Preparing in Times of Plenty for Times of Mean
Food security addresses a fundamental human need to know that the food and drink we are consuming will do us no harm. As part of the National Vision 2030’s efforts to ensure the Qatar’s human development through enacting health initiatives across the board, ensuring the safe handling and storage of food has become one of the nation’s priorities. Gulf Warehousing Company has done its part to provide the best cold storage solutions possible to the nation – here are some of the considerations that must be taken into account when providing refrigerated and chilled warehousing.
Ensuring that the location you have chosen to store your items has been properly inspected and certified is high on the priority list. The industry recognizes both the ISO 22000 and the Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) as the best industry practices, both addressing the various biological, chemical, and physical hazards that might endanger food safety and provide processes to address these risks. It is important to note that these are certifications that are given to sites, not organizations, which means that it is the site that is inspected and certified, such as our facilities in Street 15, Street 41, and the Logistics Village Qatar.
It is important to store every food item at the right temperature to ensure both its safety and its structural integrity. Ice Cream might crystalize if it’s not stored at a temperature of -25 C. Frozen meats and vegetables must be stored at -18 C, whereas general food items such as cheese or pickles do best at +3 C. Finally, confectionary items such as chocolate are stored at +18 C, again to ensure its safety but also to ensure the preservation of flavor. Facilities that offer more than one storage temperature are separated into chambers, with the temperature in each chamber closely monitored.
Gulf Warehousing Company has found that the Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) racking system, which stores more items in less space by narrowing the space between the racks, is perfect for food storage. In refrigerated and chilled environments, however, modifications have to be made to most VNA systems, in order to avoid the hydraulics and oils in the systems from freezing and seizing up. For our employees, we find that thermal wear imported directly from the UK ensures their safety in these extreme temperatures.
As part of the National Vision 2030’s efforts to ensure the Qatar’s human development through enacting health initiatives across the board, ensuring the safe handling and storage of food has become one of the nation’s priorities.
Our employees are instructed in the best practices and systems to ensure that food safety is never compromised. Among the most important concepts in food storage is First Expiry, First Out (FEFO), which organizes the stored food items by expiry date, and ensures overall freshness of the food items by distributing the foods with the earliest expiry dates first for consumption. These expiry dates are managed and monitored with a specifically designed Warehouse Management System (WMS), which tracks the whereabouts and expiry dates of the stored items through a number of hand-held RF terminals which report back to a central server. Our clients can then refer to reports published in real-time to see where there items are at any time, providing complete transparency.