Food Safety Practices Guidance for Sprout Manufacturers
Chapter 6: Transportation and Storage

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Note: If control of incoming materials (Receiving) is included in this chapter (e.g. part of the prerequisite program) the chapter should be re-named Transportation, Receiving and Storage and all of the anticipated outcomes for Sections 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 should be achieved.

6.1 Transportation

6.1.1 Food Carriers

Carriers used by the manufacturer are designed, constructed, maintained, cleaned and utilized in a manner that prevents food contamination and minimizes microbial growth.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • The manufacturer verifies that carriers are suitable for the transportation of food. For example:
    • carriers are inspected by the manufacturer prior to loading and upon receipt of products to ensure they are free from contamination and suitable for the transportation of food;
    • the manufacturer can demonstrate that the carrier has an adequate cleaning and sanitizing program in place.
  • Sprouts are transported in a manner designed to protect against biological (microbial), chemical and physical contamination from untreated seeds, other raw foods (e.g. raw meat), dust and fumes, etc.
  • 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 being carried in the same shipment, or to subsequent food loads after an acceptable clean-out.
  • Carriers are loaded, arranged and unloaded in manner that prevents damage and/or contamination of the food.

6.1.2 Temperature Controls

Sprouts are transported in a manner designed to prevent temperature abuse that could result in deterioration of the product and affect its safety.

Anticipated Outcomes

Sprouts are maintained at 4°C or less during transport to minimize microbial growth. The temperature is monitored and recorded for each shipment.

Note: For certain types of sprouts, excessively low temperatures could result in chilling injury or necrosis leading to faster deterioration of the final product.

6.2 Storage

6.2.1 Incoming Materials Storage

Storage and handling of incoming ingredients and packaging materials is controlled to prevent damage and contamination.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Incoming materials, seeds 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 seeds 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. Seeds are stored off the floor, away from walls and in proper storage conditions to prevent mould and bacterial growth and facilitate pest control inspection.
  • Seed rotation is controlled to prevent deterioration and spoilage.
  • Seeds are not stored near packaging material or finished product.
  • Open bags are stored in closed containers or otherwise protected from contamination.

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.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • 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, these chemicals are stored 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

Sprouts are stored under conditions that minimize microbial growth, and they are handled to prevent damage and contamination.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Sprouts are stored at 4°C or less to minimize microbial growth. A thermometer is installed and the storage room temperature is monitored daily.
  • Sprouts are stored and handled under conditions that minimize deterioration and prevent contamination, e.g. minimal time between harvest and refrigeration of sprouts and adequate air circulation.
  • Sprout rotation is controlled to minimize deterioration and prevent spoilage that could present a health hazard, e.g. product exceeding shelf life.
  • Returned defective or suspect product is clearly identified and isolated in a designated area for appropriate disposition.
  • Sprouts are stored and handled in a manner that minimizes damage, e.g. control of stacking heights and forklift damage.

Note: For certain types of sprouts, excessively low temperatures can result in chilling injury or necrosis leading to faster deterioration of the final product.

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