Advice: Guidelines for Vacuum Packing Cooked Meat

  1. When using a Lava Vacuum Packing machine to vacuum pack both cooked and uncooked meat, make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  2. Ensure that the machine is kept in a good working condition to create a proper seal when used.
    The packaging (bags, rolls and containers) used on the machine should be appropriate for its use and must be stored where it cannot be contaminated by raw meats.
  3. When cooking meat for vacuum packing, ensure that is it produced under hygiene conditions and that it is packed as soon as possible after cooling down.
  4. Limit shelf life to 10 days from the day of cooking. It will help when Lava Freezer Labels are used where ‘date of cooking’ and ’use by date‘ are indicated. On retail packs it may be necessary to add the recommended storage temperature.
  5. Extending the shelf life of cooked meat beyond 10 days increases the risk of growth of bacteria such as Clostridium Botulinum. This poses an unacceptable health risk.
  6. Vacuum packed goods must be stored at or below 8°C at all times during its shelf life. The best is to aim for a target temperature of less than 3°C. Temperatures above 8°C will encourage the growth of bacteria.
  7. Vacuum packed meat should always be protected against external contamination from raw meats and poultry and handled with the same care as open cooked meats.
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