Case Study

Food Handling Quality Inspections

Region: UK Wide

Sector: National Contract Caterer and National Food Distributor

"A review of food handling and picking procedures to determine where quality was suffering during distribution."

Warehouse picking and handling of fresh produce
The Brief

Our client, a national contract caterer, with multiple food suppliers and using a national distributor for collation of deliveries, was concerned that the quality of food products was suffering during the course of distribution. They required an independent assessment of handling practices at all stages, from supplier delivery through to receipt and storage by kitchen staff to assess handling against a set of criteria.


The Project

FSL designed and carried out a one-off series of inspections designed to assess handling practices at key stages in distribution. A set of criteria were created, based on activities which were likely to damage packs, such as placement of boxes within picking cages, and how boxes and packs were unloaded from vehicles and shelved within the warehouse. At all stages, either the activity itself was observed, or the finished results of the activity were observed, with a series of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ type answers, allowing for a very specific set of data to be collected and presented to the client.

Handling of food in warehouse 

The Benefits


The data was presented in a clear and concise report to the client, with key statistics broken down by location and activity. This allowed the client to analyse findings and discuss them with the relevant parties.


The observation of picking practices was combined at every stage with a quality assessment wherever poor practice was highlighted. In many cases this allowed us to quantify, in cost, the price of poor handling.


The client was able to recommend training procedures at relevant stages of distribution, with a focus on the costs incurred when food products are poorly handling.

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