06 Food temperature management

All Oiva evaluation guidelines for registered food premises.

6.1 Storage of Foodstuffs

Guide/version: 2231/04.02.00.01/2021/3, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline pertains to the warehousing and storage of food prior to manufacture, sale, serving or transport.
  • The Guideline does not pertain to matters related to the temperatures of cold and hot stored foods which are evaluated according to Guidelines 6.2 and 6.3.
  • Sale and serving are covered by Guideline 7
  • Packaging and food contact materials are covered by Guideline 14.1.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Warehousing and storage conditions of food
  • The fitness of foodstuffs for use as food, in particular foodstuffs used for manufacturing and serving and stored for this purpose in opened wrapping, packages or open containers
  • Records of deviations and associated corrective actions
  • Corrective actions
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

Foodstuffs and raw materials are stored in facilities reserved for them in suitable conditions and in compliance with legislation.

The storage of foodstuffs does not pose any risk of cross-contamination or contamination.

The use-by dates of the foodstuffs are observed.

The warehousing and storage of products other than foods do not result in impaired food safety with respect to foods.

Deviations and corrective actions are recorded. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

Foodstuffs and raw materials are stored in facilities reserved for them in suitable conditions and in compliance with legislation.

The storage of foods does not pose any risk of cross-contamination or contamination.

The use-by dates of the foods are observed.

The warehousing and storage of products other than foods do not result in impaired food safety with respect to foods.

There are some minor shortcomings in the records of deviations and corrective actions. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

Foodstuffs and raw materials are stored in facilities or in a manner that impair their food safety.

The storage conditions or arrangements are such that the risk of microbiological cross-contamination or contamination exists.

There are shortcomings related to the observation of the use-by dates of foods.

The warehousing and storage of products other than foods may result in impaired food safety with respect to foods.

Deviations have not been recorded although it becomes known that deviations have occurred, or corrective actions taken because of deviations have been inappropriate, or inadequate or no information is available about them.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The storage and warehousing of foodstuffs takes place in facilities or in a manner that impair their food safety and/or the warehousing and storage of products other than foods jeopardises food safety.

Foodstuffs that are not fit for use as food are warehoused or stored in the food premises.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, 178/2002/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/EC; Article 4
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 22 §.


Updates in version 3

  • Guideline No 2231/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces Guideline No 10224/2
  • Number of the Finnish Food Act updated
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 22 § has been added
  • The point “To be taken into consideration” has been clarified
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene in registered food premises, 1367/2011 and to Evira's Guide on food hygiene in registered food premises 16025 has been deleted.

6.2 Cold-stored Foodstuffs

Guide/version: 2232/04.02.00.01/2021/5, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline pertains to the surrounding temperatures of perishable packaged and unpackaged cold-stored foodstuffs, and the temperature of foodstuffs during storage and warehousing.
  • This Guideline does not pertain to quick-frozen products and freezing of foodstuffs.
  • In this Guideline
    • short-term refers to a maximum of 24 hours and
    • a short-term temperature deviation of at most 3 °C; and
    • fishery products involving a particular risk of listeria refer to roe, and cold-smoked or gravad fish products packaged under vacuum or in a modified atmosphere.
  • The evaluation of temperatures during sales and serving is carried out according to Guidelines 7.2 "Management of Shelf-life and Sale Period of Products in Sale of Foods" and 7.3 "Management of Shelf-life and Sale Period of Products in Serving of Foods".
  • Surrounding temperatures and food temperatures can be measured in connection with the evaluation. The accuracy of the thermometer and the measuring uncertainty of the thermometer determined through calibration shall be taken into account in the measurement.
  • If the operator can demonstrate that food safety is not undermined, the operator may deviate from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021.
    • This is demonstrated by carrying out stability studies, such as literature based evidence, mathematical modelling, laboratory studies or a combination of these.
    • The assessment scale for this instruction and the principle of short-term deviation described in this instruction will apply when checking the storage temperature requirement set by the operator.
  • If the operator can present the certificate of the manufacturer stating that cold storage is not needed for the preservation of the food (e.g. certain matured cheeses are not perishable foods), the temperatures during storage and sale laid down for perishable foodstuffs need not be applied to the storage of such food.
  • Temperature management is not necessary in the storage or sale of plant products that have been prepared but are otherwise unprocessed.
  • The Guideline contains Annex 1.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Surrounding temperatures during warehousing and storage of cold-stored foodstuffs
  • Where necessary temperatures of foodstuffs
  • Filling of cold stores
  • Temperature records in own-check activities
  • Deviations in temperatures of cold-stored foods, corrective actions and records of corrective actions
  • Shelf-lives and their control
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

The surrounding temperatures of foods during storage and the temperatures of foodstuffs comply with provisions or temperature requirement set by the operator.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but can demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

The temperatures of foodstuffs requiring cold storage have increased by no more than 3 degrees from the specified surrounding temperature during storage. However, the operator is able to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the food has been short-term.

