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Extension > Food > Food Safety > For Foodservice Industry > Regulations, Policies, and Procedures > Preserving Fresh Foods for Sale or Service

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Regulations, Policies, and Procedures

Preserving Fresh Foods for Sale or Service

Joint publication of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Department of Health, and University of Minnesota Extension


Does your menu include fresh food items that are dried, frozen, or vacuum packed in your facility or do you sell these items in your business? Are you planning to expand your menu or business to include fresh food items preserved by you? If so, there are a number of food safety and regulatory requirements to consider.

Many of these requirements are the same whether the fresh foods come from your regular sources, or from new sources of locally produced food. If you would like to sell your dried or frozen produce or vacuum-packed meals as retail items as well as serving them, other regulations may apply.

This fact sheet provides a brief discussion of these food safety and regulatory issues, and links to websites for more information.

Regulation and Licensure

Before changing your menu or expanding your business by using new foods or methods, you should always check with the state or local regulatory authority that licenses and inspects your facility. They can help you to determine whether there are training, licensing, or permit requirements that you must follow before expanding your business or menu.

Find state and local licensing contacts through the MDH (PDF).

Product, Facility, and Equipment

Based on the product(s) and the recipes you provide for those products, your licensing authority can also help you to determine whether you have the space for storage and production of those food items, and if you need additional commercial equipment for processing or storage.

Approved Source

The Minnesota Food Code requires that all food sold or served to the public must be obtained from an approved source. The Food Code also contains specific regulations for approved source purchasing of various foods by a licensed food business. (MN Food Code: Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4626)


Our freezing section offers directions for safe freezing of fresh fruits and vegetables, including this basic information:


See our drying section for the many kinds of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs can be dried. Basic guidelines include:

Note: Check recipe with your licensing authority to determine whether any dried food (e.g., meat or fish) requires refrigeration during processing, storage, or display.

Reduced-Oxygen Packing

There are several methods of reduced-oxygen packaging (ROP), including vacuum packaging, modified atmosphere packaging, controlled atmosphere packaging, cook-chill, and sous-vide packaging.

The Minnesota Food Code states that a food establishment that packages potentially hazardous food using ROP must have a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture offers online training for vacuum packaging.

Basic Food Safety Requirements

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Reviewed 2012

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