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HACCP Plans and Variances

Many specialized food processing methods require a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan and/or variance to be submitted and approved by the Department prior to implementation. Specifically:

  • Custom processing meat that is for personal use and not for sale or service in a retail food establishment.
  • Operating a molluscan shellfish life-support system display tank used to store or display shellfish that are offered for human consumption.
  • Processing and packaging juice.
  • Processing foods using reduced-oxygen packaging (ROP) methods, such as sous vide, cook-chill, or vacuum packaging.
  • Serving unpasteurized, packaged juice to Highly Susceptible Populations.
  • Smoking, curing, fermenting, or adding food additives (such as vinegar) as a method of food preservation or to render food so that it is not a time/temperature control for safety (TCS) food.
  • Sprouting seeds or beans.
  • Preparing food by another method that the Department determines to require a variance.

Special processes often require the person in charge and food employees to use specialized equipment and demonstrate specific competencies. Establishments may apply for a variance or exemption to use food safety performance standards for a product or a process instead of complying with the specifications written in the food safety regulations. However, to show compliance with the performance standard, the establishment shall demonstrate that processing controls are in place to ensure that the standard is being met and that the associated hazard, risk, or nuisance has been abated or controlled.

Establishments seeking approval for a HACCP plan or variance shall submit the HACCP Review/ Variance Application, HACCP plan, and supporting documentation for each specialized process consistent with the criteria provided in §8-103.11 and §8-201.14 of The Rules of Alabama State Board of Health Bureau of Environmental Services for Food Establishment Sanitation. Furthermore, once approved, the establishment must comply with the plans and procedures as stated in §8-103.12. A variance is required for each separate physical location and process.

Please click on the links below for the application and additional information:
Central Health Center
(Guy M. Tate)

1400 Sixth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 588-5234

(205) 933-9110
Eastern Health Center
601 West Blvd Roebuck
Birmingham, AL 35206
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Western Health Center
631 Bessemer Super Hwy
Midfield, AL 35228
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Hours of Operation:
All Centers are open 7:45am to 4:30pm. Phone lines for clinic appointments open at 7:00am Monday through Friday.

If this is a Medical Emergency call 911.
If you are a patient and need to reach your health care team after business hours for non-life threatening conditions, call (205) 588-5234. For Medical Emergencies dial 911.

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(205) 930-1585
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