Cold stores have been filled in a manner that ensures adequate and unhindered air circulation for refrigeration equipment.

Temperature measurements have been carried out and recorded as specified in the own-check activities.

Deviations and corrective actions have been recorded. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

The temperatures of products other than fishery products involving a particular risk of listeria have increased by no more than 3 degrees from the specified surrounding temperature during storage. However, the operator is unable to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the food has been short-term.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but can demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

There is room for improvement in the filling of the cold stores.

There are some minor shortcomings related to the temperature measurements specified in the own-check activities.

There are some minor shortcomings in the records of deviations and corrective actions. However, corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The temperatures of fishery products involving a particular risk of listeria have increased by no more than 3 degrees from the specified surrounding temperature during storage. However, the operator is unable to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the food has been short-term.

The temperatures of other foods requiring cold storage have increased by more than 3 degrees but by no more than 6 degrees from the specified surrounding temperature during storage.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but cannot demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

The cold stores are overcrowded.

Temperature measurements have not been carried out as specified in the own-check activities.

Deviations and corrective actions have not been recorded. Corrective actions have been inadequate or have not been carried out.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The temperatures of fishery products involving a particular risk of listeria have increased by more than 3 degrees from the specified surrounding temperature during storage.

The temperatures of other foods requiring cold storage have increased by more than 6 degrees from the specified surrounding temperature during storage indicating a break in the cold chain of the foods.

Foodstuffs that are not fit for use as food are warehoused or stored in the food premises.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, 178/2002/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/EC; Article 4 and Annex II
  • Regulation No 853/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food 318/2021
  • Finnish Food Authority's Guide "Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, application of Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005".


Updates in version 5

  • Guideline No 2232/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces Guideline No 10225/4
  • A short-term temperature deviation of at most 3 °C has been added
  • If the operator can demonstrate that food safety is not undermined, the operator may deviate from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 has been added
  • Finnish Food Act: number has been updated
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs has been added
  • Finnish Food Authority's Guide "Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, application of Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005" has been added
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 has been added
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene in registered food premises, 1367/2011 and to Evira's Guide on food hygiene in registered food premises 16025 has been deleted.

ANNEX 1, Oiva Evaluation Guideline 6.2. Cold-stored Foods

Cold-stored Foods and Oiva grade

Food product

 

Legislation
Section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021, with the exception of fresh unpackaged fishery products, for which provisions are laid down in EC No. 853/2004

Measured temperature of food and Oiva grade:

FISHERY PRODUCTS

  • Fresh unpackaged fishery products

Temperature of melting ice (max. 2˚C)

 

0 – 2 ˚C => EXCELLENT

2 – 5 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

2 – 5 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

5,1 – 8 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 8 ˚C => POOR

  • Fresh packaged fishery products
  • Thawed unprocessed fishery products
  • Non-vacuum or non-MAP packaged cold-smoked or gravad fishery products
  • Other vacuum or MAP packaged processed fishery products
  • Cooked and chilled crustacean and mollusc products

0 – 3 ˚C

 

0 – 3 ˚C => EXCELLENT

3 – 6 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

3 – 6 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

6,1 – 9 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 9 ˚C => POOR

 

Fishery products involving a particular risk of listeria

  • Vacuum or MAP packaged cold-smoked or gravad fish products
  • Salted roe

0 – 3 ˚C

 

0 – 3 ˚C => EXCELLENT

3 – 6 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

3 – 6 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

> 6 ˚C => POOR

  • Other processed fishery products
  • Kalakukko – fish and pork pie
  • Sushi
  • Live bivalve molluscs

max. 6˚C

0 – 6 ˚C => EXCELLENT

6 – 9 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

6 – 9 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

9,1 – 12 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 12 ˚C => POOR

MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS

 

  • Minced meat
  • Ground liver

max. 4˚C

0 – 4 ˚C => EXCELLENT

4 – 7 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

4 – 7 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

7,1 – 10 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 10 ˚C => POOR

 

