Secondary shelf-life

Food safety assurance all the way to consumer kitchens


Food dating and shelf-life assessment is generally used for packaged food. But what about once the consumer has opened the packet? How long can food be safely stored when exposed to conditions beyond the manufacturer’s control?
Assessments of secondary shelf life (SSL) are relevant for food products sensitive to variations in temperature, humidity and atmosphere in consumer households. These include perishable food items that require chilled storage.
Because the conditions in each household are unknown, an SSL assessment is particularly comprehensive and complex.
At ISI Food Protection, we have developed SSL assessment protocols for determining the secondary shelf life of perishable foods such as dairy, meat and plant-based analogue products. By mimicking secondary microbial contaminations and simulating conditions in household fridges and on dining tables, we can make a realistic evaluation of product stability after opening.
If you have products that require a ‘use by after opening’ label, ask for more information about our SSL protocols.