FSSAI has laid down certain guidelines for FBOs, if they have Storage and Warehouse facilities; they must be maintained as per the requirements of food safety. Food and food products stored in these facilities must be safe from contaminants as well as poor weather conditions which could lead to spoilage and waste. Stored food and food products need to be protected from pests and from polluted environment. Storage and warehouse facilities must be constructed, lighted, electrified according to regulations and must have a system in place to prevent fire.
FSMS Program outlines three important parts – Process Flowchart, FSMS Plan and Self Inspection Checklist as the parameters for conduction a food safety assessment.
The following checklist will enable the food business operators who store food & food products to ensure that the stored products are safe and fit for human consumption.
Location and Layout of the establishment
- Locate away from any kind of environment pollution and industrial activities that produce disagreeable or obnoxious odour, fumes, dust, smoke, chemical emissions and pollutants
- Do not locate in an area which is prone to pest infestation or from where waste cannot be removed effectively
- Locate away from direct access to any residential area
- Provide adequate lighting and ventilation in the premises and whitewash or paint walls properly
- Screen all doors and windows including any outside openings with wire mesh or insect proof screen to prevent insect entry and fit doors with automatic closing springs. The mesh and screens must be easy to clean
- Have adequate and proper drainage on floors which are easy to clean and disinfect
- Store waste storage in a manner that it does not contaminate either the storage area or the environment both inside and outside the establishment. Keep waste in covered containers and ensure it is removed regularly
Equipment and Fixtures
There must be appropriate facilities for the cleaning and disinfecting equipment and instruments and adopt a clean-in-place (CIP) system wherever necessary.
- Make appropriate arrangement for storage of food and food ingredients and adequately segregated and labeled
- Have systems to adequately maintain time- temperature control at the time of storage
- Use only those containers for storage that are made of non toxic material
- Provide cold storage facility wherever necessary
- Do not employ workers who are suffering from any infection or contagious disease
- Make arrangements to get the staff medically examined once in six months to ensure that they are free from infectious, contagious and other diseases
- Supervise workers so that they do not smoke spit, chew, sneeze or cough, scratch nose etc within the premises
- Store food materials in pest-proof containers, which are stacked above the ground and away from walls
- Have adequate control measures in place to prevent insect and rodents from the processing area
- Carry out treatment with permissible chemical, physical or biological agents within the permissible limits
- Identify and provide all critical links in the supply chain to minimize food spoilage during transportation
- Protect packaged food as per the required storage conditions during transportation and/or service
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Draw up, observe and keep a record of the cleaning and sanitation programme
- Ensure that cleaning chemicals are handled and used carefully in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer and are stored separately away from food materials, in clearly identified containers, to avoid any risk of contamination
- Wherever necessary make arrangements for monitoring temperature and relative humidity of the storage place
- Follow FIFO (First-in First-out), FEFO (First Expire First Out) stock rotation system for storage of packaged food products whenever applicable
- Ensure food materials are stored on racks/ pallets that are reasonably well above the floor level and which are away from the wall so as to facilitate effective cleaning and which prevent harboring of any pests, insects or rodents
Audit/Documentation and Records
- Carry out a periodic audit of the whole system according to the Standard Operating Procedure which is conducted according to Good Manufacturing Practices/Good Hygienic Practices (GMP/ GHP)
- Keep all appropriate records of storage, distribution, cleaning and sanitation, pest control and product recall. Retain them for a period of one year or the shelf-life of the product, whichever is more
Product information and consumer awareness
All packaged food products must carry a label and requisite information as per provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Regulations so as to ensure that adequate and accessible information is available to each person in the food chain to enable them to handle, store, process, prepare and display the food products safely and correctly and that the lot or batch can be easily traced and recalled if necessary.
Ensure that workers, managers/supervisors should undergo appropriate food handling, storage and food hygiene training.
A Multipinary Thanks for this knowledgeable post.
Jake Plunkett says
Warehouse is an important link of supply chain and accidents in the warehouse threatens productivity of the supply chain. So, suitable initiatives needs to be taken to prevent any kind of accidents. The condition of different types of installations and machinery needs to be inspected at a regular interval to identify abnormal or weaker components and replace such components with suitable substitutes to prevent any kind of accident and subsequent product loss.