Sous Vide Reduced Oxygen Packaging HACCP Plan Guidance Document

A sous vide packaging process is one in which foods are cooked in a sealed oxygen impermeable packaging.  The product may then be cooled and stored in the packaging.   Food processed in this manner is in Reduced Oxygen Package (ROP) and requires a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan.

A HACCP plan is a written document that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions to prevent hazards from occurring. It details a complete food safety management system following HACCP principles in combination with prerequisite programs. This guideline may be used as a tool when creating a sous vide HACCP plan.

Preliminary HACCP Steps

  • Assemble the HACCP team. Select people with specific knowledge and expertise about the process and product(s), The team is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the HACCP plan. It is important to include personnel who routinely make the product(s).
  • Develop a complete list of ingredients and raw materials used in the product(s).
  • Develop a complete list of equipment and material that will be used to produce the product(s).
  • Develop a process flow by listing all steps of the process used to produce the product(s). Steps can include, but are not limited to receiving, cold holding before ROP, packaging, cooking, cooling, cold holding of ROP product(s) at the processing facility, transport to outlets, cold holding of ROP at outlets, reheating, hot holding, and removal from the package. There are several types of process flows to choose from including diagrams, narratives, lists, charts, and tables.

Hazard Analysis

  • Conduct a hazard analysis by evaluating the steps of the process flow and identifying the food safety hazards
  • Use a Hazard Analysis Worksheet to document the biological, chemical, and physical hazards in the process
    • The following organisms are common biological hazards that may be required to be controlled depending on ingredients used: Listeria monocytogenesCampylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocoliticaSalmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, Bacillus cereus, Shigella spp., E. coli O157:H7, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Cryptosporidium, Trichinella (if pork is included in the plan).
  • A hazard must be controlled if it is reasonably likely to occur and is likely to result in unacceptable risk to consumers. A Critical Control Point (CCP) is a step at which controls can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to acceptable levels. CCPs will vary depending on the steps used to produce the product. Identify all CCPs on the process flow.

HACCP Worksheet

  • The HACCP Worksheet is used to provide details (critical limit, monitoring, corrective action, verification, records/documentation) for all designated CCPs from the process flow.
  • In the example below, a separate table is used for each CCP. The following tables include details of the necessary information for two of the required CCPs on the HACCP Worksheet. The minimum required CCPs for a sous vide HACCP plan include cooking, cooling, and cold holding.  Note: CCPs are dependent on the facilities process; therefore, additional CCPs may be required.
  • Develop a HACCP worksheet, including details for all identified CCPs
Critical Control Point (CCP)Cooling
Critical LimitTemperature and time parameters

Monitoring

WhoSpecify who is responsible for monitoring cooling
HowDescribe the method of monitoring cooling temperatures of packaged products
FrequencySpecify how often cooling will be monitored
Corrective ActionProvide corrective action for foods not cooled properly
VerificationSpecify who is responsible for verification of cooling documentation.
Specify how often cooling documentation will be verified.
RecordsSpecify where cooling temperature/ time will be documented.
Specify how long cooling documentation will be maintained.
Critical Control Point (CCP)Cold Holding of ROP products at a processing facility and outlet facilities, if applicable
Critical LimitTemperature (°F) and shelf life (days)

Monitoring

WhoSpecify who is responsible for monitoring cold holding temperatures and shelf life
HowDescribe the method of monitoring cold holding temperatures and shelf life
FrequencySpecify how often cold holding and shelf life will be monitored
Corrective ActionProvide corrective action for equipment not holding at proper temperature
Provide corrective actions for food if the temperature is greater than critical limit
Provide corrective actions for food held past shelf life
VerificationSpecify who is responsible for verification of cold holding documentation
Specify how often cold holding documentation will be verified
RecordsSpecify where cold holding will be documented
Specify how long cold holding documentation will be maintained
Specify where monitoring of shelf life will be documented
Specify how long shelf life monitoring documentation will be maintained

Contact Information

Phone: (702) 759-0500

 

Updated on: May 29, 2019