Four common problems with food storage warehouses

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Are you aware of the hidden hurdles in food storage management? We uncover some of the common challenges that could be affecting your food’s journey from warehouse to table...

Unless you’re deeply involved in logistics, you might not often consider what it takes to keep your food fresh and safe until it reaches your table. Food warehousing is a vital link in the UK supply chain, requiring careful management of numerous complex steps.

So, let’s explore four common challenges that food storage warehouses are facing across the UK…

Challenges associated with food storage warehouses

1. Lack of visibility and advanced traceability

Food retailers are often in the news for product recalls and food scandals. Sometimes, these may be avoidable, but should the worst happen, what is the best way for a company to protect their reputation and handle the situation swiftly and efficiently? Supply chain visibility.

The ability to track any item throughout the supply chain is essential. In the event of a product recall, having clear visibility and control over inventory allows retailers to respond swiftly, reducing the time it takes to pinpoint the source of the problem. 

Prompt action minimises the volume of affected products that reach store shelves and significantly lowers the potential risks to public health and consumer confusion. This level of transparency ensures that issues can be managed effectively and efficiently, safeguarding both consumer safety and trust.

However, for some food warehouses, this technology simply isn’t there. 

In 2024, it needs to be. 

Fagan & Whalley’s Head of Compliance, Martyn Richardson, commented, “We ensure that every product within our network is traceable from its arrival to its final destination. This capability allows us to provide timely updates on stock levels and distribution details. More importantly, in the rare event of a product recall, our system enables us to respond rapidly to safeguard consumers by efficiently identifying and addressing any issues.” 

2. The absence of a BRCGS certification 

“Quality is not an act; it’s a habit.” – Aristotle.

Secondly, the absence of a BRCGS certification in a food storage warehouse facility might not be a legal issue, but it certainly raises questions about the warehouse’s commitment to quality.

A BRCGS (Brand Reputation through Compliance Global Standards) certification is a mark of quality in food storage warehouse and handling. It shows a warehouse’s commitment to best practices in hygiene, safety, and operational standards. 

To achieve and maintain this certification, a warehouse must undergo regular audits and inspections to ensure compliance with stringent standards. Training for all employees on the latest safety practices and continuous improvement in operations are also required to uphold the certification, reinforcing a culture of quality and safety.

As the ancient philosopher Aristotle once said, “Quality is not an act; it’s a habit.” This is a principle we wholeheartedly embrace here at Fagan & Whalley. Achieving and maintaining AA-grade BRCGS certification is part of our dedication to making quality a consistent, habitual practice in every aspect of our food storage warehouse operations. 

3. Cross-contamination risks 

Getting back to basics, food-grade warehouses need to avoid cross-contamination. This effort involves meticulous planning to ensure that different food types, particularly raw and processed foods, do not come into contact with one another. 

This threat of cross-contamination has escalated in recent years due to the rising prevalence of food allergies, where even trace amounts of a substance can trigger severe reactions. Therefore, food warehouses must prevent the mingling of raw and cooked foods and the rigorous management of products containing common allergens.

Ways to manage cross-contamination risks include:

  • Physical barriers
  • Dedicated storage areas
  • Clear signage
  • Thorough team training 

4. Inaccurate temperature control

Finally, temperature control in a warehouse is critical because improper temperatures can lead to food spoilage or the growth of pathogens. 

Food warehouses must use reliable climate control systems that are capable of maintaining precise temperatures for various types of food products. These systems should be checked regularly to ensure they function correctly, and staff should be trained to react quickly to any temperature discrepancies that could endanger food safety.

Choose Fagan & Whalley for your food storage warehouse solutions…

By addressing these common challenges – visibility and traceability, certification standards, cross-contamination, temperature control, and hygiene, food warehouses can significantly enhance their operations. 

At Fagan & Whalley, we are committed to upholding our exceptional standards, ensuring that each step of food storage and distribution is managed with utmost diligence and care, ultimately safeguarding consumer health and maintaining trust in food quality.

For more information on our AA-grade BRCGS-certified operations, please contact us on 01282 771983 or read our previous article here.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Fagan & Whalley Limited

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