Food Safety Practices Guidance For Spice Manufacturers
Chapter 6: Transportation and Storage
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Note: If control of incoming materials (Receiving) is included in this chapter, all of the anticipated outcomes for Sections 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 should be achieved.
6.1.1 Food Carriers
Carriers used by the manufacturer are designed, constructed, maintained, cleaned and utilized in a manner that prevents food contamination.
- Carriers, including bulk tanks, are clean, dry, weatherproof, free of infestation and sealed to prevent water, rodents or insects from reaching the products. The manufacturer can demonstrate that the carrier has an adequate cleaning and sanitizing program in place. The manufacturers obtain specifications for the handling of raw materials during transportation (domestic and import).
- Conveyances and containers are inspected by the manufacturer upon receipt of incoming ingredients and prior to loading of final products to ensure they are free from contamination (e.g. pests, residues) and suitable for the transportation of food. Proper environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity are controlled, monitored, and documented to assure raw material and finished product safety and wholesomeness.
- Where the same carriers are used for food and non-food loads procedures are in place to restrict non-food loads to those that do not pose a risk to food loads in the same shipment, or to subsequent food loads after an acceptable clean-out.
- Spice products are loaded, transported and unloaded in a manner that protects them from any damage, contamination or water.
6.1.2 Temperature Controls
Ingredients and finished products are transported in a manner designed to prevent temperature abuse that could result in deterioration of the product and affect its safety.
Spices transported at low temperatures are brought to ambient temperature slowly so that condensation does not accumulate on their surface (which could increase the surface moisture level and encourage microbial growth).
6.2.1 Incoming Materials Storage
Storage and handling of incoming ingredients and packaging materials is controlled to prevent damage and contamination.
- Humidity sensitive ingredients are stored under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration. Spices are stored at a moisture level low enough so that the product can be held under normal storage conditions without development of mould.
- Incoming materials and packaging materials are handled and stored in a manner that prevents damage and/or contamination (including cross-contamination with allergens). For example, the storage area for spices is clean, dry, protected against pests and separate from the rest of the facility. It is not used to store equipment, chemicals or personal items. Spices are stored off the floor, away from walls and in proper storage conditions to prevent mould and bacterial growth and facilitate pest control inspection. Open bags are stored in closed containers or otherwise protected from contamination.
- Stock rotation (of ingredients and where appropriate, packaging materials) is controlled to prevent deterioration and spoilage (i.e. first-in, first-out).
6.2.2 Non-Food Chemicals Receiving and Storage
Non-food chemicals are received and stored in a manner that prevents 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 ensuring that there is no possibility for cross-contamination of food or food contact surfaces.
- Where required for ongoing use in food handling areas (e.g. conveyor lubricants), these chemicals are stored separate from food and located in a manner that prevents contamination of food, food contact surfaces and 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.
6.2.3 Finished Product Storage
Spices are stored under conditions that minimize microbial growth (e.g. mould) and they are handled in a way that prevents damage and contamination.
- Spices are stored and handled under conditions that minimize damage, deterioration and prevent contamination including cross-contamination with raw materials and/or allergens.
- Stock rotation is controlled to prevent deterioration and spoilage (e.g. first-in, first-out).
- Returned defective or suspect product is clearly identified and isolated in a designated area for appropriate disposition.
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