Freshpet products typically take one of two forms – either Roasted Meals, which are our bagged recipes, and Rolls, which are just what they sound like: rolls of steam-cooked meat with vegetables included throughout. Despite these differences in form however, the two follow similar cook lengths and temperatures.
Our meats are mixed with fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals; and then cooked at a time and temperature just sufficient to kill all harmful bacteria. The process temperatures are monitored inside the cookers as they slowly begin to rise and once temperatures have reached a specific temperature, a timer is started and the products must remain at this temperature for a specific amount of time to ensure a proper cook.
After the cook step, temperatures must go to 80˚F or lower in the first 1 ½ hours and then down to 40˚F or lower in the next 4 ½ hours. Because our rolls can be 4 inches in diameter, temperatures of the chilled product are always taken at the center of the core.
Our cooking process for roasted meals is a pasteurization process. In roasted meals, the mixing process begins with chilled meat in the mixer. During the cooking process a minimum cooking temperature and minimum time required are set to ensure the elimination of any harmful microbes. During the cook process the operators monitor temperature readings and adjust them as needed.
Following our HACCP plan, once the food is cooked the product must now be brought down. So, immediately after cooking we chill our roasted meals within the next 8-10 minutes.