Processes Requiring a County-Approved HACCP Plan
The North Carolina Food Code requires a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for conducting specialized processes (listed below), because these processes significantly increase the risk of severe foodborne illness. Specialized Processes that require an approved HACCP plan include:
- Vacuum packaging raw meats, raw & frozen fish, raw poultry, hard cheeses, or raw vegetables.
- Cooking food using the sous-vide method while reaching standard final cooking temperatures.
- Preparing and storing food using the cook-chill method under certain circumstances.
Your HACCP plan must be approved PRIOR to conducting a specialized process such as vacuum sealing, curing, pickling, cook-chill, etc.
For a quick overview of specialized processes involving Reduced Oxygen Packaging, and guidance for the requirements for each process, please check our Quick Guide.
Please contact your health inspector, Wake County Environmental Services HACCP Coordinator (James Smith, REHS at email@example.com or 919-868-9246) or Alyssa Barkley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-844-7883 to help guide you through these requirements. Please see the applications and sample plans in the Resources section below.
Processes Requiring a State-Issued Variance
Examples of Specialized Processes that require a variance from the State of North Carolina Variance Committee include:
- Vacuum packaging cooked food.
- Cooking food using the sous-vide method outside of standard temperature parameters.
- Preparing and storing food using the cook-chill method for longer than 72 hours.
- Curing to extend shelf life or for shelf stability
- Smoking as a form of preservation.
- Acidification of sushi rice.
- Pickling of food to extend shelf life or for shelf stability
- Fermentation (i.e. yogurt and kimchi production.)
- Using natural or artificial additives to extend shelf-life or for shelf stability
To apply for a variance, you must complete a variance application and submit it to Wake County for initial review prior to submittal to the state Variance Committee. Applications must include a request for
Variance and a fully completed Variance Components Checklist.
- Request for Variance
- Variance Components Checklist (must have all items on this checklist in your variance application)
Submit completed applications to Wake County Environmental Services HACCP Coordinator.
Multi-County HACCP Plans and Variances
If your restaurant chain operates in multiple counties of North Carolina, your HACCP plan or Variance will have to be approved by the State of North Carolina HACCP Committee. Please contact the committee at email@example.com for submittal guidance.
If you are ready to start working on your HACCP plan, see the resources below. All templates must be tailored to your own operation’s procedures. It is highly recommended that you schedule a meeting with the HACCP Coordinator at our office, the Waverly Atkins Office Building, after submitting your HACCP plan. This is the easiest way to learn about any modifications that need to be made to your HACCP plan.
HACCP Plan Guide & Application
Sample HACCP Plans
Standard Operating Procedures
- Approved Source
- Corrective Action
- Employee Health Policy
- Employee Training
- Cold Holding
- Prohibiting Bare Hand Contact with Ready-to-eat Foods
- Thermometer Calibration
- Cleaning and Sanitizing Food-Contact Surfaces
- Designated Work Area
- Employee Personal Hygiene
- Proper Handwashing
- Receiving (First in, First Out) Procedures
- Records & Retention
- Cold Holding
- Curing Log
- Cooking & Reheating
- Corrective Action
- Damaged or Discarded Product
- Employee Illness Reporting
- Employee Training (Basic)
- Temperature at Vacuum Packaging
Other Forms for HACCP Plans
- Blank Flow Diagrams
- Critical Control Points Spreadsheet
- Hazard Analysis Chart
- Overview of HACCP Plan
- Overview of Processes
- Process Description
Information courtesy of Wake County Environmental Services.