Validation of Salmonella Control

Salmonella is a biological hazard that may be present in raw peanuts and therefore requires a preventive control. 

The American Peanut Council has validated the effective ways to reduce the impact of Salmonella in raw shelled peanuts. Scientific studies were performed to find the combination of the amount of time and temperature needed to roast peanuts so that they are safe for consumption. For example, 295° F (or 146° C) for 15 minutes reduces contamination to a level that is generally acceptable.

To ensure that the process is working properly, experts recommend that a facility complete a Process Validation Study, a task that usually requires hiring an outside consultant. 

Part of validating that Salmonella will be reduced to a safe level is checking to be sure that the equipment you are using will create the same roasting conditions as in the scientific study. If you are dry roasting, you should test the oven to confirm that it is reaching the chosen temperature for the correct amount of time. Oven temperature profile measurements can be made by placing thermoelectrical thermometers at several points across and along the bed of peanuts on the conveyor belt going through the oven and recording temperatures achieved.