedure or standard, be certain to check product surface temperatures during the thawing period and ensure that they do not elevate above 35 °F (1.7 °C), which can promote surface bacterial growth.
From legal issues to food storage questions, the Global Cold Chain Alliance and its team of experts on the WFLO Scientific Advisory Council can help you with your cold chain questions through the GCCA Inquiry Service. All members and their employees can get instant advice from the GCCA Online Community ,which consists of 4,000 cold chain professionals.