Building A Facility That’s Ready For Food Safety Certification Programs

Newer ideas can aid in the food safety certification process

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is the benchmark that food safety programs try to live up to.  Several food saftey programs are GFSI compliant, including Safe Quality Foods (SQF), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000) and International Featured Standards (IFS).

When designing and building a new distribution or production facility for the food industry, there are several newer ideas available that can be utilized in order to aid in the food safety certification process.

Here are some key things to consider in your new construction project that will help get you one step closer to certification:

  • Use construction materials that do not introduce a food safety issue (i.e. – avoid things with breakable glass).
  • In-Swing dock doors (top photo at right) allow trailer seals and doors to be opened inside the facility, with no staff going outside. Reduces the potential for pests and other security-related issues.
  • Vertical dock levelers and continuous pits – easier to clean and allow the dock doors to close more securely
  • Sealed floor joints for easy cleaning and sanitation controls
  • 4-foot curbs on dock (second photo at right) to help keep product off the wall line
  • Ventilation controls and exhaust fans in battery and engine rooms
  • Temperature control, recording, reporting and alarm systems
  • Racking with the bottom rail turned and bolt hole caps (photo below)

Overall site security is a major consideration as well. Having a completely fenced in facility with gate systems in place to manage both truck and employee/visitor traffic is another way to enhance the security of the site.

Electronic key systems or code access to the property and building will also make your facility more secure, and can be helpful in the food safety certification process.