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Food Safety on Transporting Foods by Road

BY Merle Litshie

Transportation plays a very important and critical role in ensuring food produced safely reaches its destination without any food safety hazards introduced while in transit. Food can easily be at risk of biological, chemical, physical and allergenic contamination during transportation. Once food is processed and rendered safe for human consumption then storage and transportation should not change the Food Safety status of the food. Factors that affect food during transportation are the following:


• Improper truck used to transport food
• Lack of pre loading inspections (truck and goods)
• Lack of temperature monitoring devices or faulty temperature monitoring devices
• Lack of proper stacking (inadequate segregation)
• No food safety training for driver and assistant on food safety (including hand washing and personnel hygiene)
• Improper training of employees on mixed loads (segregation)
• Inadequate preventive maintenance of vehicles (roof leaks, gaps on doors etc.)

 

To ensure foods maintain foods in a food safe conditions there are simple steps to ensure goods arrive at the required destination at their best quality and food safety status. Loaders, drivers and their assistants should be:


• Trained on Food Safety (including personnel hygiene, hand washing and allergens)
• Trained on temperature monitoring via gauges as well as reporting any malfunctions
• Trained on importance of food security (using seals and locks). They must also adhere to all protocols of stopping to offload then sealing the truck.
• Trained on how to protect temperature sensitive as well as special segregated product after each offloading stop to ensure food is still safe.
Once all the training is completed then monitoring of these activities must be conducted and non conformances recorded with corrective actions. The food safety team must ensure:
• Wash certificates are produced as proof of sanitary conditions of the truck
• all gauges are inspected and calibrated as per specified time interval with the supplier (refrigeration units can support growth of microorganisms if they are not working properly)
• Vehicle inspections are conducted per delivery
• Where necessary eg. Tankers are fumigated regularly with food grade fumigants or steamed to get rid of microorganisms
• Use the R. 364 as a guideline for Food Safety implementation

 February 29, 2016
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Food Safety
Merle Litshie

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