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Heat preserved food guidelines set for an update

10 May 2021

Campden BRI is updating guidance on heat preserved foods to help the food and drink industry manage risk in this area with the best practices. 

The project, which involves collaboration with industry experts, will align the new document with current technologies used in the heat preserved foods sector. Covering all packaged and ambient stable foods that receive a thermal process to extend shelf-life, the new guideline will provide expert advice to a large portion of the industry.

Dr Gary Tucker, Campden BRI Fellow, is helping produce the new guideline. He said: “The heat preserved foods sector is one of the largest and commercially important, yet its most popular guideline was first published over 25 years ago. Not only does this predate the widespread use of the internet, but also it does not factor in advances in the technologies regularly used by manufacturers in this sector. This project aims to update the current guidance to reflect modern best practices, helping manufacturers continue to produce safe food and drinks.”

The new guideline will reflect changes in computing technology that have enabled food businesses to operate much more efficiently in all aspects, from ingredient control through to electronic data capture and storage.

The bulk of the content will cover four main areas which are critically important for ensuring food safety, including:

• Management of pre-processing stages to avoid spoilage before the thermal process is applied
• Correct application of the thermal processing step
• Ensuring the packages are hermetically sealed, and
• Avoiding post-process contamination from all points after the thermal process is applied.

To steer the guideline update, Campden BRI has put together a working party of its members but it is still open to further input from anyone with experience in commercially heat preserving foods. Tucker continued: “This new guideline will fill a large gap in the food industry’s knowledge which is why we are keen to encourage food businesses to take part and inform this valuable piece of work.”

The new guideline document is expected to be available to purchase from Campden BRI by early next year. Those interested in being involved should contact Gary Tucker at

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