Receiving And Storage
There is little an operator can do to improve a food product that has been contaminated. However, by using proper inspection and storage procedures an operator can help prevent contamination and ensure their customers recevie safe and wholesome food.
Inspection upon Receipt
Food should be inspected as soon as it is received and prior to using, storing or reselling it. Accept food only if it satisfies the following conditions:
  • The food was prepared by and received from an approved source. (Approved source is a county, state or federally permitted food facility. Food prepared in a private home is not acceptable).
  • The food is unadulterated and the packaging is clean and in tact.
  • The food and its packaging show no signs of insect, rodent, or other pest contamination.
  • Perishable foods are delivered with temperatures outside the danger zone. Hot foods at 135°F or above and cold foods at 41°F or below.
  • Frozen foods are hard-frozen and show no signs of thawing and refreezing (i.e. frost or ice crystals on packaging or food).
  • Raw unshucked molluscan shellfish containers are properly labeled with the species, quantity, harvest site, date of harvest and name and certification number of the harvester or original shipper or both (Keep labels for a least 90 days).
Proper storage
Deliveries should be properly stored immediately after receipt.Never leave food outside of facility, on the floor, or at improper temperatures.
  • Food storage areas should be large enough to store all of the food.
  • Store nonfood items separately from food items.
  • Store all food at least six(6) inches off the floor or on dollies, racks, or pallets if they are easily moveable.
  • Store food in sealed containers that are protected from dirt, pests, overhead leakage, or other sources of contamination.
  • Bulk food that is not stored in the original container should have the common name of the product on the storage container.
  • Store returned or damaged foods separately from service foods.
  • Label perishable foods with date and contents before placing into refrigeration. Store older product so that it will be used first. This will aid employees with the FIFO (First In, First Out) system.
Unpackaged foods
Unpackaged foods may be displayed for customer self-service under certain conditions. Examples of foods that may be displayed in an unpackaged state are whole produce; bulk grains, pasta, dried fruits, and candy in self-service bins; and ready-to-eat foods held in salad bars and buffet lines.
  • Bulk foods held in self-service containers should be tightly covered and labeled with the common name of the product and list of ingredients.
  • Except for whole produce, all unpackaged ready-to-eat foods should be shielded by a sneeze guard or an appropriate cover.
  • Each food container should be provided with tongs, a scoop or other dispensing untensil with a handle.
Proper storage equipment
Food storage equipment, including containers, counters, shelves, tables, and refrigeration units, should be:
  • In good condition.
  • Made of durable, nontoxic, noncorrosive, nonabsorbent, and easily cleanable material.
  • Certified for sanitation by an accredited program (NSF, ANSI, or equivalent institution).
Helpful Hints
Additional ways to ensure the food you receive is safe:
  • Schedule deliveries for times when trained staff is available to promptly and properly receive food.
  • At time of delivery, check the general condition and temperature inside delivery trucks.
  • Use receiving logs to record the temperature and conditions of all foods received or rejected.
For further information
For further information about food protection, please contact the Resource Management Environmental Health Division, (707) 784-6765.