Food importers must keep food safe during storage and transportation

Food must be transported and stored in a way that keeps it safe and suitable. Find out what’s required to do this.

The food you import must be stored and transported safely

You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that food you import is transported and stored in a way that keeps it safe and suitable.

You can check that the transporters and storage operators you use:

  • keep food at the right temperature
  • protect food from pests, contaminants, and deterioration
  • maintain the integrity of packaging
  • can handle the volume of food to be transported or stored
  • meet delivery and other commercial requirements
  • maintain and provide records for identification, traceability, and inventory control
  • are registered with MPI as a food transport or storage operator.

You could set up an agreement or contract with your transport or storage operators. This could include conditions that cover maintaining the safety and suitability of the food.

Check the performance of your storage and transport operators

We recommend you check the ongoing performance of your transport or storage operators. You could do this by:

  • inspecting transportation units (such as bulk containers, shipping containers, or vehicle cargo units) for cleanliness and the presence of incompatible materials (for example, hazardous goods) when products are delivered
  • checking the product temperature, looking for packaging damage, and verifying the product identification when products are delivered
  • checking documents accompanying consignments
  • asking for evidence that the storage operator is complying with their written procedures (such as a summary of risk management programme or food control plan audit outcomes).
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