commercial-kichen Process Inspection


eXtreme Business
So as I wrap up the kitchen project - I'll be ordering all the hardware next week - I'm getting ready for all the required inspections. I'm pretty solid on the facility inspection. There's 42 pages of FDA regulations I've read through a dozen times and I'm pretty certain about all of that part.

But what exactly goes on with a process inspection? The compliance officer has asked me about my "process" but that didn't seem very detailed. Is it a general "how do you do things and keep it clean" or is it more "show us how you make these products"? With several different products will I be making some of each? (I'm guessing that at least they won't want to see every single flavor of the hard candies!)

I think I'm more concerned about that part than the rest of it. TIA for your input!
From my past inspections-
Most of my products are HFH. the inspector would look at the recipe and make a judgment call if the recipe needed process review. My first recipes were heavy on the vinegar, they were approved onsite, no PA. Later, and as regs changed, I did a PA for everything.

Usually they wanted to see me making 'something', i usually made the spiciest sauce and fluff the spices and bhut peppers to get them sneezing and wanting to get out of there asap. Yea, petty or something....:cool:

Maybe tell the inspector the variety of products you make and ask what they want to see. Can't imagine they want to see dehydrating....🤷 hard candies are pretty low risk. That helps.
Good luck!
Dont hand them a respi~...start mixing things, put yours on...give them a shrug...keep mixing...,

They are responsible for their own PPE! Used to be a coat and a hair net. Bit more now.
ha, I guess that makes a certain amount of sense.
You're going to deal with someone who works with reapers, might want to come prepared :)

Gotta love talking to different people, they all tell you different things. NOW I'm being told that I need my dehydration process to be evaluated before I can even request the facility and process inspections. THAT office is saying I need to "heat treat" the peppers by heating them to an internal temperature of 165F and then I can dehydrate them however I want. And I need to send a sample to them for water activity testing.

I'm having a hard time seeing how the mass producers of chile powders would do that heat treatment - especially given what I've seen of how they actually do the dehydration process.

This is going to take at least a week to wrap up, probably two, so I'm pushed out a good bit more now :(
Heat treating will alter/ darken the color, which you may or may not want.

Stick with what your final inspector tells you. If they say dehydration must follow what OfficeDEF is telling you, then i guess you have to do that.

Also point out thin walled peppers cut in half, thick walled peppers sl8ced before drying....all the things that will accelerate the drying process.
Heat treating will alter/ darken the color, which you may or may not want.
That's what I was thinking too. The point is pathogen prevention, but it seems there are other ways to do that beside only heating.

Unfortunately, I can't even GET to inspection without going through all these hoops. The best part is that the office I was referred to for the "process evaluation" doesn't seem to DO that, they only mentioned a water activity test. And I can't find anything in the FDA regulations saying what sort of treatment is required

I decided to contact the Chile Pepper Institute for some help here - let's see where that leads.
Maybe contact a Process authority who can do pH, process, moisture, and a plethora of other processes.
So Chile Pepper Institute seconds the heat treatment. Seems a bit odd as I've never witnessed that at any commercial operations, and I'm quite sure Ristras don't go through that. But I guess I'll have to live with it.

Unfortunately, these ARE the authorities I have to deal with. Unless you're suggesting something private (non-govt?).

This part of things are on hold for now as I deal with the next step of getting a sample in for testing.
Bumping this thread because I want to leave the kitchen project on a win!

I'm wondering about the KITCHEN inspection now - what to expect there. I know, different states and all, but just some general experiences, but specific to a commercial kitchen setup. I've heard so many different things.

Related - I plumbed the sinks the way I've seen other kitchens do it, but a friend told me that the drainage is not right. He just graduated culinary school and said that his instructor told him that all drains required an air gap before the main drain - i.e. 3 air gaps on a 3-compartment sink, one for each compartment. But I have never seen that and I plumbed all of them into a single main horizontal line that ends in the mop basin, with an air gap there.

I can't find anything that really gets into this online, and 21CFR 117 doesn't seem to say anything about it.

For reference, he's saying I need air gaps where the red squares are. I have one where the blue square is.