The storage standards and safety regulations that food storage warehouses are held to are vastly different than the storage standards of other industries. This is due to the fact that the incorrect storage of food can lead to contamination, which can be a health and safety risk for both warehouse workers and consumers. Plus, incorrectly stored food can spoil resulting in a huge loss in revenue from unsellable inventory.
There are four main challenges facing food storage warehouses; maintaining temperature, product rotation, cleanliness, and contamination.
One of the major challenges when it comes to food storage warehouses is temperature control. You need to make sure all of your climate control equipment is working efficiently and consistently to ensure the quality of your inventory is not compromised.
When it comes to maintaining the correct temperature in a temperature controlled storage area, it is important to regularly conduct inspections on door seals and air vents to control air circulation. This is done to ensure that there are no faulty or broken door seals allowing too much outside air to circulate into the storage space, or clogged air vents preventing cold air from circulating through the area.
It is also important to schedule in regular preventative maintenance on your climate control equipment to reduce the risk of an unexpected equipment breakdown. This is essential as not only can broken down climate control equipment mean costly emergency repairs, it could also cause the stored products to spoil resulting in a loss in revenue.
Another challenge facing food storage warehouses is product rotation. This is due to the fact that food items tend to have a very limited shelf life. The obvious solution to this is to use a FIFO (first in, first out) pallet racking system that allows for autonomous product rotation. However, pallet racking for food storage is not restricted to FIFO systems.
In fact, LIFO (last in, first out) pallet racking systems such as drive in racking can be highly effective for food storage, as each product can be stored in its own lane, ready for despatch. If you’re not sure which racking system is best suited to your product range contact MACRACK today to speak with one of our pallet racking specialists.
Cleanliness & Contamination
When operating and managing a food storage warehouse it is essential to regularly inspect the premises and equipment for potential contamination and to maintain cleanliness. Although all storage warehouses should regularly be inspected, food storage warehouses should be inspected more frequently.
When inspecting your warehouse you will need to keep an eye out for any leaks, faulty door seals, clogged ventilation systems, rodent droppings and insects, and any other potential risks that could cause food to become contaminated. You will also need to check for standing water because, in locations with high humidity such as Queensland, water buildup is common in temperature controlled areas.
It is important to create and stick to cleaning schedules in your food storage warehouse to ensure that the area and storage equipment is frequently sanitized, reducing the risk of contamination. Your warehouse storage system should be designed to withstand thorough cleaning without rusting as this in itself can cause food to become contaminated.
In fact, according to Food Standards Australia “Food businesses are required to ensure that their food premises, fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are designed and constructed to be cleaned and, where necessary, sanitised”.
To further reduce the risk of food contamination you will need to become familiar with the national guidelines of every food item stored in your warehouse including how and where they should be stored. This will prevent accidental cross contamination caused by incompatible food items being stored side by side.
MACRACK Food Storage Pallet Racking
MACRACK has been manufacturing high quality pallet racking systems for businesses across Australia for over 30 years. As a leading authority in the Australian warehouse storage industry, we have devised a new pallet racking solution to resolve common food storage challenges such as food contamination, cleanliness, surface harbouring and sanitization in food storage warehouses.
The main issue facing food storage warehouses is the potential for dust, food scraps and other contaminants to build up in the corners and crevasses of the pallet racking system. This build up of contaminants can attract vermin and insects as well as causing stored food to become contaminated. The bottom line is that spoiled or contaminated food equals money lost to unsellable products.
As the name suggests, all compartments of our sealed compartment pallet racking systems are sealed allowing nowhere for food scraps and other contaminants to accumulate. Macrack use roll form sectioned beams made from two sections of coiled steel rolled into C-sections and pressed together to create a solid structure. This allows weight to be evenly dispersed across the beam. The enclosed beam also prevents build up of dust, bugs, food scraps and other contaminants that hide in the corners and crevasses of open section beams.
Additionally, all parts of the MACRACK sealed compartment pallet racking system are galvanised allowing for thorough cleaning and sanitation. This means our racking systems can be chemically cleaned, pressure cleaned and/or steam cleaned without having to worry about rust forming on the racking system and contaminating the stored products. And with no paint, there is no potential for paint flakes to peel off and potentially contaminate the stored products.
Our sealed compartment racking can be used with a range of different warehouse storage systems including selective pallet racking, drive in pallet racking, double deep racking and industrial shelving.
Don’t compromise on cleanliness or quality! Not only are our sealed compartment pallet racking systems great for minimising the risk of food contamination, they also have the same weight loading as our standard racking systems and come with a lifetime guarantee. If you’re looking for food storage warehouse pallet racking solution call MACRACK today on 1800 048 821.