NW Systems Group has recently completed installation of an IP video surveillance system for major UK food transport and storage company McBurney Refrigeration Limited. The new system was installed at McBurney’s principle UK storage depot in Liverpool as part of a package of security and health & safety improvements required to gain British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Distributors Quality Management Process (DQMP) food safety standards certifications.
The BRC Global Standard -Storage & Distribution Issue 2 (dated September 2010), is now considered the UK’s gold standard for safe and hygienic storage and transportation of chilled, frozen and ambient products as well as for facilities which offer blast freezing of pre-packed meat products and tempering of pre-packed bread products.
McBurney Refrigeration was keen to gain compliance with this standard before the beginning of 2014 when some of its larger customers, including ASDA, began requiring it as a condition of doing business with them.
Another major business advantage of gaining the BRC certification is that if McBurney could achieve this ultimate UK standard for handling and storage of chilled and frozen food goods, fewer management hours will be tied up in hosting and providing documentation for customers’ own inspection teams.
Following last year’s horse meat scandal industry bodies, manufacturers and retailers alike began demanding tighter food safety standards right through the food supply chain.
Peter Amos, warehouse manager, McBurney Refrigeration, added: “We also distribute frozen burgers and buns for McDonalds. They demand a slightly more stringent food safety standard, widely adhered to in the US, called DQMP. This standard demands highly secure access to food storage areas as well. Thanks to the new system we’ve been able to secure the DQMP standard accreditation also.”
NW Systems’ IP video system needed to address a key security and fire threat which jeopardised BRC accreditation. This threat came principally from visiting drivers from abroad not observing the site’s smoking ban and lighting up right outside doors which offer access to the chillers.
Peter Amos, warehouse manager, McBurney Refrigeration, said: “We had specific concerns about enforcing a site-wide ban on smoking which had proved difficult. We had also experienced some shrinkage of frozen fish stocks in the top floor of the warehouse. Some drivers passing through this site come from as far afield as Spain or Portugal. They drive customers’ trucks full of chilled vegetables up to this site, before delivering the produce onto the retailers’ regional distribution centres.”
The fact that they were smoking close to the doors compromised entrance security because they could potentially hold doors open for unauthorised individuals, who would not therefore have to punch the code into the door locks to release them. In addition smoking in these areas breached McBurney’s fire regulations on the site, put there because the walls of the chillers contain highly flammable insulation materials. Once the IP video system was installed smoking stopped in these areas and BRC accreditation has been secured.
Plans are now afoot to expand the video monitoring system to cover the loading bays. A camera fitted on each of McBurney’s bays would ensure against theft or damage to goods at the point of loading. High resolution images of pallets being loaded could be sent to customers if there is ever any dispute about goods damaged when unloaded at retailers’ distribution centres.
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