A cornerstone of FSD’s ongoing operations, food safety is equally important for our partner agencies. In 2013, FSD passed the American Institute of Bakers (AIB) audit, a prestigious achievement in the food service industry. Only 27 food banks in the country have attempted and passed this rigorous set of standards. In order to keep our partners in alignment with these standards, we require agencies to attend a mandatory FSD food safety training and certification every two years.
Compliance and Responsibilities
As our valued partners, each agency is expected to maintain all food safety standards. Partner organizations will be monitored at least once every two years (see Agency Compliance for more information). During these on-site visits, FSD checks for food safety compliance as well as a sustained level of respect and dignity shown to clients, volunteers and staff. Please make sure that compliance is up-to-date.
FSD hosts Food Handler for Food Banking courses at various locations throughout San Diego County every other month. If you are interested in hosting or attending, please contact Nico Sidorakis, Partnerships Coordinator, for more information.
Produce Storage and Distribution
Produce has many attractive benefits, such as being highly nutritious and it is a need and expressed desire of those we serve. However, it also presents unique handling requirements that can differ from traditional food bank staple items like canned goods. At FSD, we want to address the need for more education and information about produce best practices by providing the tools we have available to us in the warehouse regarding produce handling for food banks along to you, our partners.
Food banks see a wide range of produce crops and quality, everything from excess product that is retail quality to produce that has gone beyond a salvageable state. It is not always clear whether a produce item is spoiled or just less than grocery store quality.
Click here for a list of one-sheets you can use on-site to help your volunteers and clients know when to keep an item, and when to throw it out. In addition, click here for a much larger and more comprehensive toolkit provided by Feeding America National. Please use these resources to ensure safe distribution and storage of produce, but also a reduction in food waste due to misconceptions about how produce “should” look.
Food Safety Tips
All food items must be stored six inches off the ground, four inches from the wall, and six inches from the ceiling.
Thermometers must be placed in each refrigerator and freezer, and temperature logs must be kept daily for each fridge and freezer.
We require all agencies picking up food from grocery stores or from the FSD warehouse to keep comprehensive temperature logs for transportation. You must take the temperature of refrigerated or frozen food at the time of pick up and upon arriving at your facility. Please click here for a sample log you may use.
Always use separate cutting boards for meats and other foods. If not possible, thoroughly wash and sanitize cutting boards after working with meat.
If you find a pest or bacteria in food, throw out the food and check all surroundings and foods for infestation.
Resources and Information: Hand Washing / Storing Food / Loading and Transport / Can Defects / Produce Storage
FAQ About Code Dating and Expiration