The American Institute of Baking (AIB) provides food and safety information, inspections and certifications for all types of food-related businesses including food distribution centers. The AIB established the consolidated standards for food distribution centers to educate the public about food safety and maintain quality.
Methods and Practices
The AIB standards specify how workers should handle food during delivery, storage, processing and distribution to prevent contamination and spoilage. Staff must clearly label products, regularly inspect inventory and follow good, hygienic practices.
Food safety maintenance explains the importance of well-maintained facilities and equipment in ensuring safe distribution of food products. Employees must keep the area and utensils clean and in good repair.
Cleaning practices and standards illustrate proper techniques and products for cleaning and sanitizing equipment and facilities to maintain safety.
Workers in food distribution centers must take an integrated approach to assess the threat from pests and take steps to prevent infestation. Facilities should document these procedures and the steps taken to ensure compliance
Food Safety Programs
Supervisors within food distribution centers must properly train workers regarding safety issues and employ good documentation procedures to help ensure compliance.
Food distribution centers might wish to obtain safe quality food (SQF) certification through the AIB. SQF certification indicates that the distributor follows high standards for food quality and safety. Licensed training centers offer two-day courses throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia that teach how to maintain food safety standards and documentation procedures. Training is also available online through the SQF Institute at a cost of $450 (as of 2010). Although completion of a training program is not required to achieve certification, it is highly recommended.