Dairy Establishment Inspection Manual – Chapter 10 Prerequisite Programs
1.10.02 - Transportation & Storage Program (including receiving)
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Dairy establishments transport, receive, inspect and store ingredients/packaging materials and incoming materials in a manner which prevents conditions which may result in the contamination of food.
This documented program, as well as its effective implementation, will help control operational conditions within an establishment allowing for environmental conditions that are favourable to the production of safe food. It serves as a prerequisite program or universal-type CCP for a HACPP based program.
Dairy establishments and importers must have an adequate documented program in place which controls all the elements in this section, and maintain the appropriate records.
To ensure the production of safe food, it is necessary to know and control the type of incoming materials brought into the establishment. These materials include all raw products, ingredients, packaging materials, non-food chemicals and returned products. It is important that the carriers (vehicles) of these products be suitable and well maintained for the type of product they carry. The same requirements apply for carriers of finished product leaving the establishment. These requirements may be the direct or indirect responsibility of the processor; in either case the processor must outline a system to ensure the requirements are met.
Appropriate specifications for the incoming materials need to be defined to ensure that the materials supplied will minimize any biological, chemical, or physical hazards and be food grade. As these products are received into the establishment, they need to be screened for their acceptability according to the specifications. This may involve verifying if certification papers are present, performing product analysis through a regular monitoring program or a combination of these activities. Once these products are accepted into the establishment, they need to be stored and handled appropriately to minimize the contamination risk.
Adherence to the criteria is verified by examining the establishment's written program which specifies the requirements for food carriers; defines the specifications for all food grade ingredients, packaging materials and non-food chemicals; outlines the receiving requirements; and specifies storage and handling requirements for all incoming materials. The program must specify:
- areas to be inspected (what is done),
- tasks to be performed (how it is done),
- person responsible (who does it),
- inspection frequencies (how often or when it is done),
- records to be kept,
- parameters of acceptability/unacceptability (tolerances),
- results of monitoring,
- verification procedures (both on-site and record review),
- action to be taken for deviant situations.
The monitoring and verification procedures clearly define the preventative measures taken to prevent the re-occurrence of deviations. The person responsible for verifying the program must be different from the person performing the task. This program must be regularly reviewed and updated to assess its effectiveness under changing conditions.
The actual monitoring of the adequacy of this program will be done by monitoring and assessing tasks 1.10.02.02 to 1.10.02.08.
A) Carriers used by the establishment must be designed, constructed, maintained, cleaned and utilized in a manner to prevent food contamination. Carriers must be suitable for the transportation of food. This can be verified by visual inspection upon receipt by the manufacturer and prior to loading to ensure they are free from contamination and suitable for the transportation of food. Carriers permit effective separation of different foods or foods from non-food items where necessary during transport. Carriers provide effective protection from contamination, including dust and fumes. The manufacturer has a program in place or assurances to demonstrate the adequacy of cleaning and sanitizing. For example, the plant should have records that the carrier is properly cleaned and sanitized. Special attention should be given to carriers used to transport goat and sheep milk from the farm to the establishment to ensure that these meet the appropriate requirements.
In the event that the same carriers are used for a variety of different foods (e.g. egg albumen) or for raw and pasteurized dairy products, procedures must be in place to ensure that there is not a contamination risk to subsequent loads. For example, the manufacturer receives a cleaning certificate and a record of the previous material transported prior to loading or unloading dual use tankers. The manufacturer has a program in place to verify the adequacy of cleaning, e.g. tanker inspections, sensory evaluation of ingredients and/or analysis as appropriate.
The transportation of pasteurized dairy products in bulk multi-use containers without re-pasteurization is strongly discouraged as there is no guarantee that equipment is adequately cleaned. Re-useable plastic totes are not acceptable for the transporting of pasteurized product. For establishments who do not wish to re-pasteurize already pasteurized product, food carriers, tanks, transport lines and transfer pumps must be dedicated to pasteurized product only. This practice must be limited to certain products such as whey or condensed milk destined for drying, ice cream mix or cream cheese mix but would not be acceptable for fluid milk and cream. As well, documented protocol and written records for this practice are required to maintain the pasteurized product integrity. This practice will have to be assessed on a case by case basis.
Ingredients and finished product requiring temperature controls must be transported in a manner to prevent temperature abuse that could result in deterioration affecting product safety. Dairy products which require refrigeration are transported at a transport temperature of 4°C or less; refrigerated ingredients at a transport temperature of 4°C or less; frozen ingredients at a transport temperature that does not permit thawing. Transportation temperatures must be monitored and recorded to ensure proper temperatures for refrigerated and frozen ingredients. Finished product must be transported under conditions to prevent microbiological, physical and chemical deterioration.