  • Raw meat and offal
  • Meat preparations
  • Meat products and processed meat (cold cuts, sausages, processed foods made from meat, etc.)

max. 6˚C

0 – 6 ˚C => EXCELLENT

6 – 9 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

6 – 9 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

9,1 – 12 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 12 ˚C => POOR

 

MILK AND MILK-BASED PRODUCTS

 

  • Milk and cream
  • Raw milk and raw cream
  • Milk-based products manufactured without pasteurisation or any other, at least comparable process (for example fresh colostrum and cream cheeses made from raw milk)

max. 6˚C

0 – 6 ˚C => EXCELLENT

6 – 9 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

6 – 9 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

9,1 – 12 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 12 ˚C => POOR

 

  • Milk-based products manufactured with at least pasteurisation or some other comparable process (for example milk beverages, cooking creams, sour milk, yoghurts, nordic kind of sour milk “viili” and cheeses).

max. 8˚C

0 – 8 ˚C => EXCELLENT

8 – 11 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

8 – 11 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

11,1 – 14 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 14 ˚C => POOR

 

OTHER PERISHABLE FOODS

 

  • insects
  • e.g. sprouts, cut vegetables

max. 6˚C

0 – 6 ˚C => EXCELLENT

6 – 9 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

6 – 9 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

9,1 – 12 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 12 ˚C => POOR

 

  • Pasteurized berry, fruit and vegetable juices

max. 8˚C

0 – 8 ˚C => EXCELLENT

8 – 11 ˚C => EXCELLENT, if increase in temperature can be demonstrated to have been short-term

8 – 11 ˚C => GOOD, if increase in temperature cannot be demonstrated to have been short-term

11,1 – 14 ˚C => TO BE CORRECTED

> 14 ˚C => POOR

 

Updates in version 3

  • Temperature requirements has been updated to meet the requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 and examples has been added.

6.3 Hot-stored Foods

Guide/version: 2234/04.02.00.01/2021/4, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline pertains to foods that are to be stored hot in the preparation facility prior to sales, serving or transport.
  • Separate Guidelines cover sale, serving and transport of hot foods: 7.2 Management of Shelf-life and Sale period of Products in Sale of Foods, 7.3 Management of Shelf-life and Sale Period of Products in Serving of Foods, and 15.4. Temperature Management in Food Transports
  • If the operator can demonstrate that food safety is not undermined, the operator may deviate from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021. This is demonstrated by carrying out stability studies, such as literature based evidence, mathematical modelling, laboratory studies or a combination of these.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Temperatures of hot-stored foods
  • Re-heating of foods
  • Deviations in temperatures of hot-stored foods and records of associated corrective actions
  • Corrective actions
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

The temperatures of foods requiring hot storage comply with provisions or temperature requirement set by the operator.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but can demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

Deviations and corrective actions have been recorded. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

Temperature measurements in connection with the control carried out by the authority show that the temperatures of foods do not meet the requirements or temperature requirement set by the operator. Deviations are in the range of 1- 3°C.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but can demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

There are some minor shortcomings in the records of deviations and corrective actions. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

Temperature measurements in connection with the control carried out by the authority show that the temperatures of foods do not meet the requirements or temperature requirement set by the operator and deviations are in the range of 3 - 10°C.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but cannot demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

Deviations have not been recorded although it becomes known that deviations have occurred, or corrective actions taken because of deviations have been inappropriate, or inadequate or no information is available about them.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The deviations in the temperatures of hot-stored foods exceed 10°C.

Foods for which re-heating is not allowed in provisions are stored hot.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, 178/2002/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/EC; Article 4
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food 318/2021
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, Annex II
  • Finnish Food Authority's Guide "Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, application of Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005".


Updates in version 4

  • Guideline No 2234/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces Guideline No 10226/3
  • If the operator can demonstrate that food safety is not undermined, the operator may deviate from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 has been added
  • Finnish Food Act: number has been updated
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs has been added
  • Finnish Food Authority's Guide "Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, application of Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005" has been added
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 has been added
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene in registered food premises, 1367/2011 and to Evira's Guide on food hygiene in registered food premises 16025 has been deleted.

6.4 Chilling

Guide/version: 2235/04.02.00.01/2021/3, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This instruction applies to the cooling of food intended for cold storage
  • If the operator can demonstrate that food safety is not undermined, the operator may deviate from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021. This is demonstrated by carrying out stability studies, such as literature based evidence, mathematical modelling, laboratory studies or a combination of these.

