Food may be stored either in dry form, refrigerated form, or frozen form. In dry form, the hazards may include insects, rodents, birds, dirt, chemicals, poor ventilation, flooding, improper rotation of food, etc. In refrigerated form, the hazards may include inadequate cooling, poor circulation of air, timeliness in cooling, oversized containers, contaminated food contact surfaces, improper storage of food, and improper rotation of food. In frozen form, the hazards may include inadequate and slow cooling, poor air circulation, contaminated food contact surfaces, defrosting and then re-freezing of food, and improper rotation of food. An additional major concern is the outbreak of a fire that can contaminate the food in all three types of storage with water, smoke, and heat.

Best Practices in Storage of Food

  • • Develop and utilize a program of food rotation so that the first in to storage is the first out to be used.
  • • Keep storerooms used for dry storage well ventilated, well lit, at temperatures between 50°F and 70°F in low humidity away from direct sunlight, and thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
  • • Store all foods on pallets off floors and away from walls.
  • • Use continuous inspection procedures to determine the presence of insects and/or rodents and eliminate them as soon as they are discovered.
  • • Store all chemicals separate from foodstuffs in a different area.
  • • Observe and note the temperatures for all refrigerated and frozen items and observe proper time sequences as determined by the latest rules and regulations of the US FDA as well as those published by local and state authorities.
  • • Use by designated use date as listed in the endnote 39 or by tables published by the proper authorities.
  • • Cool down and heat up products based on the time sequences allowed by the proper authorities. (See endnotes 39, 40.)
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