To adequately assess this task, the written program must be examined to verify that the requirements for food carriers as outlined in the program are being followed, records are kept and acceptable deviation procedures occur when conditions are not met. It is important that dairy products are not transported in carriers that do not meet the requirements of the program, thereby posing a contamination risk to the product. This can be verified with visual and organoleptic inspections of the carriers by the inspector and visual observations of personnel responsible for loading and unloading carriers.
B) Carts used for transportation of ingredients and finished products within the processing operation as well as forklifts used in the warehouse are subject to abuse so careful attention is required to the maintenance of these pieces of equipment. Forklifts and carts tend to have painted surfaces so it is important that the exterior of these items be free of flaking material that may contaminate the products. Transportation equipment must be frequently washed; carts should have sanitary drain cocks to prevent accumulation of water in the carts.
It is imperative that waste and scrap carts be clearly labelled to avoid adulteration of ingredients or product. Also the type of forklift dictates the area where it may be used. Propane may contaminate some stored food so electric forklifts should be used in food processing areas.
1.10.02.03 Incoming Material (ingredients & packaging)
This task assesses all incoming material except raw milk or cream. Milk and cream are assessed under task 1.10.02.04 - Raw Product Quality and non-food materials are assessed under task 1.10.02.08 - Non-Food Chemicals.
The receipt, storage and handling of incoming ingredients (e.g. freeze dried cultures, flavours, fruits and powders, protein concentrates, etc.) and packaging materials (includes preformed containers such as ice cream barrels, milk jugs, etc.) must be well controlled to ensure they do not pose any biological, chemical or physical hazards to the dairy products. Only sound, suitable raw materials are used.
The manufacturer must ensure that all food additives used are permitted for use in the particular food and meet all the requirements of the Food & Drug Regulations (assessed under task 1.10.07.02 - Manufacturing/Allergen Controls).
Plants should procure all material according to specifications. Their compliance with these specifications is verified at a frequency determined by the establishment (assessed under task 1.10.07.03 - Microbiological controls and Records and 1.10.07.04 - Composition Control and Records). Establishments receiving dairy powders define specification requirements for incoming dairy powders and specify receipt of certification papers that product is either pasteurized, is alkaline phosphatase negative or is labelled for further processing. A program (which is assessed under task 1.10.02.01- General) must be in place to monitor the acceptability of incoming materials received in the plant; the degree of monitoring will depend on whether buying specifications are used and the supplier's record of performance. A control program is especially important in the case of glass containers which may contain fragments of glass or glass defects which are difficult to see.
Packaging design and materials provide adequate protection for products to minimize contamination and prevent damage. Packaging materials must be non-toxic and not pose a threat to the safety and suitability of food under specified conditions of storage and use. Packaging materials purchased are listed in the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products published by the CFIA or the manufacturer has a letter of no objection from Health Canada. The reference list can be consulted for further information.
Once the materials are received in the plant, they must be labelled and stored in a manner that protects their integrity and minimizes the risk of contamination. Ingredients requiring refrigeration must be stored at proper temperatures (4°C or less) and frozen ingredients must be stored at temperatures that do not permit thawing; storage room temperatures must be monitored. Humidity sensitive materials must be stored under proper conditions. Rotation of ingredients and packaging material where appropriate is controlled to prevent deterioration and spoilage.
1.10.02.04 Raw Product Acceptability
This task assesses the acceptance, receiving, sampling and monitoring of raw milk, cream and other dairy products treated as raw ingredients and applies to these products from all species (e.g. sheep, goat, etc.). Other incoming food ingredients are assessed under task - 1.10.02.03 Incoming Material.
There are many biological, chemical and physical hazards in raw milk products that must be identified and controlled to ensure production of safe dairy products.
Raw milk products must meet the quality standards established by the appropriate provincial or federal authority. Specifically, it is critical that raw products are only accepted if they meet specifications related to odour, acidity levels, temperature, antibiotics and filtering. If not, the raw product may not be further controlled in the manufacturing process and therefore may pose a contamination risk.
The receiving of raw milk/cream must be well controlled to minimize growth of microorganisms/toxins that could affect food safety. Raw milk/cream must be received at a maximum temperature of 6°C but preferably 4°C or lower. Plant specific limits need to be set for raw milk/cream receiving temperature that establish the maximum conditions that will be allowed before product is received. These limits should have a scientific basis and must be monitored by a designated, trained person at a set frequency and recorded and actioned appropriately.
