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What are the requirements for food storage?

Updated: Aug 18

Correct food storage practice is crucial for any kind of commercial food and drink business.

Not only does it ensure that the consumables are safe, particularly for the end-user.

It also extends their shelf life and prevents waste.

Commercial food storage can be complicated, and it’s a sector in which details really do matter. Everything about its preparation, transit, and storage must be carefully managed.


Taking care with best-before dates


If you’re shipping and storing food, it’s not just the correct temperature for storage and transportation you need to be aware of.

Commercial food operations also need to be conscious of best-before dates.

Bacteria can grow in food that’s stored for too long, and risks causing food poisoning and serious illness if it is consumed.


What’s the difference between the use-by and best-before dates?


The use-by is about safety.

This is the last date by which the food can be safely eaten without the risk of health issues arising as a result.


After the use-by date, the food shouldn’t be cooked or eaten, let alone sold.

A best-before date concerns food quality, and is a key issue for commercial food businesses. The food may be perfectly safe to eat after this date, but it may not be at its best.


Best-before dates can appear on a wide range of different foods, including:


● Tinned foods

● Dried food

● Frozen foods Both the best-before, and use-by, dates will only be accurate if the food is transported and stored correctly.


Best-before dates and transportation


Timely transportation is vital if you want to transport goods within their best-before date.

It can make the difference between goods arriving with time to spare and the margins being narrow for the food to be used.

With that in mind, SSO Logistics operate Same Day and Short Notice Services.

By making a quick call, we can have a vehicle of any size at the collection within the hour.

We will then work to get your goods delivered to you the same day.

We manage best-before dates internally using a Warehouse Management System (WMS) for stock rotation.

If we have multiple stocks in the warehouse, when an order is placed, our WMS knows which is the oldest and picks it.

Our services operate 24/7, meaning you can be guaranteed a speedy response whenever it’s needed.


'AA' Accreditation from the British Retail Consortium


At SSO Logistics, we have 'AA' Accreditation from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) for storing food products and raw materials.

BRC is a quality certification programme that's used by more than 22,000 suppliers to the food industry across 123 countries.

An exacting accreditation procedure ensures that all aspects of food processing and distribution are safe, and is regarded as the gold standard of accreditation within the industry.

This provides full traceability and auditing and a level of safety that is required for many food businesses.


Has Brexit made food transportation more difficult?


With the UK leaving the EU, and with new regulations being introduced between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, companies transporting food both within the UK and into the EU have been faced with more paperwork and potential delays at borders.

This has created a degree of uncertainty and unpredictability in an industry that relies on the speedy transportation of food for both safety and commercial purposes.


If you are transporting perishable food between the UK and the EU, it’s important to be aware of the changes in procedures as well as the possibility of delays.

The government website provides a comprehensive guide to what is required.


For advice and guidance about any aspect of commercial food storage and transportation contact the experienced team as SSO Logistics.

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