Good Importing Practices for Food
6.0 Transportation and Storage
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6.1.1 Food Carriers
Carriers used by the importer are designed, constructed, maintained, cleaned and utilized in a manner to prevent food contamination.
- The importer verifies that carriers are free of contamination and suitable for the transportation of food. For example:
- carriers are inspected by the importer prior to loading and upon receipt of products to ensure they are free from contamination and suitable for the transportation of food;
- the importer can demonstrate that the carrier has an adequate cleaning and sanitizing program (e.g., for bulk carriers, a written cleaning and sanitizing procedure is available).
- Where the same carriers are used for food and non-food loads (e.g., dual use), procedures are in place to restrict the type of non-food loads to those that do not pose a risk to food loads in the same shipment, or in subsequent shipments (after an acceptable clean out). For example:
- the importer receives a cleaning certificate and a record of the previous material transported prior to loading or unloading dual use tankers;
- the importer has a program in place to verify the adequacy of cleaning (e.g., tanker inspections, sensory evaluation of ingredients and/or analysis as appropriate).
- Carriers are loaded, arranged and unloaded in manner that prevents damage and contamination of the food.
- Bulk tanks are designed and constructed to permit complete drainage and to prevent contamination.
- Where appropriate, materials used in carrier construction are suitable for food contact.
6.1.2 Temperature Controls
Products requiring temperature controls are transported in a manner to prevent temperature abuse that could result in deterioration of the product and affect its safety.
- Products requiring refrigeration are transported at 4°C (39°F) or less and are appropriately monitored. Frozen products are transported at temperatures that do not permit thawing.
- Products are transported under conditions to minimize microbiological, physical and chemical deterioration (e.g., thermophilic spoilage, rusting or corrosion of the container in the case of low acid canned foods).
6.2.1 Food Product Storage
Storage and handling of food products are controlled to prevent damage, deterioration and contamination.
- Products requiring refrigeration are stored at 4°C (39°F) or less and are appropriately monitored. Frozen products are stored at temperatures that do not permit thawing and are appropriately monitored.
- Products are handled and stored in a manner to prevent damage and/or contamination (e.g., thermophilic spoilage, rusting or corrosion of containers, protection of susceptible products from the effects of light, control of stacking heights and forklift damage).
- Stock rotation is controlled to minimize deterioration and prevent spoilage that could present a health hazard (e.g., rusting of containers, container corrosion resulting in leakage, products exceeding shelf life).
- Humidity sensitive products are stored under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration.
- Defective or suspect products that have been returned are clearly identified and isolated in a designated area for appropriate disposition/sorting.
6.2.2 Non-Food Chemicals - Receiving and Storage
Non-food chemicals are received and stored in a manner that will prevent contamination of food, packaging materials and food contact surfaces.
- Non-food chemicals are received and stored in a dry, well-ventilated area.
- Non-food chemicals are stored in designated areas such that there is no possibility for cross-contamination of food or food contact surfaces.
- Where required for ongoing use in food handling areas, these chemicals are stored in a manner that prevents contamination of food, food contact surfaces or packaging materials.
- Non-food chemicals are stored and mixed in clean, correctly labelled containers.
- Non-food chemicals are dispensed and handled only by authorized and properly trained personnel.
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