If raw milk/cream is received at a temperature greater than 6°C the establishment must have deviation procedures in place to control the microbiological growth in the product. Deviation procedures might include cooling the product down to at least 6°C ; pasteurizing or processing the raw milk product within a specified time frame (e.g. 2 hours of receipt); odour evaluation; microbiological/toxin testing (e.g. S. aureus); notifying the provincial milk board or provincial government; rejecting the load.
If during an in-depth inspection the inspector noted that the establishment had on occasion received shipments of raw milk/cream with a temperature above 6°C and deviation procedures were implemented and effective, records indicated that each load had been monitored for compliance to specifications and the temperature history of raw milk/cream illustrated for the majority of the shipments that receiving temperatures did not exceed 6°C this criteria can be rated as satisfactory.
It must be a regular practice to make appearance and odour checks of each tanker load of bulk milk before unloading into storage tanks to allow segregation of milk with quality defects. This provides a check on the grading of the milk done at the farm before pumping into the bulk truck. It is important that such tests be performed and recorded before unloading each tanker of milk received.
Raw milk or cream samples should be obtained from each tanker for further testing. These samples must be stored in clean and sanitary containers placed on suitable racks and stored at the appropriate temperature prior to testing. Most provincial governments have regulations stating the length of time and temperature that milk and cream samples must be held prior to testing and under what conditions they must be held.
Raw milk or cream received at the plant must be subjected to grading and relevant laboratory tests, e.g. antibiotics, microbiological, sediment, titratable acidity, etc. The plant should have an effective follow-up program to exclude (or segregate) milk which is suspected to be contaminated until subsequent tests show correction of the problem.
It is a practice in some dairy establishments to rinse milk delivery trucks, milk silos and pipelines once emptied with water and reclaim this milk in their production. The purpose for doing this is to reduce the loss of milk due to adherence to the walls of the containers and ineffectual flow of pumps. The establishment must have a documented protocol and written records for this practice in order to maintain the product integrity. The protocol should include procedures to ensure the safety and compositional standards of the product. Some items to be considered in the procedures would be the sanitary quality of hoses, proper sanitation procedures, possible risk of chemical contamination, water potability, storage and end use of this product.
1.10.02.05 Raw Product/Mix Storage/Aging/Cooling/Returns and Rework
A) The storage time and temperature of raw milk/cream must be well controlled to minimize growth of microorganisms. Microbial growth could produce heat stable toxins and potentially pose a hazard that would not be controlled by the pasteurization step. Raw milk/cream must be stored at a maximum temperature of 6°C but preferably 4°C or lower. Manufacturers must have time controls in place to minimize excessive microbial growth (e.g. an established maximum storage time prior to processing which was determined to be safe). If raw milk/cream is stored at a temperature greater than 6°C and/or for a prolonged length of time, the establishment must have deviation procedures in place to control the microbiological growth in the product. Deviation procedures might include cooling the product down to at least 6°C ; pasteurizing or processing the raw milk product within a specified time frame; odour evaluation; microbiological/toxin testing (e.g. S. aureus). Plant specific limits need to be set for raw product storage time and temperature that establish the maximum conditions that will be allowed before product is held before further processing. These limits must be monitored by a designated, trained person at a set frequency and recorded and actioned appropriately.
Thermisation is the practice of heating up the raw milk for a specified time/temperature, e.g. 57- 65°C for 15 seconds, followed by refrigeration and storing it for an extended period of time prior to pasteurization. It is a mild form of heat treatment which can be used to extend the keeping quality of raw milk. The aim is to reduce the growth of psychrotrophic bacteria which may release heat-resistant protease and lipase enzymes into the milk. The milk that is treated this way is still considered to be raw but can be held for a longer period of time before pasteurization. A documented protocol and written records for this practice are required to maintain the raw product integrity. This practice will have to be assessed on a case by case basis.
B) The storage time and temperature of product requiring further processing (e.g. dairy product mix held at or below 4°C ) must be well controlled to minimize growth of microorganisms. This is pasteurized product which could be re-contaminated due to improper handling or poor sanitation of storage tanks and as such requires to be kept at refrigeration temperatures.
