Food-grade storage is essential from the farmer’s field to the consumer. Food-grade storage warehouses work as the go-between to ensure that all products are properly maintained through this process. When looking at products that consumers are ingesting, storage facilities that offer food-grade storage must adhere to multiple federal, State, and local guidelines. Management systems are established to ensure these facilities undergo thorough evaluations and are held to the proper standards.

Food-grade storage warehousing ensures that food products are stored safely and hygienically, maintaining their quality and preventing contamination. This includes facilities that are designed to meet strict sanitation standards and proper storage temperatures and humidity levels to keep food fresh and safe for consumption.

What’s required of a food-grade storage warehouse?

Food-grade facilities must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and once registered, they must undergo an annual inspection to ensure the warehouses remain in compliance.

Additionally, food-grade storage warehouses must obtain food licenses on the state level, adhere to the guidelines within the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and have a Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) staffed to oversee the Food Safety Plan.

Each Food Safety Plan may be unique to what each warehouse can do. However, it still must have the required Good Manufacturing Processes (GMPs), which include:

  • Set cleaning and sanitation procedures
  • Proper maintenance
  • Product procedures that are non-conformance
  • A food security and defense plan in place
  • Policies about clear plastics and glass
  • Water supply safety measures
  • Visitor policy
  • Process for customer complaints
  • Pest control
  • A Personnel Practices Program
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Plan (HACCP)

In addition to what the warehouse must have, there are certain things the facility cannot have. The following are all aspects of a warehouse that must be in top condition or fixed immediately upon occurrence:

  • Foundation, wall, or roof leaks
  • Tracks or burrows of rodents found anywhere in the perimeter of the building
  • Trash anywhere but the dedicated trash area
  • Weeds on the perimeter
  • Standing water anywhere on the property
  • Window or window frame damage or holes
  • Damage to the exterior of the building, such as holes, open pipes, or cracks
  • Chemicals, pesticides, or other cleaning agents near the food products or in the general storage area

Cross-contamination is a significant concern that can be avoided by following the protective regulations and guidelines that have been set in place. Due to the food packaging being sensitive to odors and possible absorption, the storage warehouse’s other inventory should be considered.

Choosing a 3PL for Food-Grade Storage

There are many facets when it comes to operating a food-grade storage facility. It can be overwhelming with the licenses and requirements that must be obtained in addition to adhering to the rules and guidelines. These are some reasons why many companies choose to outsource food-grade storage to third-party logistics providers, such as Ranger3PL.

When choosing a 3PL for food-grade storage, there are many things to that into consideration. There are several primary principles that food-grade warehouses must operate within regarding the facility itself, the operations, and the personnel. All warehouse employees are held to a certain standard to provide effective safeguards that prohibit food allergens from spreading across products within the warehouse. The warehouse must also be cleaned properly and kept in order at all times.

When it comes to storing food, pest control is a necessity. Pest control must be in place, and routines must be updated as needed. However, the warehouse is responsible for ensuring that the storage area is safe from chemicals or cleaning products.

Lot traceability is another major facet of a working food-grade storage facility. A tracking system must be established to trace product lots and date codes as well as maintain the method of inventory rotation is controlled and operating smoothly.

Ranger3PL For Your Climate-Controlled Warehousing Facility Needs

Ranger3PL understands that what you need to ship may only sometimes be inert or shelf stable. Many perishable items, such as food, can’t be stored or shipped through and by any normal facility. Ranger3PL possesses the facilities necessary to keep your items stable during storage, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Our climate-controlled warehousing facilities can accommodate various products with consistent temperatures in cooled and frozen environments. Whether your product needs cold or frozen storage, dry storage, or chilled or refrigerated storage, Ranger3PL can provide you with what’s needed.  We consult with you on your needed product climate and take steps to protect the products that stay in storage with a partner you can trust. You can be confident in our efficiency in carefully controlling temperatures to prevent any damage or spoiling of your products.

Ranger3PL is registered with the FDA and maintains all the necessary licenses to operate our food-grade storage warehouses. Our team upholds the guidelines and rules to ensure our facilities are held to the proper standard. Contact us today to learn more about our range of food-grade storage options.

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