Skip to content

Food Delivery & Storage

There are several food safety hazard points associated with food delivery and storage.


The delivery vehicle/conveyance/container must:

  • Be clean and pest-proof
  • Be weatherproof
  • Be maintained at the correct temperature: 0˚C to +5˚C for refrigerated and -18˚C or below for frozen
  • Not be used for transport of non food items where it may result in contamination
  • Not be overloaded 
  • Provide effective separation of products
  • Be marked clearly


Correct procedure for storage of food products:

  • Dispose of outer packaging/boxes prior to storage
  • Store raw foods (i.e. meat, poultry and shellfish) separately from cooked or prepared food. Store raw food below cooked /ready-to-eat food.
  • Rotate stock – first in first out (FIFO). (Always check use-by-dates)
  • Cleaning materials such as detergents should be stored in a separate area
  • Foods can be preserved by drying, freezing and canning

Food storage areas and potential hazards 

Potential hazards of dry goods storage (e.g. tins, rice and pasta)

  • Bacterial growth due to cross contamination and excessive moisture
  • Contamination by pest and insects
  • Chemical contamination from cleaning agents

Controls in dry goods store

  • Dry goods store must be clean, well lit, ventilated and adequately shelved
  • Food must be stored on shelves above the floor
  • Containers used for storage must be covered
  • Windows must be fitted with insect screens and the store must be kept free from infestation

Potential hazards in fruit and vegetable store

  • Insect infestation
  • Accelerated spoilage caused by heat and moisture
  • Soil on fresh vegetables - can be a problem because of the bacteria soil contains

Controls in fruit and vegetable store

  • Fruit and vegetable store should be clean, well lit, ventilated and pest proof
  • Ensure good air circulation
  • Discard spoiled fruit and vegetables as this can contaminate healthy products
  • Store salad items and soft fruits (except bananas) in the salad drawer of the refrigerator

Potential hazards in refrigerated storage

  • Bacterial growth
  • Cross contamination
  • Food beyond date marking

Controls in refrigerated storage

Refrigerating foods slows down the multiplication of bacteria:

  • Maintain temperatures of 0-5˚C
  • Store raw and cooked/ready-to-eat food separately
  • Do not place hot foods directly in the refrigerator as this will cause the temperature of the refrigerator to rise above 5˚C
  • Do not overload the fridge as cold air needs to be allowed to circulate
  • Defrost and clean the fridge or freezer box regularly
  • Keep doors closed to maintain the temperature
  • Avoid prolonged storage
  • Temperature of food should be recorded

Potential hazards of freezer storage

  • Freezer burn – freezer burn damages the quality of your food
  • Cross contamination – ensure products are sealed and wrapped

Control in freezer storage

Freezing foods makes bacteria in the product dormant.

  • Maintain temperatures of -18˚C or below
  • Defrost and clean regularly
  • Do not place hot foods directly into the freezer
  • Do not overload
  • Ensure door is kept closed
  • Avoid prolonged storage

Related pages

education news logo

Sign up for updates on education resources and news.

Safefood logo

The site content is redirecting to the NI version.