The receiving procedure for the kitchen is one of the first steps in the food safety system. This procedure is designed to ensure that all goods received into the kitchen is of the best quality possible. And be safe for consumption. And is received in a way that prevents cross-contamination.
Maintaining the cold chain is an important part of food safety. The receiving procedure is the primary principle in ensuring the cold chain is kept.
There are 3 steps in the receiving procedure
This step can be defined as the physical action of taking possession of delivered foods in order to inspect the products according to the kitchen’s requirements.
The inspection process is defined as the process that determines the suitability of the delivered goods.
This the process of confirming that the products are of suitable quality and have met the food safety requirements. This step also includes the storage of these products in the kitchen.
What are the receiving procedure requirements?
The first step in the receiving procedure is to ensure that the delivery vehicle is in a clean and well-maintained condition. This helps to ensure that cross-contamination is minimised. The next step is to check the truck/Internal temperature of the vehicle.
This ensures that the cold chain was maintained. The next step is to compare the invoice to the order sheet in order to ensure that the correct products were delivered in the correct quantities.
Now, the inspection process can begin. The first step is to check the condition and cleanliness of the packaging. No damaged packages should be accepted. Once the damaged packages have been separated. The expiry dates of each of the products should be check and recorded. This is a requirement that will be determined by the type of product delivered.
Dry goods vs perishable items. And according to the requirements of the kitchen. By way of example, the kitchen may use the entire delivery of milk/cream within 3 days. And therefore the expiry dates should event beyond these dates. It is generally accepted that should items should at least have 5 – 7 days before expiry.
Alternatively, canned beans could have a shelf life of 6 months. These expiry dates should be measured against the usage of the kitchen. In general, a 3 month expiry period is acceptable.
Expired foods are not only a food safety risk but also an unnecessary cost that can be easily avoided. Training of receiving staff, therefore, becomes an important part of the process.
The next step is to evaluate the perishable products for temperature. As mentioned the cold chain is the main principle is food safety. It also ensures that the expiry dates are accurate and that the quality of the goods are maintained.
What are the acceptable delivery temperatures?
Any foods recording temperatures above these requirements should not be accepted. Remember that the kitchen takes on the risk of its suppliers. And it is imperative that all risks are eliminated.
Do dry goods also need to be checked and recorded?
Simply, yes. Dry goods do eventually expire. Damaged packaging, especially can carry the risk of causing botulism. The presence of pests are a common problem as well. Dry foods are generally transported in cartons, bags or cases. If a carton is damaged, check the contents carefully. Pay particular attention to signs of leakage in cartons that contain products in jars or bottles.
The two most common types of damage to cans are swelling and large dents. If cans are swollen or bulging, it means the food has spoiled and must not be used. If the cans have large dents, seams may have split and the food may be contaminated. Damaged canned products are unsafe to use.
Fruits & Vegetables
Produce may be more difficult to inspect because they rarely come with expiry dates. These foods should be checked for ripeness, freshness, and other signs of quality. In addition, fruits and vegetables should be washed and sanitised before storage in order to eliminate contamination from the soil.
All these products should be recorded on a receiving checklist in order to ensure that traceability is in place. You can find these checklists here:
Alternatively, you can purchase our customisable checklist template in our store: Food Receiving checklist template
The final step in the receiving procedure is the acceptance stage. The whole receiving procedure should have a place within 30 minutes due to the cold chain.
Fruits and vegetables should also be cleaned and sanitised during the delivery process. Check out this article for more on fruit and vegetable sanitising procedures.
Once products have met all the requirements, and these to be sent back are separated, the goods should be appropriately refrigerated as necessary. All cardboard packaging should be removed and placed into plastic, stainless steel sealable containers.