Hygiene and Sanitation: Non-Negotiable Requirements
Maintaining impeccable hygiene and sanitation is non-negotiable in the food industry. If the site is already up and running, then confirm that the facility follows Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles. This system identifies potential hazards and establishes control measures to prevent them. Regular cleaning schedules, sanitation protocols, and pest control measures should be in place to ensure a safe environment for food production
Location Matters: Proximity to Suppliers and Markets
When choosing a food production facility, consider its location. Proximity to suppliers of raw materials and ingredients can reduce transportation time, minimizing the chances of spoilage or contamination. Additionally, easy access to your target markets can streamline distribution, ensuring fresher products for consumers. Consider any requirements from certification bodies such as BRCGS and SALSA.
Facility Design and Layout: A Crucial Factor
The design and layout of the facility play a significant role in food safety. Look for a facility that allows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and can have a layout that promotes a logical flow of processes. This prevents cross-contamination by ensuring that raw materials, processing, packaging, and storage areas are separate and properly organised.
Compliance with Regulations: Legal and Ethical Responsibility
As an FBO, compliance with food safety regulations is not just a legal responsibility, but an ethical one. Ensure the chosen facility meets local and international food safety standards. This compliance demonstrates your commitment to delivering safe products to your consumers.
Temperature and Storage Facilities: Preserving Safety and Freshness
Where needed, temperature control is paramount in preserving the freshness and safety of your products. Ensure the facility has proper refrigeration and storage capabilities to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage. This is especially important for perishable goods. Blast chilling capability can become a bottle neck in prodcution
Traceability and Recall Protocols: Preparation for Contingencies
No matter how stringent your safety measures, it’s wise to be prepared for contingencies. Check if the facility can have robust traceability systems in place. In the event of a recall, being able to swiftly track and remove affected products can save your brand’s reputation.
Selecting a food production site or facility is a decision that significantly impacts your brand’s success and consumer trust.
By prioritizing aspects such as location, facility design, hygiene, compliance, and staff expertise, you can ensure that your chosen facility aligns with the highest food safety standards. This not only safeguards consumers but also contributes to the long-term growth and reputation of your business in a competitive food industry.
If you would like to chat to someone about how to find a facility that works for you or have a food safety specialist to review a site, get in touch. You can book a free no obligation call here or contact me direct here.
Staff Training and Expertise: A Skilled Workforce
The knowledge and expertise of the facility’s staff are key factors in maintaining food safety. Enquire about their training programs, certifications, and experience in handling various aspects of food production when hiring.. A skilled and well-trained workforce is more likely to adhere to safety protocols and identify potential risks.