Food grade logistics and warehouses are a major piece of the food distribution supply chain. Consumers expect fresh food on their plates all year round. With this type of high-quality demand, Food grade logistics require a unique set of standards to ensure health and safety for the end consumer of your product. In selecting a third-party warehousing supplier for your food products, it is important to be aware of these standards and what your 3pl is doing to meet and exceed them.
What is Food Grade Logistics?
The term “food grade” refers to any materials used in the storage process of foods. This includes supplies, as well as the cleanliness of the equipment used.
Any storage facilities that house food grade products must adhere to key requirements for Good Manufacturing Practices, or GMP, as well as Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HAACP). These practices are implemented to ensure a high level of quality assurance and to avoid any contamination or defects observed on any food grade products throughout any stage of manufacturing, production, or warehousing and transportation.
When you are looking for food grade storage, it is important to ensure that the company you choose answers ‘yes’ to the following 3 questions:
- Is the warehouse registered with the FDA?
- Can they manage product recall?
- Does the warehouse follow industry standards?
These are three important questions that should be answered before moving forward with your 3PL food grade warehouse.
McKenna’s 4 Principles for Food Grade Logistics
- Pest Control: Pest control substances are placed around the outside of the food grade storage perimeter to eliminate the presence of rodents, insects, ants, birds, and animals. Each quarter, detailed inspections check for any evidence of infestation and the results are recorded in a log book to track the number of times the traps and substances have been changed.
- Cleaning and Sanitation Schedule: Housekeeping and cleaning are scheduled and documented on a regular basis. Our food grade storage facility is clean and tidy at all times, from the furniture to the floor. We keep all cleaning records available and can give you access at any time.
- Personal Hygiene and Training Program: Employees working in a food grade storage facility must wash their hands with soap in specified hand sinks, which are equipped with hygienic drying devices. A record of employee training in quality awareness, personal hygiene, food safety, traceability, incident and crisis management is required and updated. Temporary staff must also be fully trained and updated with all food grade quality standards and best practices.
- Lot Traceability: The food grade logistics operation unit is responsible for tracing lot and date codes on products and for ensuring that they are rotated on a FIFO (first in, first out) basis. The warehouse unit must also be aware at all times of which materials are stored or have been delivered or dispatched.
Get a Tailored Food Grade Storage & Food Grade Logistics Solution
These food grade logistics processes allow for any defects to be reported so that action can be taken to prevent contaminated food products from reaching the consumer. Our goal is to always provide the end customer with the high-quality food they expect and with these processes in place, we do just that!
Contact us today for more information about our food grade logistics and other food grade storage solutions.