Association of Food and Drug Officials

Retail Guidelines for Refrigerated Foods in Reduced Oxygen Packages

While oxygen reduced packaging may extend the shelf life of certain foods, the process can also create a serious public health hazard if the proper control parameters are not followed.  These control parameters must include recognized barriers that prevent the growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms combined with proper temperature control of the product at all times and carefully monitored rotation of the processed food.  Retail establishments should only engage in this practice after a thorough evaluation of the potential hazards has resulted in the establishment of adequate safeguards against food poisoning.  Recognized food processing experts, certified laboratories, and food regulators must be consulted on the safe application of the process for each product proposed for processing.  Individuals properly trained to recognize the hazards of this process and execute adequate control measures must be on duty during the processing period at each retail location.


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