Tip of the Week

Separate Vacuum Packing machines must be designated for ready to eat foods OR raw food use.  One machine cannot be used for both raw and ready to eat foods even if cleaned and sanitised after each use

Procedures for Vacuum Packing

  • Separate vacuum packing machines need to be used for ready to eat and for raw foods. Label the machine for “Raw” or “Ready to Eat”
  • Trained staff only permitted to vacuum pack foods.
  • Strict hygiene procedures must be followed when vac packing foods. Kitchen hygiene and cleanliness are vital to avoid any cross contamination during the vacuum packing process.  Staff must be wearing clean uniform, wash their hands and adhere to strict hygiene standards.
  • Vacuum bags should be kept in sealed containers to avoid any contamination.
  • The food being vac packed must be in date and care must be taken to avoid any cross contamination.
  • Foods to be vacuum packed must be subjected to stringent temperature control. Raw meats and fish need to be stored at 5°C or less prior to being vacuum packed.
  • Vacuum packed foods must be date labelled immediately with item description, date of vac packing, use by date of a maximum of 10 days from packing (or 3 months if freezing).

Alert

Vacuum packed items to be stored immediately under temperature control – Chilled less than 5°C or frozen less than -18°C.

Weekly Food Fact

As well as keeping food fresh for longer, did you know that vacuum packing foods holds in the moisture, juices and flavour of the food, improving its taste. Also vacuum packing prevents ice crystals forming on the food when frozen.  It also ensures no freezer burn prior to freezing.