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 must ensure that during transportation and storage, food:
- is protected from pests and contaminants
- is protected from damage
- is not exposed to adverse environmental conditions
- packaging is not damaged or allowed to deteriorate, including any labels or identifying marks
- is maintained under the appropriate environmental conditions, such as relative humidity or temperature, to prevent microbial growth, toxin formation and deterioration.
Storage facilities must be suitable
The place where imported food is stored must:
- have enough space to hold the amount of food to be stored
- be kept clean and in a tidy condition
- be kept in a good state of repair to prevent the exposure of the food to adverse environmental conditions (such as rain, cold, and sun), environmental contaminants (such as dirt, fumes, smoke, and toxic substances), and pests
- have suitable facilities for controlling temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions and have suitable equipment for monitoring their effectiveness
- have adequate light to allow you to properly handle the food and keep the space clean
- provide full access to consignments that require inspection or sampling.
The safety and suitability of imported food must not be compromised by:
- other activities that occur in the place of storage or its surrounding areas
- by the actions or behaviour of staff and visitors who enter the place.
Unsafe food must be controlled
Any food under your responsibility that is suspected or confirmed to be unsafe or unsuitable for human consumption must be:
- clearly identified
- isolated from other food
- held secure during transport and storage.
This is to ensure the food:
- is not mistakenly released for sale or distribution for human consumption
- does not adversely affect any other food.
If your food is awaiting food safety border clearance, it must also be controlled until clearance or further direction is given. Releasing food awaiting food safety border clearance is an offence.
Check the performance of your storage and transport operators
When using a storage or transport operator, we recommend you check their ongoing performance. 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).