HACCP Plans Made Easy


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What company developed and supports HACCP XPRESS?

A. HACCP XPRESS was developed and is supported by Kellerman Consulting, a nationwide leader in food safety and retail HACCP Plan consulting. Kellerman Consulting has written over 150 retail HACCP Plans since 2017, and has proven success getting retail HACCP Plans approved throughout the United States.

Q. I purchased and downloaded my HACCP plan(s). Now what?

A. All HACCP plans generated by HACCP XPRESS must be submitted to your local health department. In some states, your local health department may be responsible for approving your HACCP plan(s), while other states have state-level departments that review and approve HACCP Plans. Please contact your local health inspector to determine the process for submission.

Q. Can I use my Reduced Oxygen Packaging equipment without an approved HACCP Plan?

A. In order to serve food to customers using Reduced Oxygen Packaging equipment, you must have a HACCP Plan in place that has been approved by your local or state health department.

Q. What are the different types of HACCP Plans that I may need in order to use my Reduced Oxygen Packaging equipment?

A. You may need up to three HACCP Plans for your Reduced Oxygen Packaging equipment. 1) A Reduced Oxygen Packaging HACCP Plan will allow you to reduced oxygen package uncooked food for shelf life extension 2) A Cook-Chill HACCP Plan will allow you to reduced oxygen package cooked food, cool it, store it and reheat it for service to customers 3) A Sous-vide HACCP Plan will allow you reduced oxygen package items to be Sous-vide cooked

Q. Why do I need an additional Reduced Oxygen Packaging HACCP Plan for seafood?

A. Seafood is a special case when it comes to reduced oxygen packaging. In the retail food code, the rules state that all seafood must be frozen before, during and after being reduced oxygen packaged. In addition, thawing of seafood may only be done after the seafood has been fully removed from the reduced oxygen packaging. Because of the special way that seafood must be handled in regards to reduced oxygen packaging, health inspectors prefer to have seafood included in a separate HACCP Plan from all other food items.

Q. Why am I not allowed to purchase a Cook-Chill or Sous-vide HACCP Plan which includes seafood?

A. Because seafood must be frozen before, during and after being reduced oxygen packaged, seafood may not be reduced oxygen packaged during or after the cooking process. There are no exceptions to these rules. HACCP XPRESS does not allow for any variation where seafood can be cooked before the sealing process (as in cook-chill) or while in packaging (as in Sous-vide cooking) because those HACCP Plans would be rejected.

Q. Why can’t I ship or deliver Cook-Chilled or Sous-vide cooked packaged food to customers?

A. The retail food code states that all Cook-Chilled or Sous-vide cooked food must be 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 to consumers. Therefore, retail business cannot ship or deliver Cook-Chilled or Sous-vide cooked food to customers in reduced oxygen packages. However, retail business with commisary kitchens may Cook-Chill or Sous-vide cook food and deliver the reduced oyxgen packaged food to other restaurant locations as long as they are owned by the same business entity.

Q. What reduced oxygen packaging equipment should I purchase for my plan?

A. HACCP Xpress can be used with any reduced oxygen packaging equipment, and we do not endorse any manufacturer’s product. However, we strongly recommend that retailers looking to using cooking as part of the reduced oxygen packaging process purchase reduced oxygen packaging equipment capable of sealing above 140ºF without splatter or bursting.

Q. Who should be on my HACCP Team?

A. For small kitchens or retail operations, you are welcome to include all kitchen employees in the plan. At a minimum, the head chef, the employee or employees responsible for reduced oxygen packaging of food and any sous-chef’s that will be handling or cooking reduced oxygen packaged foods should be included. 

Q. Will my HACCP Plan be approved on the first submission?

A. Based on our experience, very few HACCP Plans are approved on the first submission. Each HACCP Plan reviewer has there own preferences and most of the time, the HACCP Plan reviewer will request minor changes be made to the HACCP Plan. HACCP XPRESS customers get their HACCP Plans delivered as an editable Word document. Customers can simply edit the HACCP Plan based on the HACCP Plan reviewers feedback and re-submit themselves. Customers can also purchase Kellerman Consulting’s concierge support services which gives them unlimited access to Kellerman Consulting throughout the submission and review process until the HACCP Plans are approved.

Q. What is a variance, and how is it different than a HACCP Plan?

A. A variance usually means a request to perform actions outside of the food code, and includes scientific information included to prove that the food preparation is safe. In many states the use of a HACCP Plan requires a formal written request like filling out a variance request form

Q. Do I need a variance along with my HACCP Plan?

A. Variances are different in each state, with some states not requiring any variance requests, and other requiring each plan to be submitted with a variance.  Please contact your inspector or local health department to determine the process for submission.

Q. What other information should I include with my HACCP Plan when I submit?

A. Your HACCP plan has all of the required food safety information, but is missing a few key pieces of facility specific information. You will need to submit a site/kitchen map with the reduced oxygen packaging station clearly identified.

Q. How much does it cost if I have questions about the HACCP Plan I purchased and downloaded?

A. All HACCP XPRESS customers are entitled to a free, 15 minute consultation with Kellerman Consulting in order to go over any questions they have about the HACCP Plan and about the submission process. Customers can also purchase Kellerman Consulting’s concierge support services which gives them unlimited access to Kellerman Consulting throughout the submission process until the HACCP Plans are approved.

Q. How much does it cost If I would like to make changes to the HACCP Plan I purchased or downloaded?

A. The HACCP Plan is provided in Microsoft Word and fully editable. If you would like to have Kellerman Consulting customize the ….. If the plan you purchased does not contain the style of cooking, vacuum sealing or sous-vide cooking you would like to do, call ## to schedule customization of the plan.

Q. How often do I need to update my HACCP Plan after it is approved?

A. Your HACCP Plan needs to be reviewed every year, and updated if you make changes to the process, like when you add or remove items, when HACCP Team Members change or you add or change equipment. 

Q. Will this HACCP Plan work for a commissary kitchen transferring to multiple locations?

A. Our plans are not intended for commissary operations. Please call ## and we can customize a commissary plan for your business. 

Q. Why does my Sous-vide plan not include refrigeration of reduced oxygen packaged dishes?

A. We designed our HACCP Plans to be the simplest possible process for using reduced oxygen packaging In order to make the simplest plan for reduced oxygen packaging to provide greatest value to the largest number of customers. Kellerman Consulting is able to customize plans to include more complex activities like refrigerating for multiple prior to sous-vide cooking.    

Q. Why does my cook chill plan require me to put hot food into my reduced oxygen packaging equipment?

A. The Model Food Code (National guidelines) and each state require that cooked food be added to reduced oxygen packaging and sealed hot. A plan in which cooked foods are cooled prior to packaging will be rejected, and so we do not offer it.