Bulk Transportation Standards Lean on Inspection Prior to Unloading for Safety

AIB International has outlined standards for inspection of bulk sanitary transport for the receiving plant or facility to bear a large share of the burden for food safety in the US. The standards propose sanitation practices at wash bays assigned to bulk food transporters.

Traditionally, the inspection of incoming bulk food tankers closely resembled the steps that were taken for outgoing tanker inspections. However, there are a few other items to inspect before unloading at the facility.

A physical inspection should occur prior to unloading. Any unloading hoses should be inspected to verify their condition and to ensure they are food-grade and free of debris or other contaminants. If a blower is used to transfer the materials, the filter should be inspected to ensure it is in place and clean. These blowers may be located on the shipping vehicle or positioned at the unloading area.

Hoses should be kept off the ground as they are hooked up to the trailer and during the unloading process to limit the concern for contaminants, filth, or other materials to collect on the hoses. The ends should never touch the ground and should always be properly capped after each use to limit the potential introduction of materials into the hose. Hoses should be stored in suitable areas and the caps secured during storage.

Other inspection standards should also include:

Security is another important consideration during the unloading process. During unloading, some seals may have been removed and various entry points into the tanker may be opened for ventilation. The area around the unloading zone should be controlled and monitored to ensure unauthorized persons do not attempt to access these points. Any domes or hatches that have been opened for ventilation should be fitted with appropriate screens or filters to prevent entry of contaminants during the unloading process.

After the inspection is conducted, all results should be documented on an inspection form and signed by the individual conducting the inspection and receiving checks. Actual conditions of the vehicles and products should be recorded. Any discrepancies, rejected materials, or rejected loads should be documented. These records should be maintained on file for an established period of time. It is also a good ideas to keep track of the lot numbers of these materials to ensure they are not off-loaded to a different vehicle and reshipped to the facility. Regulated products may require a specific record retention period. A minimum of two years of record retention is recommended per the Food Safety Modernization Act for products that do not fall under other specific regulations.