Food storage is a major part of the warehouse business, especially these days due to the amount of different options people have for choosing and buying food.

Frozen storage, fresh produce, dry goods – no matter what your warehouse stores, food storage can carry with it a lot of requirements, challenges, and needs that you just don’t get from other inventory types. The greater level of safety requirements and handling procedures can eclipse even the most fragile consumer goods, and your warehouse needs to be prepared for each of these unique challenges.

 

One of the biggest and most immediate challenges faced by the food storage industry is staying compliant with regulatory rules. State, local, and federal regulations for food safety, food vulnerability, and defense can change at a moment’s notice, and can be contradictory among themselves. Using sterile restaurant shelving or wire kitchen shelving can help stave off germs and keep your goods safer, but the details around this storage – the temperature needed for cold or frozen storage, the required humidity level, even the distance between certain products for allergen issues – can be vast and hard to navigate. Staying on top of these changes and being well-informed as to your various requirements and needs can help make things a lot easier in the long run.

 

After figuring out what regulations you need to follow, you will then need to create a sanitation program that adheres to these regulations. As products move so quickly in and out of warehouses, especially with frozen goods or perishables, it can be hard to create a program to handle these products safely and keep their areas clean. A lot of warehouses have dedicated employees whose job it is to clean around the stock areas and prevent dirt and contaminants from building up, and keeping these employees full-time can help you get out ahead of any potential sanitation issues with your inventory.

 

Similarly, preventing environmental contamination can go a long way towards keeping your products safe. Products like seafood or other frozen goods can encounter potential seepage as the product moves through different temperature zones, and particularly with allergen-heavy products like seafood or nuts this can pose a safety hazard to your customers and your staff. If a small amount of seafood juice were to splash onto your pallet racks or a nearby shelf, you could face a contamination issue that may result in you needing to throw out the entire pallet’s worth of goods. Maintain product safety across all potential allergens and prevent cross-contamination whenever possible to keep your customers, your workers, and your goods safe.

By understanding these unique challenges faced by food storage warehouses, you can create a safer environment for your staff and your products, and help stay productive while maintaining awareness of the various demands placed on food storage facilities.

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