To ensure and to protect food products from potential contamination and damage and to prevent the growth of pathogens, food transportation and storage should be considered as per the standards requirements
FOOD TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE
- Food transportation, storage and distribution units should be designed, constructed, maintained and used in a manner that permits effective segregation of different foods and protects food products from being contaminated.
- Where both food and non-food products are transported, stored and distributed together, procedures should be in place to ensure that food products are not exposed to potential contamination from non-food products.
- Food transportation equipment that is intended to be in direct contact with food products shall be constructed with non-toxic materials, which are easy to maintain and clean. Examples include stainless steel and food-grade plastic containers.
- When necessary, cleaning and disinfection should be done between loading food stuff.
- Food must be transported in vehicles approved by the Food Control Department.
- Food transportation and storage units/equipment must be of suitable capacity and should be maintained at temperatures that are consistent with requirements of this Code.
- Equipment units must have accurate and reliable monitoring devices. All such devices should be calibrated at a pre-determined interval.
- In transportation, storage and distribution units, foods should be stored off the floor and away from walls.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL DURING STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION:
- All high risk and perishable foods requiring temperature-controlled environments to extend their shelf life or limit microbial growth shall be transported, stored or distributed in equipment that consistently maintains those temperature controls.
- At or below 5ºC if cold or at or above 60ºC if hot
- Frozen at -18ºC if they are intended to be stored frozen
2. Areas used for the storage of dry food commodities need to be cool, well ventilated with a relative humidity of 60-65%, to ensure that product quality and safety is not compromised. Temperature of storage should meet the requirements of the manufacturer when specified on the product label
HANDLING AND TRANSFER OF FOODS
- Food establishment should take necessary steps to inspect foods at the time of receiving to detect and avoid foods that are unacceptable.
- Receipt of high-risk foods should be monitored to ensure that proper temperatures are maintained during their transportation, storage and distribution. Products and records should be checked at the time of receiving and nonconforming products should not be accepted.
- Food should not be handled or transferred in any way that may cause damage, contamination or adulteration of the food. Food handlers responsible for loading foods into vehicles and filling display chillers and freezers should be familiar with capacity levels and restrictions to loading such units, volume limits, air flow, temperature range variances, etc., in order to maintain the minimum/ maximum temperature needs of the products being placed therein.
- While transferring chilled foods, foods should be quickly moved into temperature-controlled storage, to minimize the time in which they are in the danger zone, between 5ºC and 60ºC. A deviation of not more than 5ºC is allowed for not more than 20 minutes during the transfer of chilled foods.
- While receiving and transferring raw frozen foods, the temperature of the food shall not exceed -10ºC.
- Contaminated or adulterated foods and foods that have been subject to temperature abuse shall be discarded or disposed off.
- Damaged food container systems must be thoroughly examined and if the food is contaminated or adulterated, it shall be discarded or effectively segregated until returned to the supplier or otherwise disposed of.
- Rotation of food stocks in storage areas should occur frequently to ensure that the “first-in-first-out” rule is followed. Food products removed from storage should always be the oldest food stocks present
- Food should be stored in suitable and safe containers and stored covered. If packaged, suitability of packaging should be ensured.