Food Safety and Sanitation

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) – Based

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Receiving Deliveries

(Sample SOP)

PURPOSE: To ensure that all food is received fresh and safe when it enters the foodservice operation and to transfer food to proper storage as quickly as possible.

SCOPE: This procedure applies to foodservice employees who handle, prepare or serve food.

KEYWORDS: Cross-Contamination, Temperatures, Receiving, Holding, Frozen Goods, Delivery


1. Train foodservice employees on using the procedures in this Standard Operating Procedure.

2. Follow state or local health department requirements.

3. Schedule deliveries to arrive at designated times during operational hours.

4. Post the delivery schedule, including the names of vendors, days and times of deliveries, and drivers’ names.

5. Establish a rejection policy to ensure accurate, timely, consistent and effective refusal and return of rejected goods.

6. Organize freezer and refrigeration space, loading docks and store rooms before deliveries.

7. Gather product specification lists and purchase orders, temperature logs, calibrated thermometers, pens, flashlights, and clean loading carts before deliveries. Refer to the Using and Calibrating Thermometers Standard Operating Procedure.

8. Keep receiving area clean and well lighted.

9. Do not touch ready-to-eat foods with bare hands.

10. Determine whether foods will be marked with the date arrival or the “use by” date and mark accordingly upon receipt.

11. Compare delivery invoice against products ordered and products delivered.

12. Transfer foods to their appropriate locations as quickly as possible.


1. Inspect the delivery truck when it arrives to ensure that it is clean, free of odors and organized to prevent cross-contamination.

2. Check the interior temperature of the refrigerated trucks.

3. Confirm vendor name, day, and time of delivery, as well as driver’s identification before accepting delivery. If driver’s name is different from what is indicated on the delivery schedule, contact the vendor immediately.

4. Check frozen foods to ensure that they are all frozen solid and show no signs of thawing and refreezing, such as the presence of large ice crystals or liquids on the bottom of cartons.

5. Check the temperature of refrigerated foods.

a. For fresh meat, fish, and poultry products, insert a clean and sanitized thermometer into the center of the product to ensure a temperature of 41° F or below. The temperature of milk should be 45° F or below.

b. For packaged products, insert a food thermometer between two packages being careful not to puncture the wrapper. If the temperature exceeds 41° F, it may be necessary to take the internal temperature before accepting the product.

c. For eggs, the interior temperature of the truck should be 45° F or below.

6. Check all dates of milk, eggs and other perishable goods to ensure safety and quality.

7. Check the integrity of food packaging.

8. Check the cleanliness of crates and other shipping containers before accepting products. Reject foods that are shipped in dirty crates.


1. Retrain any foodservice employee found not following the procedures in this Standard Operating Procedure.

2. Reject the following:

• Frozen foods with signs of previous thawing.

• Cans that have signs of deterioration, such as swollen sides or ends, flawed seals or seams, dents or rust.

• Punctured packages.

• Foods with out-dated expiration dates.

• Foods that are out of safe temperature zone or deemed unacceptable by the established rejection policy.


Record the temperature and the corrective action on the delivery invoice or on the Receiving Log. The foodservice manager will verify that foodservice employees are receiving products using the proper procedure by visually monitoring receiving practices during the shift and reviewing the Receiving Log at the close of each day. Receiving Logs are kept on file for a minimum of one year.