The supply chain has done incredible things when it comes to food distribution. It is amazingly complex and can bring many different food stuffs to all corners of the world. However, food safety is still an issue. Many people all over the world get sick at some point due to food going bad or being contaminated with bacteria or a virus.
Some of the blame goes to the loading dock and warehousing of the food as it arrives to a facility. The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) has mandated how food is to be handled to ensure the safety of the general public, particularly in the equipment used to store it.
To make sure the loading dock and warehouse are compliant it pays to understand how these things can affect food safety. In this article, we will go over how important it is to properly unload and store food to keep it safe for consumption.
The loading Dock
It seems unrelated on the surface, but the state and design of the loading dock does play a part in food safety. An improperly maintained loading dock can allow contaminated air into the food container and compromise the safety of it. Even the temperature of the loading dock needs to be regulated to keep food in its safe zone.
If the loading dock is damaged, then a dock leveler repair needs to happen to make sure that food containers are able to be transited without concern for the container. For instance, if there is damage to the dock, then this can damage the food container as it is deposited from the truck loading it. This compromise can then allow contaminated air into the container or even damage the food itself.
The size of the door leading into the warehouse should also be the size of the container with no extra space on the sides. This allows for a more sealed environment that doesn’t allow air from outside to get into the area when unloading.
The dock seal needs to be air tight and in good condition. If it is damaged or leaves too large a gap then this is problematic.
The storage Units
The most crucial aspect of food safety at the warehouse is the storage. The temperature is essential to be able to keep the food from spoiling. Even non perishable items need to be stored at the correct temperature. A faulty thermostat can be responsible for thousands of dollar worth or food spoilage even if it is off by only a few degrees.
The condition of the seals of the doors also needs attention. The gaskets need to be sealed tightly to avoid any temperature fluctuations as well as contaminated air getting into the storage container. Humidity levels should also be monitored as this can cause damage to the food.
Take the time to ensure that all the units are functioning properly and understand the maintenance schedule to prevent any problems from arising.