Food safety has always been a major concern. It’s the leading factor that helps any food operation survive successfully and continue thriving. Luckily, in our day and age, food-grade warehousing, storage, and preservation are no longer a problem. However, you should still need to put some research and effort into properly storing and preserving your products. If you are looking for food-grade warehousing tips, then you have landed on the perfect guide. Below are the 6 most effective tips that will help you check this necessity of your list.
Always Ensure Cleanliness
While some of you may think that we are pointing at the cleanliness of the warehouse, we are in fact talking about the items. It is a common practice of good warehouses to clean their storage units, so it is most likely something that comes as a given with a good warehouse provider. On the other hand, there is a risk of your items getting dirty or damaged on their way to the storage house. When you store an item that has unnoticed dust, dirt, or bacteria, you risk damaging the whole inventory. Therefore, it is essential to clean your products before storing them. Doing so may take some extra time but it is worth it in the long run.
Don’t Overload Your Storage Space
Some food operation providers overload their storage to save some expenses. It may seem clever, although, in reality, it can cost you more than a warehouse fee. You may be wondering what can happen by overloading the facility. While it may not seem much of an important concern at first, it’s still good and ethical practice to follow the food grade warehousing protocols to ensure that you do not overwork or misuse your refrigerators, affecting their lifespan and quality. Ignorant handling may cause refrigerator damage or an unexpected total shut down. Moreover, all items don’t receive the same cooling temperature. As a result, many of the products are at a high risk of going stale and would result in a huge loss. A single piece of stale food can easily affect the whole inventory stored in the warehouse. Therefore, instead of overstuffing the products in the same warehouse, it’s better to invest in more than one!
Even if you have managed to store your products in high-end warehouses optimized for food products, with the best equipment and everything, your stock may still get ruined. The reason is because of poor packing. The minute the food items get exposed they begin to spoil, even in low-temperature warehousing. To avoid any waste and increase the shelf life of your products, it is necessary that you use airtight packing. The best packing technique for food products is vacuum sealing that draws the air out of the food packs. A good practice is to check the packing for all units before loading them in the warehouse to limit the chance of the packing getting damaged during the loading, transport, or unloading.
You have to internalize that moisture is an enemy to your products. Even a little amount of moisture can easily turn your food inventory into a pile of waste. To avoid this problem, you must ensure that the food-grade warehouse has enough ventilation to let out the moisture. This moisture control is crucial in the facility to avoid pesky issues related to mold. Your warehouse needs to have a cool temperature while maintaining a sufficiently dry environment at the same time.
Are you familiar with the FIFO method? No, it’s not just limited to accounting only! FIFO or First In First Out is a rule that applies to any stock item that’s perishable like food products. No matter how good your storage is, every food item has a certain shelf life, after which they are not good for consumption. So it’s essential to keep track of not only what items are coming to the storage units but also when they are coming in. With the help of the FIFO method, you can ensure food safety and quality.
It’s not complicated because all you need to ensure is that any item that comes in the storage first should be the first one to get out in the market. With this simple practice, you can not only reduce food waste but also track the inventory easily. An easy way is to label every food with “use first” or similar tags. This way your storage will stay organized as well as it would be easier to track the items, when they come in, and which ones to use first.
Be Mindful of Position and Level
You may be thinking why level or position is relevant for storing food products in the warehouses? It’s simple because just like any other product, food items also vary in weight and some products might be heavier than others. In this case, if you place a heavy unit over a lighter one, there are high chances of damaging the items. Although in some fortunate cases when a unit doesn’t get damaged, it would require much effort and time to pull it off the shelf. Moreover, it is unwise to place the products on the ground. If you have been doing this, then you are risking your money and inventory. The moisture and dirt on the ground are likely to spoil your food products.
You can easily avoid all this mess by adding levels in the warehouse and positioning items according to their weight. Always place the heavier units below or at the rear position of the shelf. When you practice this rule, your warehouse also becomes more organized and less cluttered. By doing this you also save your time.
Your products are your investments and no one wants to see their investment go to waste. With food products, simple negligence can easily turn savory into trash. Therefore, ensure that your products are stored properly. It will only happen when you understand how essential it is to protect your food products. With the 6 tips above and a good food-grade warehousing facility, you can easily protect your investments in a cost-effective manner!