In the food service industry, inventory control is a vital tool to keep waste down and control food costs. One of the key elements to proper inventory control occurs before you properly store items. Implementing effective receiving procedures ensures that you can use your product and reduce waste. It also keeps your product safe according to food safety certification regulations in Minnesota.
How to Properly Receive Food Shipments
Don’t delay shipment inspection. Always check goods immediately on delivery. In fact, we suggest that you wait to sign for your deliveries until you have inspected the entire shipment. We know that this can be a hassle as deliveries can arrive at inconvenient times and drivers may be in a hurry to move on, but spotting damaged or contaminated goods right away reduces your risk of losing money by signing for unusable product.
Some signs that your food might be contaminated or damaged include:
- Wet or torn boxes
- Dented, rusty or bulging cans
- Raw animal product stacked on top of ready to eat foods or produce
- Chilled foods at improper temperature
Most indications of unusable product will be obvious. Cardboard boxes that are torn or soiled or sealed packages that have been opened obviously should not be accepted. Other signs may be harder to find and require detailed examination.
If your shipment contains products that require refrigeration such as dairy, proteins and frozen items, check the temperature of each product to ensure that it has remained out of the danger zone during delivery. Shipped product must follow food safety certification regulations, even during transport from a warehouse to your facility. Product shipped in the danger zone grows bacteria that can sicken your customers.
Canned goods often go unchecked, because many assume that canned goods are safe, no matter what the outside of the can looks like. A rusty can may indicate that it was stored under wet conditions. This can compromise the integrity of the metal and allow bacteria to grow on the surface of the can or potentially make its way inside. A bulging can indicates that the contents are contaminated, especially if you order canned meat products or ready to eat foods. To ensure the safety of your guests, you should never accept canned goods that are questionable.
Do you have receiving procedure in place for quality control purposes?