Vitsab™ International AB is committed to educating the seafood industry on the most cost-effective way to monitor the time/temperature relationship for shipments of seafood, no matter where they are shipped globally. Freshtag™ TTI (time temperature indicator) labels are that solution and here are the facts.

The US FDA has a long-standing reputation as a leading global regulatory authority. In 2011 and then revised in June of 2022, they published the Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance. Chapter 13 focuses on the health concern of clostridium botulinum toxin (C-bot toxin) formation in seafood packaged in ROP/MAP (reduced oxygen packaging/modified atmospheric packaging). The time/temperature standard for when C-bot toxin can potentially form is known as the Skinner & Larkin curve or boundary (Skinner & Larkin 1998) and the authors suggest the use of TTIs to indicate a possible risk of C-bot toxin if seafood products were exposed to increased temperature during shipping and distribution. Using the data from Dr. Skinner & Dr. Larkin’s research (red curved line), Vitsab™ was able to engineer the Freshtag™ L5/8 (blue curved line) to mirror the Skinner & Larkin Boundary as shown in the graph below.

Bacteria growth is graphed as a curved line because this growth is dynamic in relation to increased temperature. Other TTIs would be graphed as a box under the curved lines, and they will show a false positive for too much time or too high a temperature. Therefore, the Freshtag™ L5-8 is FDA accepted for their fresh seafood ROP/MAP packaging regulation as a CCP (critical control point) for temperature monitoring in your HACCP plan. In 2021 there were over 2 million packages shipped with the Freshtag™ L5-8, and this was in the USA alone. Vitsab is a global company, so their worldwide use of the L5-8 is substantially higher.

The adoption of the Freshtag™ L5-8 goes far beyond use to be compliant with US FDA ROP/MAP regulation. Many companies have adopted Freshtag™ as a competitive advantage over their competition, especially since COVID. Delays in shipments have become a daily hassle for companies and their customers, now validation of proper temperature control from origin to delivery is critical. Your customers are already skeptical about quality and safety when receiving seafood and delays just compound that fear. Freshtag’s™ exclusive “stoplight” technology provides that simple visual validation that everyone understands so leveraging Freshtag™ has led to increased sales and reductions in shrink.

Being a research and development company, we are not wired for sales and marketing, so we rely on our customers. They have amazing marketing and sales teams that have learned how to leverage Freshtag™ to grow their business and increase their bottom-line profits. This knowledge allows us to help you start a Freshtag™ program that will be successful from the start. Please reach out to Vitsab so we can share many examples of ongoing successful Freshtag™ programs.

Skinner and Larkin 1998:
Conservative Prediction of Time to Clostridium botulinum Toxin Formation for Use with Time-Temperature Indicators To Ensure the Safety of Foods;
G. E. Skinner and J. W. Larkin; J. of Food Protect. 61:9; 1154 – 1160, 1998