Thursday, July 27, 2006

Receiving and Inspection: Food Rotation Labeling Aids FIFO Inventory Control of Food

This is part two of a series showing readers the cost effectiveness of using a comprehensive food rotation labeling system in their kitchen. Here we discuss the importance of labeling for the receiving function.

Receiving is a critical responsibility for any business because a slight inaccuracy in an invoice, or acceptance of damaged goods, could cost hundreds of dollars.

To ensure your food is safe for consumption, one of the most important things you can do is to put a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, or HACCP, system into place. This process uses a combination of proper food handling procedures, monitoring techniques, and record keeping to help ensure food safety.

By instituting an HACCP system, food service managers can identify areas where contamination or growth of microorganisms can occur. Control procedures can then be implemented to contain the problem and prevent future occurrences.

For example, once a delivery has been made all the product shipments should be inspected. Not only should products be matched against the order sheet, but each shipment should be inspected for spoilage or breakage. Some helpful things to look for when you receive a delivery are:

• Check the expiration dates on all perishable items
• Make sure the shelf-life dates have not expired
• Inspect frozen foods to ensure they are in airtight, moisture-proof wrappings. You’ll want to look for
signs of thawing and refreezing.
• Reject cans with any of the following: swollen sides or ends, flawed seams or seals, dents or rust, foul
smelling, foaming.
• Check the temperature of refrigerated and frozen foods
• Look for content damage and insect infestation
• Reject any foods that are delivered in flats or dirty crates

Once the food arrives items should be immediately dated and placed behind existing stock. This facilitates a first in, first out (FIFO) rotation system to help reduce product spoilage.

The most efficient way to date the item is with a DayMark Label Marker®. Unlike hand-written labels, DayMark’s label gun saves 520 hours a year because it instantly prints labels that are neat and easy to read. DayMark’s label gun labels come in a variety of colors, sizes and adhesives and can be used in all types of storage facilities.

Call 1-800-847-0101 and ask a customer service representative to help you select the best food rotation labeling system for your business.

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