Establishing Lot Size through Sanitation Clean Breaks in Produce Packing Facilities

Food processing factoryA clean break is needed between groups of products for food protection regulators to consider produce as separate from other produce packed off the same line. Determining a clean break is important to limit the scope of a recall. Packers can determine lot size based on what is practical and the amount of risk that their business is comfortable with. Food protection regulators define lot size as when a clean break occurs before and after a group of products. For instance, if a packer chooses to have a daily documented and verified clean break, the packer would establish one lot per day, as defined by food protection regulators. In other situations, a packer may choose to have a clean break conducted weekly, meaning that a food safety incident could result in a week’s worth of production being recalled. This 2-page fact sheet was written by B. Chapman and M.D. Danyluk, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, August 2013.