Licensed Cold Storage Warehouse Standard

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1.0 Purpose

This document describes the conditions which will help prevent fish and seafood products from becoming tainted, decomposed or unwholesome during storage.

2.0 Scope

These requirements apply to all cold storage warehouses that require a fish export licence.

3.0 Requirements

Cold storage warehouses must comply with the following requirements.

3.1 Construction and Storage

  • Frozen storage must be equipped with a continuous recorder. The recorder chart must accurately reflect the time of day. The accuracy of the temperature recorder must be verified at a minimum frequency of once per year, and at any other time when the accuracy of the recorder may be questioned.
  • Product temperature must be maintained at -18°C or colder.
  • The temperature of stored frozen product does not get any warmer than -12.5°C during loading activities.
  • Frozen storage must be operated and regularly defrosted so as to minimize frost build up.
  • Fish and seafood in the frozen storage must be stored in a manner to prevent contamination.
  • Products must not be stored in areas where defrosting activities may lead to water drip on the product being stored.
  • All products stored in the frozen storage must be fully packaged.Footnote 1
  • Entrances into the frozen storage must be equipped with a barrier that allows for the temperature to be maintained and prevents entry of debris.
  • Traffic into and out of the cold storage does not result in contamination of the floor of the cold storage with debris or foreign matter.
  • Lights in the frozen storage must be adequately protected to prevent breakage.
  • Floors, walls and ceiling of the frozen storage must be maintained in a sanitary state, free from flaking paint, flaking rust, and physical damage (e.g. holes, cracks) which may serve as a source of contamination and/or inhibit effective sanitation procedures.
  • Exposed rigid foam insulation or unpainted plywood, although permitted, must be maintained in good repair.
  • The cold storage warehouse must be maintained in an acceptable state of repair, so as to prevent contamination of frozen fish product or packages while it is in the establishment.
  • The roof, windows and all entrances must be weather tight.
  • The building must be constructed and designed to prevent the entrance of rodents and insects.
  • The interior of the building must be maintained in an acceptable state of repair so as to enable cleaning.
  • Regular maintenance must be undertaken to repair or replace damaged walls, floors, ceiling, or doors.
  • Floor drains, if present, must be equipped with rodent proof traps, cleaned and maintained so as not to become a source of foul odours. Floor drains must be designed so as to prevent back flow of water into the establishment.

3.2 Sanitation and Hygiene

  • The frozen storage and all areas where product is handled during loading and off-loading must be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner, free from sources of contamination including flaking paint, rust, insects, and all other sources of contamination.
  • Washrooms must be available to the employees with adequate hand washing facilities.
  • Floors of the establishment must be maintained in a manner to allow effective cleaning. Sanitation procedures must prevent the presence of standing pools of water at the loading area.
  • Items stored in the cold storage warehouse must be stored in a manner which allow cleaning and sanitation procedures, and allows for inspection of the areas for cleanliness and pest activity, e.g. storage upon pallets, or steel racking. Storage must be away from walls.
  • Dangerous or odorous substances (such as cleaning chemicals) must be stored in a separate designated area from the frozen storage.

3.3 Pest Control

  • The exterior areas surrounding the cold storage warehouse must be maintained in a clean and orderly manner to prevent the accumulation of debris, discarded packaging, equipment or other materials which may provide harbourage for rodents.
  • It is recommended that the surrounding area be surfaced and adequately sloped to prevent accumulated pools of water.
  • The cold storage warehouse, and the immediate vicinity surrounding the warehouse, must be monitored to detect the presence of pests, including insects and rodents. Monitoring procedures and persons responsible to monitor for pest activity must be documented (such as visual checks of traps, bait stations on a weekly basis).
  • Should pest activity be identified pest control procedures must be implemented.
  • Where a pest management program is contracted to a third party, the maintenance of documentation provided by the pest control company as to the activities conducted and types of pest control used including a map of rodent traps, bait stations, and other control devices. Maintenance of documentation on the application of insect sprays and any other types of chemical application.
  • The maintenance of approval documentation for all pest chemicals applied.

3.4 Record Keeping

The following records must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years:

  • Record of the continuous temperature recorder charts, dated and signed by a designated company employee.
  • Verifications on the accuracy of the temperature recorders.
  • Documentation on the acceptability of all sanitation chemicals and pest control chemicals for use in proximity to food.
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