What Products and Industries Need An FDA-Registed Warehouse?
Under the Bioterrorism Act of 2003, all warehouse facilities that store or handle products intended for consumption by humans or animals in the United States are required to register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The purpose of the FDA’s regulations is to ensure that all food and beverage products are received by consumers fresh and safe for consumption. As long as an FDA-registered warehouse is following all guidelines, consumers should never receive:
- Products that have been damaged or contaminated
- Products that are incorrectly labeled
- Products that have reached their expiration date
- Recalled food and beverage items
If FDA regulations are not followed, a company risks hefty fines of up to $500,000, as well as the suspension of their business license.
With the food and beverage eCommerce sector rapidly growing, many retailers are choosing to outsource their product fulfillment. When shopping around for a 3PL partner, it’s important to request to see their Certificate of Registration, which confirms that their warehouse facility has been properly registered with the FDA. FDA-registered warehouses work in a variety of ways to maintain the safety of the products stored there. Here are some of the things that eCommerce retailers can expect from their food and beverage fulfillment services partner:
- Experience in working with clients whose products include food, beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics or other items that require special FDA-mandated care, tracking and monitoring.
- A warehouse that is temperature-controlled at all times to keep products from spoiling.
- A warehouse that is clean and pest-free.
- A warehouse containing up-to-date equipment that is regularly maintained.
- An extra focus on keeping specialty products in excellent condition. For example, working freezers to preserve frozen goods, and ice packs to prevent chocolate from melting.
- Products are never directly touched or packaged to avoid contamination.
- The “FIFO’ (First In-First Out) approach is strictly followed, which results in fewer products expiring.
- A written plan in place, which outlines potential risks that could compromise food safety. This plan also must have solutions for each of these risks, and the ways that the warehouse is working to prevent an issue from arising.
- In addition to the written plan that outlines potential risks, there must be a plan in place for properly handling a contamination incident.
- Employees that have been trained on all safety procedures.