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NC State Extension

Retail HACCP and Variances

Local Environmental Health Specialists need knowledge of specialized processes at the retail level, in addition to general knowledge about HACCP plans, to be effective food safety regulators. These specialized processes, which include fermentation, dehydration, acidification, reduced oxygen packaging, cook-chill, sous vide and more are growing in popularity at the retail level. Reasons for this include the growth of the farm to fork and local foods movement, an increase in the cost of food, more advanced educational techniques among culinary professionals, the global scope of our retail food industry and desire for specific ethnic products and specific flavor and texture preferences. Many courses have been designed and delivered to provide a microbiological background on the hazards associated with these processes, as well as the principles of HACCP as it relates to the retail food industry.

This Validation and Verification of Retail HACCP course was originally designed, using hands-on and interactive methods, to build on these foundational principles and to provide training in applying these principles. The overall goal of this course is to provide local Environmental Health Specialists the tools and knowledge to identify these special processes, review submitted documentation for a HACCP plan, and gain a working knowledge of these processes to better help operators of retail food establishments.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be moving to an online delivery format to allow for training to occur with current physical distancing requirements as well as budget and travel restraints.

For more information on this program see the information below and contact Natalie Seymour, Program Coordinator, at

Course Information

Many thanks to the Association of Food and Drug Officials and the Association of Food and Drug Officials of the Southern States for sponsoring the development of this course for virtual delivery.

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