Approved Food Sources
A first step in assuring your food establishment serves a safe food product is to ensure the food is received in good condition (not ADULTERATED) and from an APPROVED SOURCE. Purchasing from approved food sources is critical since numerous foodborne illness investigations have been traced back to food from unapproved sources.
The 2010 Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments Sections 3-1 and 3-2 detail the requirements associated with the condition, source, packaging, product identification, records and other specifications for receiving food. For example:
- All permitted food establishments must be able to demonstrate that their suppliers are approved and permitted through the appropriate enforcement agency (see table below). Food from a private home is never allowed to be used and/or served in a permitted food establishment.
- There must be procedures in place to check-in deliveries to assure product safety and quality and, in the case of potentially hazardous foods (PHF), to ensure they have been transported and received at the proper temperature.
- Record keeping is an essential component of tracking approved food sources. The food establishment operator should maintain records of where food products were purchased, keep copies of invoices/bills of lading for tracking all purchases and be able to provide source information during inspections by the Health Authority.
Tips for Assessing Food Deliveries
- Delivery vehicle is clean with no evidence of cross-contamination.
- PHFs delivered under refrigeration at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below, except eggs, molluscan shellstock and milk, which should be delivered under refrigeration at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- Cooked PHFs received hot are maintained at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
- Frozen food should be received frozen.
- Food does not indicate temperature abuse or mishandling, such as:
- Excessive ice crystals
- Collapsed and/or damaged carton exposing food to contamination
- Misshapen from thawing and refreezing
- Abnormal texture
- Cans do not bulge, leak or have creased seams.
- All products are within their “use by” dates.
- All food sources verified as being approved.
- Note: there are additional requirements for certain foods – see table below.
- All food properly identified.
Table: Enforcement Agencies
|Foods Regulated||Interstate domestic and imported food but not meat and poultry|
|Methods of Verification||Evidence of regulatory oversight: copy of suppliers’ local enforcement agency permit, state or federal registration or license; copy of last inspection report; grower’s agricultural certificate|
|Foods Regulated||Domestic and imported meat, poultry and related products such as stews, pizzas and frozen foods containing meat or poultry|
|Methods of Verification||USDA mark on meat or poultry products; registration of importers with USDA. Evidence of regulatory oversight: copy of suppliers’ local enforcement agency permit, state or federal registration or license; copy of last inspection report; grower’s agricultural certificate|
|Foods Regulated||Fish and fish products|
|Methods of Verification||Evidence of regulatory oversight: copy of suppliers’ local enforcement agency permit, state or federal registration or license, or a copy of the last inspection report; USDC approved list at www.seafood.nmfs.noaa.gov|
|Foods Regulated||Shellfish (bivalve mollusks)|
|Methods of Verification||Shellfish tags; current Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List at www.fda.gov.|
Telephone: (702) 759-0588
Updated on: October 10, 2018