How long has it been since you trained your receivers? by Barry Parsons



From my experience the last 30 years as a General Manager, Buyer, and Safety/Food Safety Expert, receiving seems to be taken lightly at some food establishments! Yes, there are those that truly understand the importance of having a robust Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for receiving and storage, but unfortunately, some see receiving as a task to be rushed through so employees can get back on the line to produce product.

In the world of food retail there are so many different types of establishments, but each one needs to focus on proper receiving. Everyone should have a team of well-trained receivers. They are to check in product, not only by the quantity but ensure the product packaging integrity and the food temperature. Remember, the temperature must be recorded in some fashion so if needed you can refer back to a record. This can be a Critical Control Point (CCP) so there should be a way to verify someone checked the temperatures and that they were correct. (Step 2, 6 & 7) Remember the food code in most states says you need to understand the principles of HACCP. This understanding will help you know what paperwork you should keep, if ever needed

Receiving cold product is at 41°F or below and receiving frozen food is in the state of being frozen. Frozen is defined as solid and little to no ice crystals. Unfortunately, I know that there are some that still do not take the time to take the temperatures or skip this step when busy. I have seen product come in and it was at the proper temperature, but noticed the refrigerated truck shut down because a belt broke on the refrigeration unit. Yet, the product is sent on to the next facility and it was known that upon arrival the product would be at 41°F or lower. Vendors know who and who does not take temperatures of their product.

Key drops should also have an SOP for checking the temperatures such as data loggers, and other electronic temperature measuring devices so that there is a complete temperature chain of custody on the food product. It does not work to check the product hours later when staff arrives! Sounds like common sense? Do not place your food safety integrity in someone else’s hands. You are responsible for the food you serve/sell. If you have SOP’s, take another look and see if you can strengthen them. If you have trained receivers, double check their knowledge and make sure they understand their level of responsibility. How long has it been since you trained your receivers? Are they only to be trained once and your done? NO!

If you do not have strong SOP’s for receiving and storage, ask us to help create a strong, sound system to protect your interests.



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