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

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 84.16.1 – 4.16.5 Vehicles
BRCGS Packaging Issue 64.8.2, 5.10.4 Cleaning vehicles
BRCGS Agents & Brokers Issue 3Not applicable.
BRCGS Storage & Distribution Issue 45.1 Vehicle standards (not 5.1.4)
5.3 Vehicle management
5.4.1 – 5.4.3 X Vehicle temperature control
19.3 Vehicle cleaning controls
FSSC22000 Version 5.12.5.9 Transport and delivery

ISO 22000:2018 8.2.4 g) transportation

IFS Food Version 74.15.5 Vehicles and equipment

4.15.6 Construction of loading/unloading area

SQF Edition 911.6.5.2, 11.6.5.3 Transport vehicles

Procedure

All aspects of vehicle management need to be defined in a procedure, including:

  • Legislation
  • Fabrication standards
  • Maintenance
  • Breakdown
  • Temperature control
  • Equipment
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Legislation

Vehicles must be managed so that they comply with local legislation, including:

  • Registration with the appropriate authorities.
  • Vehicle licences as required by local legislation.

Fabrication standards

The holding area inside the vehicle must be fabricated so that:

  • It can be cleaned easily and kept in a good condition.
  • Fabrication doesn’t pose a foreign body risk or cause damage to the materials.
  • It’s sealed so it doesn’t get wet or damp.

Maintenance

Holding area maintenance

The holding area inside the vehicle has to be maintained. This means it must be cleaned and also free from odours. Where it’s fitted with temperature control systems, these need to be serviced and kept in good working order.

Vehicle maintenance

Vehicles must be on a maintenance programme which complies with local legislation and prevents breakdown.

Cleaning controls

We’ve covered the cleaning programme for vehicles in a previous article. If you want to find out more see this article on cleaning.

Breakdown

Drivers must be trained so that they know what to do in the event of a breakdown or incident.

The driver must know:

  • How to report a problem using the emergency contact numbers that they’ve been provided with.
  • How to preserve environmental controls in the holding area if the product is temperature controlled.
  • What checks need to be recorded before continuing the journey.

There must be a system of back-up vehicles or a rapid-repair service in place, to minimise the impact of incidents on customers.

Temperature control

Validation

Just like temperature control in the storage area – temperature control in vehicles needs to be validated. This is to prove that the materials can be held at the required temperature consistently throughout the delivery.

We covered validation of temperature-controlled areas in Material Storage Controls.

Procedures

The results of validation must be included in driver procedures, so that they understand any limitations of the holding area, or any other requirements such as pre-cooling.

Monitoring

The temperature in the holding area must be monitored, using either data logging systems, or at a set frequency using manual checks. Where the settings can be adjusted, these must be checked and recorded as well.

Vehicle equipment

The equipment provided with the vehicle must be fit for purpose and maintained, such as fastenings, tail lifts and hoses.

Equipment inspections must be carried out by trained staff and comply with the local legislation. Defects must be scheduled for repair, or the vehicle removed from service.

Tankers

Bulk tankers must comply with relevant legislation and certification schemes.

So that the customer can check that the tanker has been cleaned, and that it hasn’t been transporting anything that could pose an allergen or taint risk – load history and a cleaning log must be kept.

Details of at least the last three loads must be provided. And cleaning records must detail when, where and by who the tanker was cleaned.

Tanker equipment must be secure, so hoses must be capped and locked.

Maintenance records must also be kept, including records of filter checks.

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