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Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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Low Acid Canned Food Manufacturers Part 2 - Processes/Procedures

Manufacturers - 2


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Table of Contents
IntroductionPg. 1
Investigator RolePg. 2
lacf Inspection Equipment for Investigators Pg. 2
Critical FactorsPg. 3
Raw MaterialsPg. 4
Product FormulationPg. 6
Packing MediumPg. 7
Filling of Containers-Critical FactorsPg. 8
Exhausting of ContainersPg. 9
Incipient SpoilagePg. 10
Operations in the Thermal Processing Area Pg. 10
AreaPg. 10
 Operating ProcessesPg. 10
 Initial TemperaturePg. 11
 Critical Factor MeasurementPg. 11
 Timing DevicesPg. 12
 Control of Retort TrafficPg. 12
 Steam SupplyPg. 12
Thermal Processing Systems Installation and InstrumentationPg. 13
 Mercury In Glass ThermometerPg. 14
 Temperature Recording DevicePg. 14
 Pressure Gauges Pg. 15
 VentsPg. 15
 BleedersPg. 15
 MufflersPg. 15
 Steam ControllerPg. 16
 Mechanical\Electrical Timed Retort Control SystemPg. 17
 Digital Electronic ControllersPg. 18
 Retort ValvesPg. 20
Temperature DistributionPg. 21
Process EstablishmentPg. 22
Stacking EquipmentPg. 23
Retort SystemsPg. 23
 Still Steam RetortsPg. 23
  Crateless RetortsPg. 23
 Still Water Immersion RetortsPg. 26
 Continuous Agitating Steam RetortsPg. 28
 Discontinuous Agitating Steam RetortsPg. 31
 Discontinuous-Agitating-Water Immersion RetortsPg. 32
 Hydrostatic RetortsPg. 34
 Cascading Water RetortsPg. 36
 Spray Water Retort SystemsPg. 38
 Steam-Air RetortsPg. 39
 Flame Sterilization Pg. 39
Thermal Processing RecordsPg. 41
Computer Generated RecordsPg. 43
Post Process Container HandlingPg. 44
 CoolingPg. 44
 Container HandlingPg. 45
Coding of ContainersPg. 46

Field Exams/Sample Collections

Pg. 46
ReferencesPg. 47
Summary Guidelines for lacf ProcessesPg. 49

List of Forms/ Attachments

Pg. 51


The Guide to Inspection of Low-Acid Canned Foods consists of three separate documents; Part 1 covers Administrative Procedures\Scheduled Processes; Part 2 covers Manufacturing Processes\Procedures and Part 3 covers Container/Closures (Part 3 of the manual is still in process, and will issue at a later date). In addition to providing guidance for inspections of low acid canned foods (lacf) manufacturers, the guide(s) also contains background and general information on lacf regulations and procedures.In addition to the information and instructions provided in IOM Subchapter 530, 21CFR 108 and 113, and applicable compliance programs, direct attention to areas covered in this Guide when covering lacf manufacturers. Another good reference is the Food Processors Institute 'Canned Foods' manual, which should be available from anyone in your district who has attended a Better Process Control School.The Division of Emergency and Investigational Operations (DEIO), HFC-132, has available, for loan only, the following National Food Processor Association (NFPA manuals):

1.Thermal Processes For Low-Acid Foods in Metal

------------------------------------------------------ reference materials for investigators and other FDA personnel.  The document does not bind FDA, and does not confer any rights, privileges, benefits, or immunities for or on any person(s).


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1Note:  This document is