Food Storage and Distribution
Food storage and distribution facilities are also regulated by the Food and Drug Unit. A permitted food manufacturer usually has a designated warehouse facility attached to or otherwise integrated with the manufacturing operation; these facilities do not require a separate Permit to Operate. However, standalone snack-vending warehouses, multiple-foods warehouses, and other kinds of food distribution facilities do require a "W"-class permit from our office.
Food storage warehouses are required to follow GWPs (Good Warehousing Practices), the storage analog of GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices). In practice, this means that many of the same regulations that apply to manufacturers also apply to warehousing firms: floors and walls need to be maintained in a smooth and easily cleanable condition, all food products must be stored at least 18" away from walls and 6" above floors, adequate storage space must be provided, an adequate pest-control program must be enacted, grass and weeds must be controlled, et cetera. The specific regulations are found in Chapter 7 of Part VI, Title 51, L.A.C.
The permitting process follows our standard timeline: submit plans for your distribution facility to your district sanitarian. He or she will respond to your submission with a plans approval or disapproval letter. If you receive a disapproval letter, provide the additional documentation or amended plans required by the review letter. When you receive an approval letter, your next step is to schedule a pre-operational inspection with the sanitarian, who will verify that the facility is designed and constructed in accordance with the plans provided and that no additional defects are present. If the inspector documents violations, you may need to schedule a reinspection after the items are addressed. If not, you will be issued a Temporary Permit to Operate, and your permit will follow in the mail within 7-14 business days.
Warehouse permit fees are a flat $300 per fiscal year, irrespective of size or revenue.
Chapter 7 of Part VI, Title 51, L.A.C. - FDU regulations pertaining to food storage and distribution
Plans Review Packet - a packet can be downloaded here under "Plans Packet for Food Storage Warehouses"