Selecting the Best Food Grade Warehouse Partner

Food warehouse: color photo of bags of onions in a warehouse facilityThe storage, warehousing and fulfillment of food and beverage products require attention to humidity and temperature, pest control, expiration dates, hygiene, and a number of other considerations. The success of your product management depends on choosing the right warehouse provider. Here is Palisades Logistics’ guide to selecting a highly qualified and well-managed food grade third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse partner.

How Do I Select a Food Grade 3PL Provider?

What signs indicate good management of food grade warehouse facilities? Review the following questions.

  • Is the facility clean? Do you see any indications of bacteria or fungus throughout the facility?
  • What is the condition of the building? Are there holes in any windows or cracks in the walls? How is the general temperature and humidity?
  • Does the warehouse have a pest control plan, including risk mitigation as well as procedures for managing a pest outbreak/infestation?
  • Is the warehouse equipped to move your goods quickly and efficiently?
    We’re particularly impressed with ACME Distribution, a Denver public warehouse. ACME includes an ample amount of truck doors, allowing goods to move quickly and with little notice. This helps to ensure that your company’s goods remain both fresh and easily available for transport.
  • Is the outside of the facility clean and well cared for indicating warehouse management and workers take care and pride in their work and their environment?
  • Is there a master sanitation schedule, including detailed procedures and a cleaning/sanitation schedule for the warehouse? Is every part of this process logged?
  • Do employees have a high level of personal hygiene? Is there an adequate number of sinks for hand washing? Has the staff been trained to handle hazardous or potentially dangerous materials?
  • Does the warehouse have an adequate management system?
    ACME Distribution exhibits great management of food grade warehouse facilities; with extensive planning and operating software, ACME ensures goods are placed in the best environments to maximize efficiency while minimizing costs.

What 3PL Food Grade Warehouse Certification Should My 3PL Warehouse Partners Have?

There are a number of food grade certifications that a warehouse facility can complete. The three major certifications are the American Institute of Bakers (AIB) Certification, the ASI Food Safety Audit Certification, and the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute Certification. What is the difference between these three?

American Institute of Bakers (AIB) Certification

The AIB Certification includes audits on a number of facets of food warehousing, including pest management, cleaning practices, maintenance of food safety, personnel practices, operational methods, and satisfactory completion of food safety programs. The AIB Certification is used and recognized worldwide.

ASI Food Safety Audit Certification

ASI Food Safety Audit Certification includes audits for a number of steps in the food system, including food processors, consumer co-ops, packagers, distributors, retail store chains, gluten-free producers, and feed material producers. This Certification is recognized around the country.

Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification

The SQF Certification is becoming the premier food safety certification process, replacing both the AIB and ASI Certifications. Used around the world, this Certification is the only ranking to include food quality as well as food safety. The SQF has a certification for every part of the food chain, from primary producers to manufacturers, distributors and brokers. The Certification extends as far as a partnership with the American Feed Industry Association that looks for safe animal feed and food production systems.

When you partner with Palisades Logistics and our warehouse partners, we ensure your products are handled by a provider that has a premier safety certification. Our recommendation is to only entrust your food and beverage product management to those providers that have met such a food grade certification standard.

Our third party food grade warehousing services are designed with the highest food management standards in mind. For more information, contact Palisades Logistics, or to request a rate quote, please call our office at 973-331-8220.