Careful handling of food ingredients or anything related to food is so important. It is a challenge because at some point consumers, i.e you or I, will be ingesting the product. How many times have we seen food poisoning cases, deaths, chronically ill children and adults all over the world caused by mishandling of food through its’ manufacturing and distribution channels? The household consumer is blind when it comes to understanding the supply chain route each ingredient has taken, where it has been, who has touched it and how was it processed….. It could be that food product X was harvested in Peru, partially processed in Mexico and shipped to California for completion, packaging, storage and distribution. The question is, was food product X handled in a safe manner throughout the whole distribution process from one country to another, or is there maggots, small flies, worms, or moths hatching and multiplying in what we end up ingesting?
The international business media depicts a growth in food imports into the USA and that the growth trend is expected to continue. Importing as a logistics process exposes the possibility of pest infestations especially with food grade products. The challenge in controlling new invasive species especially for food grade products such as rice, flour, and spices is tough to police, many of which are being dispatched from Asia, Latin America and Africa. The issue is not likely to go away any time soon which means tight control and vigilant checks at every stage of the supply chain has to be conducted.
Food safety regulations and third party audits have had continuous improvement changes and are driving change in food facilities. The Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI) based audits are particularly focused on the documentation procedures and check points for pest management programs. As tedious as it sounds, it is important to have strong documentation to verify an effective pest management program. Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) provides confidence for consumers. Accountability and careful handling by human interaction is key. Investing in the right gear, clothing and inspection tools are very important.
It is about mitigating the risks of having the pest multiply and breed in the food items. Prevention at every check point empowers the supply chain to stop infestation at the source. Sanitation and structural integrity are all critical elements of pest management which are needed for control to be successful. If the source is not eliminated there will be long term management issues and serious pest elimination costs, product losses and ultimately zero profits.
It comes at a cost! Many decision makers have to weigh the investment in pest management and the balance in keeping the CFO’s and CEO’s happy with the expenses involved in pest management and control. Many unfortunately try to cut corners, reducing budgets in housekeeping matters but fail to realize that this really is a paradox of thrift.
Aide Chaidez-Sanano, Westset Logistics Sales Manager commented that “our 3PL facility does not have a refrigeration food storage division but we do have dry foods stored at our facility and our investment in food safety will never be compromised” Westset Logistics is a leading 3PL Class A Warehouse Distribution facility near the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).
Pest control is a number one priority at Westset Logistics and the team are fully trained to perform inspections for all inbound food grade items. It starts with the inspection of the truck or container the food arrives in. A team of specialists are assigned to inspect and audit the truck or container before any goods are off-loaded into the warehouse. As mentioned earlier, documentation of the safety procedure is important and Westset has a robust pallet inspection and food grade inspection procedure which results in an inspection report on all inbound food grade receipts. In the event a type of pest is identified, Westset’s quarantine process kicks in and its’ pest management experts do what they must to manage the situation. If the goods are cleared for unloading, the items are off-loaded, checked in and put on racks until such time it has to be expedited to its’ final destination. Diamond traps are installed in food grade sections of the warehouse on each and every rack to capture smaller, hard to see pests. Daily inspections are done by supervisors. “Every year we perform 3rd party inspections to ensure the facility is compliant with warehouse and product handling regulations” continues Aide.
With Westset Logistic’s robust food safety procedures, the following food items with its’ SIC Codes are cleared for storage and distribution at the Los Angeles facility. The list of codes are as follows:
2869 Industrial Organic Chemicals
2209910, Health Food Products-Manufacturers
09909, Natural Food Products-Manufacturers
209918, Nutritional Food Supplements-Mfr
2834 Pharmaceutical Preparations
2833 Medicinal Chemicals and Botanical Products
28330000 MEDICINALS AND BOTANICALS
28330100 MEDICINAL CHEMICALS
28330101 ANESTHETICS, IN BULK FORM
28330105 ORGANIC MEDICINAL CHEMICALS: BULK, UNCOMPOUNDED
28330107 SULFA DRUGS
28330109 VITAMINS, NATURAL OR SYNTHETIC: BULK, UNCOMPOUNDED
28330200 ALKALOIDS AND OTHER BOTANICAL BASED PRODUCTS
28330201 AGAR-AGAR (GROUND)
28330203 BOTANICAL PRODUCTS, MEDICINAL: GROUND, GRADED
28330205 CAFFEINE AND DERIVATIVES
28330210 DRUGS AND HERBS: GRADING, GRINDING, AND MILLING
28330217 VEGETABLE OILS, MEDICINAL GRADE: REFINED OR CONCENTRATED
28330400 ANIMAL BASED PRODUCTS
28330402 ANIMAL OILS, MEDICINAL GRADE: REFINED OR CONCENTRATED
28330405 HORMONES OR DERIVATIVES
28330406 INSULIN: BULK, UNCOMPOUNDED
325411 Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing
For more information or a tour of the Westset facility, please contact Aide at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Food Is Safe with us at Westset Logistics, 3PL