Food handlers need to ensure that food must is stored in so it is protected from contamination. Dry food products including cereals, flour, rice and canned products are susceptible to contamination if not stored correctly.
Food in dry storage areas needs to be rotated by applying the principle of “first in first out”. Take care when unloading new deliveries to ensure that older stocks are placed at the front of the storage are and used first. This ensures that you are not left with old supplies of food at the back of shelves or cupboards.
Contamination to food can be caused in a number of ways:
- by pests such as cockroaches, rats, flies or weevils;
- cleaning chemicals stored above or next to foods;
- or from humidity.
Pay attention to the following hazards when storing dry food:-
- pests like to breed in unclean and overcrowded storage areas
- bacteria begin to multiply in old stock and products that have past their ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ dates;
- damaged packaging makes food vulnerable to pests and other contaminants
- foods stored near chemicals can become contaminated
- storing food on the floor can make it more difficult to keep the storage area clean
- uncovered or unprotected food can become contaminated by pests, micro-organisms and foreign matter such as glass or hair.
Pay attention to how you store dry food at your workplace. Learn more about your responsibilities as a food handler by undertaking the Follow Workplace Hygiene Procedures online training course.