The kill step. Sounds pretty intense…and it is. It’s the absolutely necessary point when harmful pathogens, like Salmonella spp., are eliminated. And it has to be absolutely effective to ensure baked goods are safe to eat, plus have a proper shelf life.
And you need to document it.
In order to be compliant with the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), bakers need to document the correct temperature for each product baked. As a rule, a thermal kill step above 165°F should be held for at least 15 seconds to make sure the product is safe from foodborne illness.
It allows you to calculate the lethality of this step for your different products and print a report for your records—pretty slick, huh?
There are different calculators for specific baked goods, such as hamburger buns, muffins, pastries, breads, cookies, donuts, tortillas and even cheesecake!
How do the recording instruments and kill step calculator work together?
Oven temperatures are monitored using a 6 temperature point probe (data logger) that is placed into a baked good. Temperatures are recorded at 15 second intervals by the data logger. The process should be monitored at least 5 times. After the final run, all oven temperatures from the data logger are downloaded into an Excel spread sheet and analyzed.
The data points that took the longest amount of time to reach 170 °F should be selected for analysis in the Process Lethality Fahrenheit Tab (Process Lethality Celsius if using Celsius) of the Kill-Step Calculator. Twenty points of data for time and temperature are needed for proper analysis.
Once the data is imported into the Kill-Step Calculator, Process Lethality will automatically be calculated.