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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 2. Agriculture
Agency 5. Department of Agriculture And Consumer Services
Chapter 585. Retail Food Establishment Regulations

2VAC5-585-870. Reduced oxygen packaging without a variance; criteria.

A. Except for a food establishment that obtains a variance as specified under 2VAC5-585-860, a food establishment that packages time/temperature control for safety food using a reduced oxygen packaging method shall control the growth and toxin formation of Clostridium botulinum and the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.P

B. Except as specified in subsection E of this section, a food establishment that packages time/temperature control for safety food using a reduced oxygen packaging method shall implement a HACCP plan that contains the information specified under 2VAC5-585-3630 and that:Pf

1. Except as specified in subsections C and D of this section, requires that the packaged food shall be maintained at 41°F (5°C) or less and meet at least one of the following criteria:Pf

a. Has an Aw of 0.91 or less,Pf

b. Has a pH of 4.6 or less,Pf

c. Is a meat or poultry product cured at a food processing plant regulated by the USDA using substances specified in 9 CFR 424.21 and is received in an intact package,Pf

d. Is a food with a high level of competing organisms such as raw meat, raw poultry, or raw vegetables;Pf or

e. Is a cheese that is commercially manufactured in a food processing plant with no ingredients added in the food establishment and that meets the Standards of Identity as specified in 21 CFR 133.150, 21 CFR 133.169, or 21 CFR 133.187;P

2. Limits the refrigerated shelf life to no more than 30 calendar days from packaging to consumption, except the time the product is maintained frozen, or the original manufacturer's "sell by" or "use by" date, whichever occurs first;P

3. Includes operational procedures that:

a. Prohibit contacting ready-to-eat food with bare hands as specified under 2VAC5-585-450 B;Pf

b. Identify a designated work area and the method by which:Pf

(1) Physical barriers or methods of separation of raw foods and ready-to-eat foods minimize cross contamination,Pf and

(2) Access to the processing equipment is limited to responsible trained personnel familiar with the potential hazards of the operation;Pf

c. Delineate cleaning and sanitization procedures for food-contact surfaces;Pf and

d. Describe how the package shall be prominently and conspicuously labeled on the principal display panel in bold type on a contrasting background, with instructions to:Pf

(1) Maintain the food at 41°F (5°C) or below,Pf and

(2) Discard the food if, within 30 calendar days of its packaging, it is not served for on-premises consumption or consumed, if served or sold for off-premises consumption; Pf

4. Describes the training program that ensures that the individual responsible for the reduced oxygen packaging operation understands the:Pf

a. Concepts required for safe operation;Pf

b. Equipment and facilities;Pf and

c. Procedures specified under subdivision 3 of this subsection and 2VAC5-585-3630;Pf and

5. Is provided to the department prior to implementation as specified under subsection B of 2VAC5-585-3620.

C. Except for fish that is frozen before, during, and after packaging and that bears a label indicating that it is to be kept frozen until time of use, a food establishment may not package fish using a reduced oxygen packaging method.P

D. Except as specified in subsections C and E of this section, a food establishment that packages time/temperature control for safety food using a cook-chill or sous vide process shall:

1. Provide to the department prior to implementation, a HACCP plan that contains the information as specified under 2VAC5-585-3630;Pf

2. Ensure the food is:

a. Prepared and consumed on the premises, or prepared and consumed off the premises but within the same business entity with no distribution or sale of the packaged product to another business entity or the consumer;Pf

b. Cooked to heat all parts of the food to a temperature and for a time as specified under 2VAC5-585-700 A, B, and C;P

c. Protected from contamination before and after cooking as specified in 2VAC5-585-450 through 2VAC5-585-765;P

d. Placed in a package with an oxygen barrier and sealed before cooking, or placed in a package and sealed immediately after cooking, and before reaching a temperature below 135°F (57°C);P

e. Cooled to 41°F (5°C) in the sealed package or bag as specified under 2VAC5-585-800 and P

(1) Cooled to 34°F (1°C) within 48 hours of reaching 41°F (5°C) and held at that temperature until consumed or discarded within 30 calendar days after the date of packaging;P

(2) Held at 41°F (5°C) or less for no more than seven calendar days, at which time the food must be consumed or discarded;P

(3) Cooled to 34°F (1°C) within 48 hours of reaching 41°F (5°C), removed from refrigeration equipment that maintains a 34°F (1°C) food temperature, and then held at 41°F (5°C) or less for no more than seven calendar days, not to exceed 30 calendar days from its date of packaging, at which time the food must be consumed or discarded;P or

(4) Held frozen with no shelf-life restriction while frozen until consumed or used;P

f. Held in a refrigeration unit that is equipped with an electronic system that continuously monitors time and temperature and is visually examined for proper operation twice daily;Pf

g. If transported off-site to a satellite location of the same business entity, equipped with verifiable electronic monitoring devices to ensure that times and temperatures are monitored during transportation;Pf and

h. Labeled with the product name and the date packaged;Pf and

3. Maintain the records required to confirm that cooling and cold holding refrigeration time/temperature parameters are required as part of the HACCP plan and:

a. Make such records available to the department upon request;Pf and

b. Hold such records for at least six months;Pf and

4. Implement written operational procedures as specified under subdivision B 3 of this section and a training program as specified under subdivision B 4 of this section.Pf

E. A HACCP plan is not required when a food establishment uses a reduced oxygen packaging method to package time/temperature control for safety food that is always:

1. Labeled with the production time and date;

2. Held at 41°F (5°C) or less during refrigerated storage; and

3. Removed from its packaging in the food establishment within 48 hours after packaging.

Statutory Authority

§ 3.2-5121 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 2, eff. October 16, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 7, eff. January 1, 2010; Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. July 12, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 19, eff. June 24, 2021.

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