The transportation and distribution segments are very diverse. In many cases, transportation firms may be handling a variety of products in addition to food, which adds to the complexity of the situation.
The first step is to identify those circumstances that pose a significant health risk, such as improper handling of sensitive products or ineffective cleaning or sanitizing of transportation vehicles. For example, inadequate control of temperatures during transportation and distribution can contribute to microbial growth, formation of mycotoxins, spoilage and/or deterioration of certain products.
GMP/HACCP plans developed by the food industry must consider the control of temperatures and contamination during the transport of foods. A food business operator may require an HACCP plan as a condition of doing business with a particular transportation firm.
Properly designed good transportation practices for the transportation and distribution sector may be a more appropriate approach than HACCP plans. General education programmes are needed to alert food transporters to the potential hazards that can be associated with the transportation and distribution (including storage) of food products. Requirements for handling and distribution of food products or ingredients must be developed by food manufacturers, and these requirements must be communicated to transportation and distribution businesses. Transporters or storage facilities should be required to take proper hygienic measures to protect the food and should be required to keep and retain records that will document their adherence to food safety plans.
Specific GMP requirements for Transportation of Food:
This module outlines basic procedures that are necessary to ensure that all food reaching the consumer is kept free of contamination during transportation. The safe transportation of food is a key step in ensuring that the food that ultimately reaches the consumer is safe to eat and of highest quality, as improper and unhygienic transportation could lead to breaking the food safety circle. Many studies have indicated that improper food transportation could lead to food poisoning or food spoilage.
Food must be adequately protected during transport. The type of conveyances or containers required depends on the nature of the food and the conditions under which it has to be transported.
Good communication between shipper/manufacturer, transporter and receiver of foodstuffs is essential. They share responsibility for food safety on this part of the food chain. Food manufacturers or receivers are responsible for communicating to transporters specific food safety control procedures required during transportation.
Where necessary, conveyances and bulk containers should be designed and constructed so that they:
Responsibilities of the Establishments that own the food Transportation Units:
Usage and Maintenance:
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