Packinghouse (Wholesale, Distributor, Cold Storage)

After a product leaves a farm it typically goes to a packinghouse of some sort.  For the packinghouse, the focus is on floor-to-ceiling cleanliness and records.

According to US Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act), all businesses that manufacture/process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption must register their business with the US Food and Drug Administration.  This does not include farms, aquaculture, fishing, or ranches as described here in item #2 of the Background statement.

Packinghouse
The packinghouse audit questions are used to assess the facility’s food safety program. The audit is comprised of two main sections; a Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A “packinghouse” is where whole commodities are prepared and packed for commercial distribution after being subjected to processes such as sorting, washing, weighing, etc. Some buyers require certain operations in packinghouses to implement a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan. For this situation it is possible to choose the “Packinghouse plus HACCP” option.

Cooling/Cold Storage
The cooling/cold storage audit questions are used to assess the facilities food safety program. The audit is comprised of two main sections; a Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A “cooling/cold storage facility” is where product is temporarily stored prior to distribution in order to maintain the proper temperature. Pre-cooling processes (ice injectors, hydrovac, pressure cooling, etc.) may also be used in the daily operations.

Storage and Distribution
The Storage and Distribution audit questions are used to assess the facilities food safety program. The audit is comprised of two sections; a Good Manufacturing Practices section and a Food Safety File Requirements section. The audit encompasses the areas of pest control, equipment, sanitation, employee hygiene practices, and all other operational practices and documentation as they relate to food safety. Food security is also addressed. A “storage and distribution facility” is where generally large retailers, foodservice companies or distribution companies store product temporarily prior to further distribution to local markets. It also includes terminal market operations where multiple companies are located on one site from which all companies distribute independently.

Make sure that you check the PrimusLabs document website for the latest version of the questionnaire and guidelines before you go out to the farm or facility-http://www.primuslabs.com/rs/Documents.aspx?menuid=2