The term “food grade” is used to describe materials, supplies and equipment that are safe to be used for food storage, production or preparation. Food warehousing, distribution and fulfillment centers specialize in maintaining certain warehousing standards that protect the inventory stored within. Any storage facilities that house food grade products must follow strict Food and Drug Administration standards. These food storage warehouse standards require a higher level of cleanliness both inside and outside, and precautions must be taken to avoid cross-contamination. The most common types of food grade warehouses are dry storage, refrigerated storage, or frozen storage.
Food Grade Warehouse Requirements
Food storage warehouse standards are designed to protect the public from being exposed to contaminated food and beverages. All companies that manufacture, process, or store food and beverages must register with the FDA, undergo an inspection every three years and agree to follow certain standards. In addition to the inspections, companies must have written plans in place that include steps to follow in case of contamination and prevention strategies that all employees must be trained on. These food warehousing regulations also require that the outside of a warehouse building be free of weeds, standing water, cleaning agents, pesticides, cracks, holes, open pipes and more. Additionally, warehouses must have a regimented sanitation schedule, with comprehensive cleaning and housekeeping records available at all times.
Another step that many food grade warehouses opt to take in addition to meeting the FDA food grade warehouse requirements is getting certified by AIB International. AIB is a household name in the warehousing and logistics industry. Companies can invite the organization to do a yearly inspection that looks specifically at facilities and processes to ensure that they uphold product integrity and comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act and Global Food Safety Initiative. The inspections evaluate anything that could come into contact with food, ensuring that all cleaning practices, pest control, and food safety measures are adequate. Warehouses are then assigned a score based on the extent of improvements needed in the following categories:
- Operational Methods and Personnel Practices
- Maintenance for Food Safety
- Cleaning Practices
- Integrated Pest Management
- Adequacy of Prerequisite and Food Safety Programs
Additionally, companies are given a cumulative score for all five categories. The higher the score is, the better. For example, ITS has scored an average of 970 points out of 1000 on yearly AIB inspections for more than a decade—a superior rating.
About AIB International
“For 100 years, we’ve helped food manufacturers and distributors improve their food safety and quality management practices. Every day, our international team of inspectors, trainers, bakers, and scientists work hand-in-hand with companies around the world, applying in-depth knowledge and technical expertise. We’re ready to provide you with the guidance and support to keep your businesses thriving – today and tomorrow.
AIB International helps the world’s favorite food brands earn customer trust by optimizing their processes and preventing recalls. We are the industry ally you can call to strengthen your quality assurance team. So no matter what changes come, AIB International is proud to walk alongside you as we venture into the next hundred years. Together, we’ll continue raising the standard for food safety and quality around the world.”
Food Storage Warehouse Standards: Going Above & Beyond
At ITS Logistics, we take food grade storage seriously, going to great lengths to ensure our dry warehouse facilities are clean and safe for food contact. We know that if your products are damaged or contaminated before they are shipped to your customers, it can cost you. Our goal is to make sure that your items make it to their final destination in excellent condition. To do this, we clean our facilities daily, continuously monitor both the inside and outside of our warehouses to watch for any risks to the products, take great measures to prevent cross contamination, and ensure that our staff members are trained on all policies and procedures to keep all of our storage facilities as clean as possible.
ITS has scored an average of 970 points out of 1000 on yearly AIB inspections for the past 11 years—a superior rating.
Partner with ITS Logistics as a Food Grade 3PL
Whether you’re looking for full pallet storage for your dried food or beverages, inventory that needs a higher tier of storage quality, or even food ecommerce, ITS has you covered. We take food storage warehouse standards seriously and go the extra mile to ensure that we are following all FDA regulations to keep your products safe—and your customers happy. Our two AIB certified food grade warehouses are equipped with the latest technology and are consistently maintained by full time staff members who are well-versed in food grade warehousing standards. Are you ready to get started with food grade warehousing at ITS? Give us a call today.
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