Cut Waste and Protect Customers with Good Receiving Procedures

Train your staff on proper receiving principles to keep food—and your customers—safe, while reducing waste to help increase profits.

Keystone - News & Insights

May 24, 2017

Imagine sending money down the drain when food items go bad due to improper storage and handling. Such instances happen more often than they should.

For example, one restaurant was forced to dump a couple of bottles of Caesar dressing when a health inspector found them swollen and bloated, about ready to explode, and possibly containing the dangerous botulism toxin. The dressing had been placed in the dry storage room when, in fact, they’d come with the instructions to “Keep Refrigerated.”

Since there was no defined procedure in place for checking labels upon delivery, the restaurant ending up losing $26.50 for this error. Though $26.50 is not much, if these types of mistakes happen regularly, the costs can start to add up and cutting into the bottom line.

Have you trained your staff to follow good receiving principles to prevent food items from spoiling because they’re stored improperly? If you haven’t, then it’s time to get started.

Following are some receiving principles you can apply in your facility:

  • Check labels upon receiving for products that must be kept refrigerated or frozen, including condiments and processed foods, and refrigerate or freeze immediately. 
  • Follow FIFO guidelines (“First in, first out”) to ensure that the oldest products are used first. On receiving, check expiration dates and shelve appropriately, so that those with the earliest expiration dates are shelved in the front, where they are most accessible, so they can be used first. This applies to all products—from frozen goods, produce and refrigerated foods to the dry storage area, beverage products, dry goods and chemicals.  
  • Don’t accept any products whose expiration dates have passed.

Training your staff on proper receiving procedures will not only ensure the highest quality and safety of foods for your customers, but will reduce waste, and ultimately help increase profits.


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