C) Certain dairy products require to be kept at temperatures that exceed 4°C as part of their manufacturing process. These processes can include but are not limited to tempering, drying, curing and aging of dairy products. However, when these manufacturing processes are completed, these dairy products must be kept at 4°C or less. If a plant is tempering product from a frozen state the preferred option would be a tempering room, however this is not always possible. An establishment that tempers product from a frozen state requires a written protocol of how the product will be handled so as to minimize the growth of microorganisms, including routine documented temperature/time checks and microbiological testing. This practice will have to be assessed on a case by case basis.
D) All pasteurized milk and milk products, except those to be cultured, must be cooled immediately prior to filling or packaging to 4°C or less, unless drying is commenced immediately after condensing.
E) Dairy products that are returned to the establishment may be a source of contamination to the plant environment, equipment and other dairy products. Contamination can be prevented by proper control of such products as they arrive at the plant from external sources, e.g. retail outlets.
To properly control the handling of returns, employees must adhere to the policy regarding returns that has been established by the management. A policy to not accept any returns is the best. A plant that has an evident no return policy that can be substantiated is evaluated as satisfactory.
The policy must define what products are acceptable. It is recommended that only products which the establishment has retained ownership (e.g. undelivered product that has remained on the truck) be accepted as returns. If product that has not remained as property of the establishment (i.e. store returns) is accepted at the plant, it must be segregated from other plant operations. Fluid milk returns may be collected in a separate well identified tank; other by-products must be separately stored and identified while awaiting disposal and/or re-work if applicable. The handling of returned product must not compromise the safety of fresh product in any way.
The situation of excessive amounts of product being habitually returned to the establishment needs to be addressed by the management.
It is recommended that only the cheese for which the establishment has retained ownership should be accepted for shredding or grating. Cheese returns that are going to be used for shredding or grating must be well controlled and the integrity of the product must be demonstrated.
F) The manufacturer has controls in place to ensure that reruns or reworks do not contain ingredients that may be allergenic to sensitive individuals unless clearly identified on the label of the finished product. Reruns (for example: ice cream, chocolate milk) must be stored in covered and clearly labelled containers.
1.10.02.06 Finished Product Storage
Finished product must be stored and handled under conditions to prevent deterioration (e.g. spoilage) and damage (e.g. control of stacking heights and forklift damage).
Finished products requiring refrigeration must be stored at proper temperatures (4°C or less) and frozen products must be stored at temperatures that do not permit thawing. As is always the case, if provincial requirements are more stringent, then those must be met. Storage room temperatures must be monitored. Humidity sensitive materials must be stored under proper conditions. Stock rotation must be controlled to prevent deterioration that could present a health hazard. Particular attention should be paid to periods of defrosting of refrigeration units, temperature abuse and overloading of the cold storage capacity.
If an establishment does not have the capacity to cool the finished product to 4°C or less on-site at the establishment, it is acceptable (provided this practice does not contravene Provincial regulatory requirements) to ship the product to a public refrigerated warehouse in order to get the temperature down to an acceptable level. There must be written procedures in place and records kept to show the establishment has full control over the product. The tracking documents must include temperature/time during transportation on refrigerated trucks, temperature/time records at the public warehouse, and final control of product release to distribution. These records must be available to the inspector for review.
Products that can be stored at ambient temperatures are protected against external agents and contamination, e.g. direct sun, excessive heating, moisture, external contaminants, from rapid temperature changes which could adversely affect the integrity of the product container or the safety or suitability of the product.
In order to maintain the integrity of the product from pests, moisture, excess weight, etc. The stacking of dairy products is important. Containers must be well identified and stored in a manner to prevent them from falling over. Adequate cleaning and effective pest control can be achieved in storage areas by storing items a suitable distance from the walls and off the floor. Products stored longer than one month must be on pallets approximately 46cm (18in.) from the wall.
Equipment and other food products which are stored in a finished product storage room must pose no contamination risk to the dairy products or ingredients.
The storage of eggs in finished product storage rooms is not to be encouraged. Fish or other products that may transmit odours or undesirable attributes must not be present. Other acceptable products must be stacked on pallets or shelves in a neat and orderly manner.
Wooden pallets and wood 640's (with appropriate liners and pallets) used throughout the plant must be maintained in a manner that prevents them from becoming a source of contamination. Potential risks include: fragments of wood and insects, rodents and other contaminants that may be carried into the plant on the pallets. Improperly reconditioned or reused 640's without washing could promote a cheese mite problem. Wood 640's not well maintained may have splintered wood, mouldy wood, imperfections and splints. Steel frames may exhibit rust. An intensive maintenance program for 640's will assure the containers are in good condition at all times. An effective written program is required for the inspection, cleaning, replacement, storage and handling of these materials. Records must be kept. Employees who are responsible for inspecting and making decisions on the acceptance and rejection of the 640's need to be properly trained. Ideally, in processing and packaging rooms, non-wooden type pallets (e.g. Teflon, plastic, etc.) should be used.
