This article is written to meet the following sections of the Standards:

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 85.4.4 & 9.3.3 Verification of materials with claims
BRCGS Packaging Issue 65.8 Incoming goods
BRCGS Agents & Brokers Issue 3Not applicable
BRCGS Storage & Distribution Issue 47.1 Receipt of goods
FSSC22000 Version 5.1ISO 22000:2018 8.2.4 g) PRP for reception of incoming materials
IFS Food Version 74.14.1 Receipt of goods
SQF Edition 911.6.1.2 Receipt of goods


To ensure that materials are checked in compliance with the Standard, you need a procedure for incoming materials which includes how materials are accepted and who is responsible for doing the checks. Where the checks require assessment, staff must be provided with and trained to the acceptable limits that they must use.

If materials don’t comply, the procedure also needs to explain what to do with the materials and how to record the non-conformance. There must also be a designated person(s) who is authorised to either accept or reject the materials.

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Risk assessment

Incoming materials must be checked to ensure that they meet specification. To work out what’s required you need to carry out a number of risk assessments and compile the results from your:

  • Material and product risk assessment.
  • Inspection and testing risk assessment.
  • Vulnerability assessment.

Minimum acceptance checks – for the material

The acceptance procedure must include what checks must be carried out on the materials, to ensure that:

  • The right material and quantity have been delivered.
  • The material matches the specification.
  • The shelf-life is acceptable.
  • Traceability can be maintained.
  • The material is checked based on risk assessment (see above).
  • There’s no damaged packaging.
  • Pallet condition.

Records of the checks that have been carried must be kept.

Inspection and testing

Where checks are required, the following must be in documented in a procedure:

  • The method of testing or inspection.
  • How often it should be done.
  • The acceptable limits.

Where monitoring is carried out on materials, which isn’t to a calendar routine (once per day, once per week), but rather to a percentage of deliveries for example, there must be a mechanism in place to ensure that this monitoring isn’t forgotten or missed.

Minimum acceptance checks – materials with claims

Where the incoming material has a claim that’s been identified as a risk in the vulnerability assessment, the material must be checked to make sure that the material that’s been delivered does have this claim (i.e. there hasn’t been a mistake). Evidence can be through:

  • Certificate of analysis.
  • Certificate of conformity.
  • Statement of compliance.

Minimum acceptance checks – for the vehicle

The vehicle that delivered the materials must also be checked for:

  • Hygiene; cleanliness, contamination and signs of pests.
  • The delivery is secure and hasn’t been tampered (seals).
  • That the holding area temperature is within the acceptable limits.


Where temperature is deemed critical through risk assessment this must be checked on delivery before acceptance. The best way of doing this is to check the temperature in the following order:

  1. Check the holding area air temperature before opening the load. If this isn’t right, go to step 2.
  2. Carry out a destructive or non‑destructive check of the material. If this isn’t right, reject the load and find out how long the temperature has been out of specification for in step 3.
  3. Review the vehicle temperature monitoring records, such as thermographs.

Live animals

Where you receive delivery of live animals, an inspection must be carried out by a suitably competent person, at lairage and post-mortem to ensure that the animals are fit for human consumption.

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Have your say…

3 thoughts on “Receiving materials at intake

  1. How do we inspect incoming goods in a trading company? I have obsereved that trading companies in general do not follow a specific strandard. They mostly work on Tradeable speciifcations that is mentioned in the sales contract. This makes the job of a QC specialist challenging. The QC personnel in this case had to draft several checklists for each incoming raw materials such as apples, bananas, coconuts etc.

    1. Hi Clavis,
      I’m sorry I’m not sure I understand. What do you mean by a trading company and tradeable specifications?

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