Is the storage of food in warehouses and restaurants regulated by law?
Sanitary requirements for food storage
Legal division of warehouses where we store food
Storage of food in warehouses and restaurants – what to pay attention to when preparing a technological project
If we run a restaurant or provide food storage services, our priority is to comply with the rules of cleanliness. We also need to adapt the storage conditions to the type of products. We mainly focus on air humidity and temperature. Sanitary requirements are regulated by law, so we must be ready for unannounced visits by sanepid representatives and be ready to bear the consequences in the event of violations. The method of storing food products depends not only on their preserved nutritional value, but also on the suitability and safety of consumption. We distinguish food more or less susceptible to spoilage and close or distant date of consumption. Storing food in warehouses and restaurants is an issue that requires knowledge and a responsible approach. The health and life of people and animals may depend on us – distributors and producers.
If we run a restaurant business or store food products, the sanepid imposes a number of obligations and standards on us. Without complying with them, it would not be possible to conduct our business. Let’s adapt our storage of products to the imposed sanitary requirements. The state of food of animal origin is supervised by the Poviat Veterinary Inspectorate. However, if we store food of plant origin, we can expect an audit from the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate. Before we start renting a warehouse for a specific product, we are obliged to submit an application, thanks to which we will approve our plant in the register of places intended for food storage. If, on the other hand, the employees of the sanepidu did not pick up our containment point earlier, we are obliged to complete additional formalities.
We should create a fully professional food storage facility, preferably on the basis of a technological project. It is also necessary to present a warehouse lease agreement. We should also have a certificate on the results of water tests and the HACCP book, which is an abbreviation of the English full name Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Loosely translated, this means Threat Analysis and Critical Control Points. If you want to legally provide food storage services or legally store products in the back room of a restaurant, you must have the documentation discussed.
Familiarizing ourselves with the legal regulations in the context of the functioning of gastronomy and food storage, we distinguish two types of warehouses: non-refrigerated and refrigerated. We can guess that in the first type of warehouses we store products intended for food that do not require low temperatures to maintain quality. In the second type of rooms, we store food products for which low temperature is the condition for maintaining freshness for a certain period of time. If we intend to store products that require different temperature conditions, we must include this information in the necessary technological project. The technological design is a document required from us, on which we must clearly present the arrangement of rooms. We prepare such a document in two versions: descriptive and drawing. In the first part, we include technological processes, while in the drawing at a scale of 1:50 or less, we reflect the descriptive part. Our project should be designed in accordance with applicable health and safety regulations. We approve the document in question by submitting it for verification by a sanitary and hygienic expert.
Storage of food in warehouses and restaurants - what to pay attention to when preparing a technological project
When we prepare a technological project, we must remember about the complications that can occur in the case of different types of warehouses. For example, if we are food distributors or producers, our priority is to pay attention to aspects such as:
- warehouse finishing – both floors and walls should be made of materials that do not absorb moisture and are easy to keep clean. The best material in this matter is the use of ceramic tiles;
- the ceiling should be at least 2.5 meters;
- food should be stored on sterile and moisture-proof materials. Under no circumstances can we store food on the floor or on pallets;
- when it comes to the placement of products, we do not have strictly regulated legal rules here yet;
- however, it is important that food with a short shelf life should be placed in an accessible and visible place.
- we publish vegan and vegetarian products in a separate place;
- in the technological plan, we also include a place for the staff, where there will be cleaning products (separated) and access to hot and cold water with a toilet.