From Farm to Fork: Ensuring optimum on-site storage of dry, chilled and frozen food

From Farm to Fork: Ensuring optimum on-site storage of dry, chilled and frozen food

Last week we talked about the importance of tracking food from farm to fork; starting with the farmers, through to the distributors, and finally to the consumer. This week, we’re going to look at the onsite storage of dry food, chilled foods, and frozen foods. UK legislation makes it clear that food must be stored in ways that will not cause harm to the consumer; rules about UK food storage and preparation are laid out in the Food Safety Act 1990. EU Food Hygiene Regulations also set out clear rules for the way meat and other fresh products that are bought and sold within the EU must be prepared, processed, and stored.

The Law

Much of the UK’s law regarding food storage relates to the temperature that foods can be stored or displayed at for varying lengths of time. These temperature regulations are laid out in the EC Regulation 852/2004, the EC Regulation 853/2004, and The Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013. These regulations set out the kinds of foods which should be kept chilled, including dairy products, cooked or smoked fish, prepared ready to eat foods, and uncooked pastry products. In general, 8°C is considered to be a satisfactory chill temperature for these products when they are not being processed or handled.

Storing Food at Home

Of course, it’s important for consumers to store food correctly once they’ve brought it home, too. Dry food should be stored in sealed bags, tins, or other containers, in a cool and dark place. Foods which need to be chilled, such as fresh meat and dairy, should be stored at a temperature of below 5°C in the fridge. If needed, most foods can be frozen (below -18°C) to increase their shelf life, though this shelf life isn’t indefinite. After between three and 12 months, the quality of the food will start to decrease, so it’s preferable to use freezing as a short-term solution.

The DUED Revolution

DUED is an HACCP approved app that helps to document the most important aspects of the farm to fork journey, and it can be used by food producers and distributors to use a due diligence system which is 100% digital. Time and space-efficient, the DUED app is set to revolutionise the way we record due diligence information. To download the app or read more about it, click here.