The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) demands baking industry prove its kill step. When it comes to food safety, the baking industry has always been lucky in that it has a built-in kill step: the oven or sometimes a fryer. Conventional wisdom in the past said that anything that could cause a foodborne illness in dough or batter would be killed off in the high temperatures. Most of the food safety concerns in bakeries have revolved around foreign materials and allergens.

“For bakery, most recalls are around allergen issues and mislabeling rather than pathogens,” said Rasma Zvaners, vice president, regulatory and technical services, American Bakers Association.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), however, required the industry to prove it. This launched a joint initiative between AIB International, ABA, Kansas State University and the University of Georgia to develop kill-step validation of bakery products.

“It allows bakers to demonstrate that the baking step is meeting FSMA’s control requirement,” said Judi Lazaro, senior category director, food safety, AIB International.

The kill-step validation uses a data logger to register internal product temperature during baking. An Excel spreadsheet and formula calculates the log reduction in pathogens present. The validation method is offered as a free download on AIB International’s website.

“We offer it as a free tool to the industry; food safety shouldn’t be proprietary,” Ms. Lazaro said. 

As Sosland Publishing Company, publisher of Baking & Snack, gears up to celebrate 100 years of providing food industry professionals timely information, news and commentary, we will be publishing a series of articles across all our titles to celebrate the past, present and future of the people and industry that feeds the world.

This article is an excerpt from the September 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Centennial Report: Food Safety, click here.