Receiving Food Products: Safe Food is Good Business - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Receiving Food Products
Safe Food is Good Business

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Delivered Product Quality

When food products are delivered to an establishment's door, it is the responsibility of the person in charge to ensure inspection of every food delivery for general cleanliness, condition of containers, and signs of temperature abuse.


Check deliveries to make sure that the packages of food products are intact and not leaking any product. If a container is broken open, crushed, torn, or otherwise damaged, the contents may have been exposed to possible contamination. Look for signs of contamination by rodents, insects, or birds. If any of these problems are identified, reject the product.

Canned Products

When receiving canned products, always inspect them for the following potential problems:

  • Severe dents on the top or bottom rim, or on side seam.
  • Swollen or bulging cans.
  • Rusted cans with pitted surfaces.

If cans have any of the above problems, they must be either thrown away or returned to the supplier.

Receiving Temperatures

Generally, all cold potentially hazardous foods must be received at 41° F. or below. Some exceptions are:

  • Fluid milk must be received at 45° F. or lower. Once received, milk must be cooled to 41° F. or less, and held there.
  • Shell eggs must be received at 45° F. or lower. Once received, eggs must be cooled to 41° F. or less, and held there.
  • Frozen foods must be received frozen.
  • Live molluscan shellfish must be received at 50° F. or lower.

All hot potentially hazardous foods, which have been cooked and are received hot, must be received at 140° F. or higher.


During deliveries the potential for cross-contamination is high. Watch to ensure that containers or cartons filled with raw foods, such as meats and poultry, or fresh produce are not stacked on top of each other or located in such a manner that leaking product from one container can contaminate a different food in another container.

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Updated Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 04:43PM