Vacuum Sealing aka Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP)

Updated: May 31

Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) is when you remove or reduce the amount of oxygen in a package.

This is what a commercial vacuum sealer looks like.

The most frequent uses for this process in food service is -

1. Straight up Vacuum packing - to increase shelf life or reduce freezer burn. 

2. Sous Vide - a cooking process in which food put into a  special plastic pouch (vacuum sealed) and cooked for an extended period of time at a low temperature in a circulating warm water bath.

3. ‘Cook/chill’ – (large scale facility) hot food, like chili or soup, is poured into special bags, which have the air expelled and are sealed closed. The bagged food is rapidly chilled and refrigerated.

What’s the big deal?


This is properly labeled vacuum sealed products with the date and time stamp.

1. Clostridium botulinum -This organism thrives in places where there is no or very little oxygen. Clostridium botulinum causes serious and life-threatening illness in humans and animals.

2. Listeria monocytogenes- The extended shelf life that ROP packaging offers could allow this slow growing organism to reach dangerously high numbers, even under refrigeration.

If you want to vacuum pack, you must apply for a variance and submit a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan to our office.


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