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Abstract
A risk-based approach was used to develop guidance to be followed by food business operators (FBOs) when deciding on food information relating to storage conditions and/or time limits for consumption after opening a food package and thawing of frozen foods. After opening the package, contamination may occur, introducing new pathogens into the food and the intrinsic (e.g. pH and a(w)), extrinsic (e.g. temperature and gas atmosphere) and implicit (e.g. interactions with competing background microbiota) factors may change, affecting microbiological food safety. Setting a time limit for consumption after opening the package (secondary shelf-life) is complex in view of the many influencing factors and information gaps. A decision tree (DT) was developed to assist FBOs in deciding whether the time limit for consumption after opening, due to safety reasons, is potentially shorter than the initial 'best before' or 'use by' date of the product in its unopened package. For products where opening the package leads to a change of the type of pathogenic microorganisms present in the food and/or factors increasing their growth compared to the unopened product, a shorter time limit for consumption after opening would be appropriate. Freezing prevents the growth of pathogens, however, most pathogenic microorganisms may survive frozen storage, recover during thawing and then grow and/or produce toxins in the food, if conditions are favourable. Moreover, additional contamination may occur from hands, contact surfaces or contamination from other foods and utensils. Good practices for thawing should, from a food safety point of view, minimise growth of and contamination by pathogens between the food being thawed and other foods and/or contact surfaces, especially when removing the food from the package during thawing. Best practices for thawing foods are presented to support FBOs. (C) 2021 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.
Keywords
Plant Science, Veterinary (miscellaneous), Animal Science and Zoology, Microbiology, Food Science, Parasitology, date marking, food information, food storage, secondary shelf-life, opened package, thawing, public health, ESCHERICHIA-COLI O157H7, FREEZE-THAW TOLERANCE, LISTERIA-MONOCYTOGENES, CROSS-CONTAMINATION, MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE, SHELF-LIFE, STAPHYLOCOCCUS-AUREUS, FOODBORNE PATHOGENS, GROWTH TEMPERATURE, BACILLUS-CEREUS

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MLA
EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), [missing], et al. “Guidance on Date Marking and Related Food Information : Part 2 (Food Information).” EFSA JOURNAL, vol. 19, no. 4, 2021, doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6510.
APA
EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), [missing], Koutsoumanis, K., Allende, A., Alvarez‐Ordóñez, A., Bolton, D., Bover‐Cid, S., … Lindqvist, R. (2021). Guidance on date marking and related food information : part 2 (food information). EFSA JOURNAL, 19(4). https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6510
Chicago author-date
EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), [missing], Konstantinos Koutsoumanis, Ana Allende, Avelino Alvarez‐Ordóñez, Declan Bolton, Sara Bover‐Cid, Marianne Chemaly, et al. 2021. “Guidance on Date Marking and Related Food Information : Part 2 (Food Information).” EFSA JOURNAL 19 (4). https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6510.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), [missing], Konstantinos Koutsoumanis, Ana Allende, Avelino Alvarez‐Ordóñez, Declan Bolton, Sara Bover‐Cid, Marianne Chemaly, Robert Davies, Alessandra De Cesare, Lieve Herman, Friederike Hilbert, Maarten Nauta, Luisa Peixe, Giuseppe Ru, Marion Simmons, Panagiotis Skandamis, Elisabetta Suffredini, Liesbeth Jacxsens, Taran Skjerdal, Maria Teresa Da Silva Felício, Michaela Hempen, Winy Messens, and Roland Lindqvist. 2021. “Guidance on Date Marking and Related Food Information : Part 2 (Food Information).” EFSA JOURNAL 19 (4). doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6510.
Vancouver
1.
EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) [missing], Koutsoumanis K, Allende A, Alvarez‐Ordóñez A, Bolton D, Bover‐Cid S, et al. Guidance on date marking and related food information : part 2 (food information). EFSA JOURNAL. 2021;19(4).
IEEE
[1]
[missing] EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) et al., “Guidance on date marking and related food information : part 2 (food information),” EFSA JOURNAL, vol. 19, no. 4, 2021.
@article{8738262,
  abstract     = {{A risk-based approach was used to develop guidance to be followed by food business operators (FBOs) when deciding on food information relating to storage conditions and/or time limits for consumption after opening a food package and thawing of frozen foods. After opening the package, contamination may occur, introducing new pathogens into the food and the intrinsic (e.g. pH and a(w)), extrinsic (e.g. temperature and gas atmosphere) and implicit (e.g. interactions with competing background microbiota) factors may change, affecting microbiological food safety. Setting a time limit for consumption after opening the package (secondary shelf-life) is complex in view of the many influencing factors and information gaps. A decision tree (DT) was developed to assist FBOs in deciding whether the time limit for consumption after opening, due to safety reasons, is potentially shorter than the initial 'best before' or 'use by' date of the product in its unopened package. For products where opening the package leads to a change of the type of pathogenic microorganisms present in the food and/or factors increasing their growth compared to the unopened product, a shorter time limit for consumption after opening would be appropriate. Freezing prevents the growth of pathogens, however, most pathogenic microorganisms may survive frozen storage, recover during thawing and then grow and/or produce toxins in the food, if conditions are favourable. Moreover, additional contamination may occur from hands, contact surfaces or contamination from other foods and utensils. Good practices for thawing should, from a food safety point of view, minimise growth of and contamination by pathogens between the food being thawed and other foods and/or contact surfaces, especially when removing the food from the package during thawing. Best practices for thawing foods are presented to support FBOs. (C) 2021 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.}},
  articleno    = {{6510}},
  author       = {{EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), [missing] and Koutsoumanis, Konstantinos and Allende, Ana and Alvarez‐Ordóñez, Avelino and Bolton, Declan and Bover‐Cid, Sara and Chemaly, Marianne and Davies, Robert and De Cesare, Alessandra and Herman, Lieve and Hilbert, Friederike and Nauta, Maarten and Peixe, Luisa and Ru, Giuseppe and Simmons, Marion and Skandamis, Panagiotis and Suffredini, Elisabetta and Jacxsens, Liesbeth and Skjerdal, Taran and Da Silva Felício, Maria Teresa and Hempen, Michaela and Messens, Winy and Lindqvist, Roland}},
  issn         = {{1831-4732}},
  journal      = {{EFSA JOURNAL}},
  keywords     = {{Plant Science,Veterinary (miscellaneous),Animal Science and Zoology,Microbiology,Food Science,Parasitology,date marking,food information,food storage,secondary shelf-life,opened package,thawing,public health,ESCHERICHIA-COLI O157H7,FREEZE-THAW TOLERANCE,LISTERIA-MONOCYTOGENES,CROSS-CONTAMINATION,MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE,SHELF-LIFE,STAPHYLOCOCCUS-AUREUS,FOODBORNE PATHOGENS,GROWTH TEMPERATURE,BACILLUS-CEREUS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{45}},
  title        = {{Guidance on date marking and related food information : part 2 (food information)}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6510}},
  volume       = {{19}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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