Farm Inputs - 6.2 General Storage
Products that are not stored appropriately can perish, spoil, become contaminated or contaminate other products.
This good agricultural practice applies to all farms.
What Needs to Be Done
Store products under appropriate conditions to prevent perishing, spoilage and contamination.
How to Do It
Prior to storing any products, make sure storage facilities are in good condition and clean. For all storage facilities for dry products:
- Allow maintenance and cleaning activities to occur as needed.
- Keep storage facilities well ventilated and dry.
- Deter pest access and infestation.
- Identify storage facilities properly.
- Cover and/or protect products during storage, and especially during cleaning, to prevent or minimize contamination by micro-organisms, chemicals, foreign materials and pests.
- Avoid placing packaging material in direct contact with the floor.
- Store bagged or packaged dry products (approximately 10-15 cm) off the floor and away from surrounding walls. This helps to prevent or minimize contamination, pest infestation, water damage, and allows for better air circulation to maintain an even temperature.
Temperature & Humidity Control
Make sure the temperature and humidity of the storage/processing areas, coolers and freezers are appropriate for the product being stored to prevent or minimize food spoilage.
- Crops: For most produce, a temperature of 4°C is suitable for storage. However, a number of products require a specific storage temperature, ranging from -1°C to 21°C
- Milk and Eggs:
Temperature control systems must take into account the:
- Intended shelf-life of the product,
- Type of packaging being used for the product, and
- Appropriate maintenance schedule for ideal temperature control
- Monitor temperature regularly where required.
First-In, First-Out Rotation
- Use the first-in, first-out principle to make sure products are rotated through your facility on a regular basis so that the oldest products are used first.
- Use receiving documents to identify which products are to be used first, or store products in the order received.
High Moisture Storage for Crops
- Some crops require a high moisture environment for storage. Ensure that moisture controls are set at the appropriate level and do not provide an environment that will cause unwarranted spoilage to occur.
- To prevent the accumulation of bacteria, clean and sanitize these areas between uses.
Improper storage can cause feeds to spoil and lead to the development of moulds and the mycotoxins produced by these moulds. The accumulation of mycotoxins can be hazardous to livestock and the humans who consume them. To prevent the development of mycotoxins:
- Follow proper silage production and maintenance practices to prevent deterioration.
- Store feeds in a dry and secure location, off the floor if possible, to prevent mould formation or pest infestation.
- Dispense feed according to daily intakes so that animals don’t leave uneaten feed in bunks, troughs or bowls. Remove any uneaten feed regularly.
- More details can be found in the publication “Understanding and Coping with Effects of Mycotoxins in Livestock Feed and Forage”.
Storage of Manure/Compost, Fruit & Vegetable Culls
Locate storage and treatment sites (for example, composting) as far away as practical from livestock, poultry, fresh fruit and vegetable handling areas and water sources. Separate them from production and water locations with an appropriate physical barrier designed to minimize contamination due to run-off or leachate.
Records to Keep
Where applicable for the product, use the Form #9B: Temperature Monitoring Record or your own record that includes:
- temperature, and
If You Need an Audit
Be prepared for the auditor to:
- review temperature monitoring records where applicable for the product (for example, milk and egg storage),
- Inspect storage areas, and
- review other good agricultural practices (for example, receiving practices) as a cross reference to ensure appropriate procedures are followed.
Laws & Regulations that Apply
All food must be stored under sanitary conditions. The Food and Drugs Act (Canada), R.S. (1985), c. F-27, s. 7 states that no person shall manufacture, prepare, preserve, package or store for sale any food under unsanitary conditions.
- The Code of Agricultural Practice for Waste Management under the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation, Reg. 131/92, s. 4-10 specify conditions for the storage of agricultural wastes. The Code also provides the rules around the management of manure, in certain circumstances. Check municipal by-laws, which may also have legal requirements related to manure storage.
- There are 10 regulations for different groups of commodities under the Agricultural Produce Grading Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 11, s. 14 (2) (i), which provides that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the sanitation of places in which a farm product is stored. Regulations may also control other aspects of storage (e.g. Fruit and Vegetable Regulation, Reg. 100/78, s. 8 on controlled atmosphere storage).