Out of all the supply chain infrastructures out there, ones revolving around perishable goods are perhaps the most time and condition-sensitive ones out there. Their supply chain requirements also mean that storage solutions need to be more sensitive toward them.
On-demand storage solutions for perishables – especially consumables and products that are applied on the skin, are regulated by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).
MHRA – What Does It Do?
The MHRA is responsible for regulating the following products and their storage in the UK:
– Food items
– Supplements – dietary and medicinal
– Drugs and medicines
-Electronics that emit radiation
-Cosmetics (skin and hair products)
-Products for animals (food, medicine, and more)
-Tobacco products, and more.
Along with making sure the above-mentioned items follow a certain code when being manufactured, MHRA also makes sure that these items are stored and transported in an acceptable manner. This includes finding MHRA-certified warehouses, transportation and more.
What Is an MHRA Certified Warehouse?
MHRA certified warehouses are storage solutions that are registered with the MHRA for being food-storage-worthy. These are subjected to regular audits by MHRA to ensure all its codes and requirements are being followed to the letter.
It is important to find the right on-demand warehouse if you’re supplying any of the above-listed items, else you risk compromising your products in front of the MHRA, which is a PR disaster that most product lines or companies can’t recover from that easily!
Here are three major considerations to keep in mind when looking for a warehousing solution for your inventory.
1. Any Special Storage Needs
There are food items that need to be kept frozen and some that require slightly warm conditions to maximize shelf-life. Before you sign any contracts, make sure the on-demand warehouse has the type of storage you need. It is usually a good idea to go for a warehousing solution that has different types of storage facilitates.
This way, you aren’t limited to a certain type of product just because of your warehousing solution. If your product doesn’t have any special storage needs, check the warehouse to make sure the facility is dry, clean and free of pests. Perishables invite pests and some warehouses do not offer any insurance against pest damage.
2. Facility’s Conditions
As mentioned above, make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. Things you should be on the lookout for when visiting a facility include:
-The condition of moving equipment
-Condition of shelves (cleanliness)
-Presence of any rodents, insects, fungus, mould, etc.
-MHRA compliance certificates
-Condition of the roof – especially if the warehouse is somewhere with exceptionally bad weather
-If there are any special requirements, see how closely the SOPs are adhered to. For food items, even the difference of 1 centigrade can mark the difference between long lasting food items and spoiled ones
-Clean and maintained exterior
-The warehousing company’s track record
3. MHRA Registration
MHRA conducts regular audits of certified warehouses, ensuring that they meet their requirements. Most food grade warehouses need to comply with strict requirements for hygiene and storage requirements. The idea is to help suppliers and customers know whether the item they’re purchasing was stored properly or not.
This is one more benefit of going with an MHRA-certified on-demand warehouse; your item remains MHRA certified, which attracts more consumers. This is particularly useful when you’re supplying items for new-borns, since new parents are specifically careful of what they feed their child.
Remember, looking at a warehouse’s certification is your right. If someone isn’t responding to your request for seeing the certificate, you may want to explore other options.