Matters to be controlled:

  • The chilling temperatures and chilling times of foodstuffs, particularly perishable foodstuffs
  • The suitability of the refrigeration equipment or method for chilling
  • Records of deviations in the chilling temperatures of foods, and records of corrective actions
  • Corrective actions
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

Foodstuffs intended to be cold-stored are chilled after manufacture in compliance with provisions or the time-temperature combination set by the operator.

The refrigeration equipment is suitable and adequate for the operation, or some other chilling method used ensures that foods are chilled in compliance with provisions or the time-temperature combination set by the operator.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but can demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

Deviations and corrective actions have been recorded. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

Foodstuffs intended to be cold-stored are chilled after manufacture in compliance with provisions or the time-temperature combination set by the operator. There have been some minor shortcomings with respect to chilling, but they have not impaired food safety.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but can demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

The refrigeration equipment is suitable and adequate for the operation, or some other chilling method used ensures that foods are chilled in compliance with provisions or the time-temperature combination set by the operator.

There are some minor shortcomings in the records of deviations and corrective actions. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The chilling of cold-stored foodstuffs cannot be implemented with the refrigeration equipment or method used.

The operator deviates from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 but cannot demonstrate that food safety is not compromised.

Deviations have not been recorded although it becomes known that deviations have occurred, or corrective actions taken because of deviations have been inappropriate or inadequate, or no information is available about them.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

Foodstuffs are chilled in the food premises, but no refrigeration equipment or method is used.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, 178/2002/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/EC; Article 4 and Annex II
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs; Annex II
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021
  • Finnish Food Authority's Guide "Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, application of Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005".


Updates in version 3

  • Guideline No 2235/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces Guideline No 10227/2
  • If the operator can demonstrate that food safety is not undermined, the operator may deviate from the temperature requirements laid down in section 23 of Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 318/2021 has been added
  • Finnish Food Act: number has been updated
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs has been added
  • Finnish Food Authority's Guide "Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, application of Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005" has been added
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 has been added
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene in registered food premises, 1367/2011 and to Evira's Guide on food hygiene in registered food premises 16025 has been deleted.

6.6 Temperature Management of Quick-frozen and Frozen Foodstuffs

Guide/version: 2236/04.02.00.01/2021/8, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This guideline is used to evaluate the temperature management of quick-frozen and frozen foodstuffs as well as their storage and warehousing conditions.
  • This guideline applies both to frozen foodstuffs whose temperature is regulated by regulation (EC) No 853/2004 and to frozen foodstuffs whose temperature is not regulated but for which a storage temperature has been set by the food manufacturer.
  • In registered food premises this guideline is applied only to quick-frozen or frozen products that are intended to be sold frozen. This guideline pertains to the temperatures of products sold or delivered quick-frozen or frozen, during sale, storage and warehousing.
  • In establishments this guideline is applied to foodstuffs intended to be delivered or marketed as quick-frozen/frozen products. In addition this guideline is applied to foodstuffs quick-frozen/frozen for purposes of own production whose temperature is specified in regulation (EC) No 853/2004.
  • This guideline is not applied to establishments where fish undergo freezing treatment required only due to parasite risk. The freezing treatment carried out due to parasite risk of fishery products is evaluated in point 8.8.
  • Decree (818/2012) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is applied to foodstuffs sold or otherwise delivered quick-frozen to consumers, institutional kitchens or the industry. The Decree is not applied to the temperature control of quick-frozen products used as raw materials in food premises or establishments where these quick-frozen products are thawed, baked or otherwise used in the manufacturing of foods (e.g. temperature control of unbaked quick-frozen foods to be baked in the food premises, or quick-frozen products to be used in the preparation of food).
  • Hygiene of quick-freezing, freezing and thawing in establishments is evaluated in point 5.4.
  • Hygiene of quick-freezing, freezing and thawing in food premises is evaluated in point 5.1.
  • Temperature management of the warehousing and storage conditions of chilled foodstuffs in establishments is evaluated in point 6.2.
  • Temperature management in other temperature-controlled processes than quick-freezing and freezing in establishments is evaluated in point 6.5.
  • Temperature management during transport of quick-frozen and frozen foodstuffs is evaluated in point 15.4.
  • During practical inspections the surrounding temperature can be measured while the food business operator is required to demonstrate that at the measured surrounding temperature the temperature of the quick-frozen products is -18 degrees or less.
  • In this guideline short-term refers to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • The demonstration of the fulfilment of standardisation requirements regarding the measuring equipment and temperature-recording systems used in the storage of frozen products, and the functionality and calibration of measuring equipment used for the temperature management of frozen food are evaluated in point 2.3. These standardisation requirements do not apply to the temperature control of frozen food used as raw materials.
  • It is permissible to store in the freezer frozen products past their use-by dates that are intended for food aid. These products must be stored in such a way that they cannot be confused with products intended for manufacture or sale.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Appropriateness of freezing equipment
  • Start of quick-freezing without undue delay after the processing stages preceding quick-freezing
  • Start of freezing without undue delay after the processing stages preceding freezing
  • Temperature management of freezing, quick-freezing and thawing of quick-frozen/frozen foodstuffs
  • Temperature management during storage of quick-frozen/frozen foodstuffs
  • Surrounding temperatures of quick-frozen/frozen foods during warehousing and storage
  • Where necessary, temperatures of quick-frozen products
  • Filling of cold stores for quick-frozen products
  • Filling limits of open-display freezers
  • Appropriateness of temperature records
  • Deviations in temperatures of foodstuffs, corrective actions and records of corrective actions
  • Time and temperature limits for quick-freezing/freezing of mechanically separated meat and for storage of quick-frozen/frozen mechanically separated meat.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