Wood used for cheese shelves to cure bacterial surface ripened cheeses must be smooth and either unsealed or sealed with an approved sealant. The supports for the shelves must be stainless steel or a non-corrosive non-absorbent material. The establishment must have a written program in place to clean and maintain the shelves which needs to specify the frequency and methods of washing, checking for physical condition (splinters, cracks, mite infestation) and if required environmental sample monitoring of the product contact surfaces and the room environment. Records must be kept. See Policy for the Use of Wood in Dairy Establishments (Appendix 19 - 11).
1.10.02.07 Temperature and Humidity Control
Proper control of temperature and humidity is essential in various areas of the establishment. In storage areas the temperature is dependent on the product that is held there. In refrigerated storage areas it is necessary to maintain humidity conditions that prevent the formation of condensation and subsequent mould growth. In cheese salting and curing rooms the temperature and humidity conditions are also dependent on the type of cheese being manufactured. Control of the conditions in the salting and curing stages of the manufacturing process will ensure even distribution of salt, and optimal microbial and enzymatic activity in the ripening process. This task will be assessed twice for an establishment that manufactures cheese (once for the establishment and once for the salting and curing room).
Appropriate thermometers, hygrometers or automatic devices that do not pose a contamination risk (non-breakable thermometers) must be used. Replacement measuring devices should be available. Records that document temperature and humidity conditions are required to indicate that the product has been appropriately held. These may be manual records or automated charts.
The sanitary condition of the components of the refrigeration unit is important because improper maintenance may result in the formation of condensate and mould growth which may become a source of contamination. Pathogens have been found in drainage and condensate from cooling units; therefore, it is critical that condensate be well controlled.
1.10.02.08 Non-Food Chemicals
Chemicals purchased are listed in the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products published by CFIA or the manufacturer has a letter of no objection from Health Canada. The plant must have a documented list of all non-food chemicals that are used to enable verification of the products' acceptability for use in dairy plants.
Chemicals must be received and stored in such a manner that prevents contamination of food, food contact surfaces or packaging materials.
The storage of non-food chemicals in food plants takes place in two areas:
- Long term storage of unopened containers in a warehouse; and
- Short term storage of opened containers in areas separated but in close proximity to the food processing area.
This task will assess both types of storage.
Because the packaging of many cleaners and sanitizers resembles that of food products or ingredients, there is a possibility that such compounds could adulterate a food product through careless handling. These products must be stored away from any food ingredients or products. A special room or caged in area that is dry and well ventilated is preferred. The use of a colour coding system will enable identification of non-food chemicals. Chemicals must be dispensed and handled only by authorized and properly trained personnel. Chemicals are to be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
|1.10.02.01 General (HS=3)||(A) Documented Program
A representative sampling of the plant's historical records must be assessed.
|1.10.02.02 Transportation (HS=3)||(A) External Food Carriers
(B) Temperature Control
(C) Internal Transportation Equipment
|1.10.02.03 Incoming Material (ingredients & packaging) (HS=2)||(A) Receiving of Materials
(B) Storage and Handling
|1.10.02.04 Raw Product Acceptability (HS=2)||(A) Raw Product Acceptance
(B) Raw Product Receiving
(C) Raw Product Sampling and Handling
(D) Raw Product Monitoring
|1.10.02.05 Raw Product/Mix Storage/Aging/Cooling/Returns and Rework (HS=2)||(A) Raw Milk/Cream/Storage
(B) Frozen Dairy Product Mix Storage
(C) Product Aging
(D) Product Cooling
(E) Handling of Returns
(F) Reruns or Reworks
|1.10.02.06 Finished Product Storage (HS=3)||(A) Operation
(B) Stacking of Containers
(C) Storage of Other Products
(D) Shelves, 640's, Pallets and Racks
(E) Wood Shelves for Cheese Curing (Bacterial Surface Ripened Cheeses)
|1.10.02.07 Temperature and Humidity Control (HS=3)||(A) Measuring Devices
(B) Refrigeration Unit
(C) Records (included as part of the storage records)
|1.10.02.08 Non Food Chemicals (HS=4)||(A) Receiving & Storage
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