The state-of-the-art production units for deli meats at Creta Farms are extremely well-equipped in order to combine high quality with productivity and at the same time support any new development and achievement in the field of Food Technology.
The production unit has a capacity of over 100 tn daily and operates on three shifts – 2 for production and 1 for the cleaning and disinfection of all areas and equipment. The operation of the production unit is based on the ISO 22000 (HACCP) system and is in accordance with the ISO 9001, BRC, ISO 14001 standards.
The critical stages of the production process, as well as the temperature conditions in the production areas, are monitored on-line with the aid of cutting edge systems; furthermore, a very well-organized traceability system permits the tracing of the finished product all the way back to the number of the weaning chamber of the pig, that was used as raw material for the deli meat.
Nevertheless, the founding stone for safeguarding the production process of each top-quality product bearing the Creta Farm brand name, is the highly trained staff, not only at the level of the production processes, but also in relation to issues of hygiene and safety.
For all us here at Creta Farms, quality is our way of working.
DELI MEAT PRODUCTION STAGES AND PROCESS
1. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY INGREDIENTS USED IN THE PRODUCTION OF DELI MEATS
The primary ingredient used for the production of Creta Farms deli meats is choice pork meat.
Under the strictest hygiene conditions, the carcasses are cut, and the bones, nerves, cartilage and fat are removed. The amount of fat removed depends on the fat-content specifications of the end product for which it is destined – for example, the fat is fully removed when the meat is going to be used for an end product of the 0-3% line, and partially removed when it is going to be used for the production of country sausages.
Each batch of clean meat is marked according to the company’s traceability system, stored in chilled conditions and used within 24 hours for the production of deli meats.
The secondary ingredients used are the spices, flours, olive oil, vegetables, plant proteins, honey and milk proteins that are used in the deli meat recipes.
Upon delivery, these ingredients are placed in specially designed storage areas, where they are kept under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. They are marked, incorporated into the traceability system and classified in such a way so as to ensure that any contamination with allergens is avoided.
The secondary ingredients included in each deli meat recipe are weighed carefully in stainless steel containers at the preparation section of the production unit and are added to the recipe during the mixing stage.
2. SHAPING OF THE DELI MEATS
During the shaping stage, the meat and the types and quantities of the secondary ingredients included in the deli meat recipe are mixed together. This process can either be achieved by dissolving the secondary ingredients in water and injecting them into the meat, or by marinating, or after the meat has been very thinly chopped in a homogenizer, to which the secondary ingredients are then added. The mixture is then injected with the use of filling machines and placed in specially-shaped moulds, so that the shape of the end product is obtained (oval, square etc).
3. THERMAL PROCESSING
The thermal processing stage is the most important for the safety of the product. The processing of the deli meat at a suitable temperature for a specific time aims to eliminate any potential microbiological risk, thus guaranteeing the safety of the consumer.
This is however a vitally important stage for the particular organoleptic properties of each deli meat, since it involves cooking or roasting and smoking. Even the type of wood used for the smoking of each preserved meat is important in creating the special flavor of each recipe.
The deli meats packaging area is clearly defined, and utmost conditions of hygiene are guaranteed; it is equipped with specialized air filter systems, and ultraviolet radiation units for a constant sterilization of the air and cutting surfaces for the deli meats.
In addition, after packaging, there is a further stage that involves the pasteurization of the finished product. The second pasteurization of our deli meats is a technological innovation for Greece, and sets the level of quality even higher in the preserved meats market: double pasteurization means double safety.
The packaged deli meats are marked with the details of the line and time of packaging and on each package there is a clear indication of the expiry date and ideal storage conditions of the product.
From this point onwards, and after obtaining the approval of the Quality Control department guaranteeing that the necessary conditions were observed during production, as defined by the company’s HACCP - from the raw materials to the packaging stage - and also after the necessary microbiological and chemical tests are carried out, the CRETAFARM preserved meats are ready for distribution. With quality on their passport, they set off from Crete for their trip to every corner of Greece and selected areas in Europe.
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