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Food Quality and Safety 
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Application for DV Auditor Form 53
DV Auditors List
DV Users
Pasteurization Program
Pastuerization Contact List

Auditors Verify Treatment Processes for DV Users

Manufacturers who are approved under the DV user program will be required to have both an initial on-site audit, within two months of initiating treatment of almonds, and then at least an annual on-site audit. The audits are the financial responsibility of the DV user, and are designed to determine if: (1) the DV user utilized appropriate treatment processes; (2) the DV user has a letter issued by an Almond Board of California (ABC)-approved process authority which validated that the treatment achieves a 4-log reduction of Salmonella; (3) personnel and procedures used at the facility ensure that treatment parameters were followed; and (4) records are retained for two years that document the treatment of almonds, or that any untreated almonds were properly disposed of, as required. Auditors are required to provide a summary report of the DV user to the ABC within 10 days of each audit, relative to the four criteria listed above, as well as verifying that almonds are not subject to recontamination, and confirming that corrective actions were taken to address any treatment noncompliance issues or infractions.

Eligible persons or organizations who wish to be considered for positions as a DV user auditor must submit an application to the ABC, using ABC Form 53, and be approved by the ABC Technical Expert Review Panel (TERP). The TERP may revoke such approval for cause. The DV user auditor may appeal the TERP’s decision to ABC, and, ultimately, to USDA. Information for appeals will be provided, upon request.

Under Federal Law and through the Almond Board of California (ABC), almond handlers shall subject their almonds to a treatment process or processes that achieve, in total, a minimum 4-log reduction of Salmonella bacteria prior to shipment in North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico). The ABC acknowledges that only treatment processes that have demonstrated a 5-log reduction of Salmonella bacteria, as acknowledged by a letter of determination issued by the Food and Drug Administration, meet the definition of “pasteurization.” However, to ease reading of this content when referring to a treatment process that achieves a minimum 4-log reduction of Salmonella bacteria, the word “pasteurization” is used as a generic term.

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