Quick-freezing is started systematically without undue delay after processing stages preceding quick-freezing.

Food products to be sold or otherwise delivered quick-frozen are frozen using equipment designed for quick-freezing.

The temperatures of quick-frozen foods meet the requirements laid down in legislation.

The temperatures of quick-frozen products have increased by no more than 3 degrees. However, the operator is able to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the foodstuff has been short-term.

Cold stores for quick-frozen products and/or open-display freezers are filled in compliance with instructions.

Deviations and corrective actions have been recorded. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

The quick-freezing of the foodstuffs is occasionally delayed, but delays are not common, frequent or so long that they would affect the food safety of the products.

The temperatures of quick-frozen products have increased by no more than 3 degrees. The operator is unable to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the foodstuff has been short-term. Increases in temperature are non-recurring.

There are some minor shortcomings concerning the filling of cold stores for quick-frozen products and/or open-display freezers.

There are some minor shortcomings in the records of deviations and corrective actions. However, corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The quick-freezing of foods is frequently started several days after the end of the other stages of the manufacturing process or when the food approaches its use-by date. Delays are common and frequent, although not completely systematic.

The equipment used for the freezing of foods to be sold or otherwise delivered quick-frozen is not designed for quick-freezing, and the operator is unable to demonstrate that the method used ensures that the freezing of the foods proceeds at least one centimetre per hour.

The temperatures of the quick-frozen foods have increased by more than 3 degrees from the specified temperature. Increases in temperature are non-recurring.

The cold stores for quick-frozen products are overcrowded and/or open-display freezers are filled above the filling limit.

Deviations and corrective actions have not been recorded. Corrective actions have been inadequate or have not been carried out.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The quick-freezing of foods is systematically started at least several days after the end of the other stages of the manufacturing process causing a significant delay in the start of freezing.

Thawed quick-frozen foods not fit for use as food are warehoused, stored and/or sold and/or re-frozen in the food premises or establishments.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, 178/2002/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin 853/2004/EC
  • Commission Regulation 37/2005/EC on the monitoring of temperatures in the means of transport, warehousing and storage of quick-frozen foodstuffs intended for human consumption
  • Council Directive 89/108/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to quick-frozen foodstuffs for human consumption
  • Commission Directive 92/2/EEC laying down the sampling procedure and the Community method of analysis for the official control of the temperatures of quick-frozen foods intended for human consumption
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on quick-frozen products, 818/2012
  • Evira's Guide on the quick-freezing and freezing of foods in food premises 16049.


Updates in version 8

  • The name of the guideline has changed
  • This guideline is a joint guideline for both registered and approved establishments.
  • Freezing of foodstuffs in registered food premises has been changed to be evaluated according to this guideline instead of guideline 5.1
  • The guideline no longer applies to foodstuffs frozen/quick-frozen for purposes of own production in establishments, the temperatures of which are not regulated by regulation 853/2004
  • The guideline applies from now on to frozen foodstuffs for which no temperature is specified but for which the food manufacturer has specified a storage temperature
  • The number of the Food Act has been updated.
  • References to the Decrees of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene in registered food premises 1367/2011 and on food hygiene at establishments 795/2014 have been removed.
  • References to Eviras’s Guides on Food Hygiene in Registered Food Premises and on foods delivered for food aid have been removed.