6.8 Food storage and safety checklist
Storage requirements are much more stringent for food items than for non-food items.
Failure to meet these requirements will jeopardise the quality and safety of food items. Specific requirements are indicated on the packaging of food items. If there is no specification, good practices require:
- a shaded place (no direct sunlight on the goods)
- a dry environment (less than 70% humidity)
- a temperature between 0°C and 30°C.
The storekeeper is responsible for maintaining the quality of stored food items. Storekeepers must highlight on the stock report any quality problems and all goods close to the expiry date. The majority of non-food items can be stored in a non-optimal way for several days without major damage, whereas food items deteriorate very quickly or immediately.
In food aid programmes, the loss of food due to bad storage conditions has direct consequences for beneficiaries. Good storage techniques reduce the risks of food waste. In addition, specific food quality management is required to detect any possible damage and to take steps to halt any spoilage and consequent loss. For more information see Chapter 19 Distribution.