vacuum-packed meat

Certain ways of preparing food are more likely to cause foodborne illness. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, known as HACCP, are a way of making sure that food will be safe to eat by following a strict method of preparation that is proven to maintain safety.


You will need a HACCP plan and/or variance if you wish do special processing in your commercial kitchen. These processes include:

  • Curing with nitrates/nitrites
  • Smoking foods for preservation
  • Acidification to prolong shelf life
  • Custom processing of animals
  • Reduced oxygen packaging and sous vide cooking
  • Maintaining a live holding tank for shellfish

A HACCP plan shows the “flow” of food from the beginning of the process all the way to end consumption. It includes guidelines on how the food will be received, processed, held and delivered to the consumer. It may vary for each type of food product being made. HACCP plans can be complex scientific documents.

HACCP plan guidelines (PDF)

A variance is written permission from the State of Oregon Food Protection Program to break a rule in the food code. Usually you’ll need to prove how you will ensure food safety.

Request a variance»

Where Do I Start?

Helpful Documents

Acidification of Foods to Prolong Shelf Life (1.36 MB)
Curing, Fermenting or Smoking Meats (1.07 MB)
Reduced Oxygen Packaging (2.92 MB)
Sample HACCP Chart (97.49 KB)
HACCP Cook and Cooling Temperature Log (35.36 KB)

Contact Us

Multnomah County Environmental Health
847 NE 19th Ave, Ste 350
Portland, Oregon (Map)
503-988-5844 fax

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am - 4:30pm