Here are related portions of a couple of typical BRC viewpoints –
Documented procedures to maintain product safety and quality during storage shall be developed on the basis of risk assessment, understood by relevant staff and implemented accordingly. These may include as appropriate:
Segregation of products where necessary to avoid cross-contamination (physical, microbiological or allergens) or taint uptake.
Documented procedures shall be established to ensure the effective management of allergenic materials to prevent cross-contamination into products not containing the allergen. This shall include as appropriate:
physical or time segregation whilst allergen-containing materials are being stored, processed or packed.
And SQF -
SQF suppliers must identify all allergenic ingredients at receipt, and store them separately from non-allergenic materials, and from materials containing other types of allergens. Staff involved in receiving and storage must be fully aware of the presence and risk of allergens and the storage procedure.
All ingredients must be clearly labeled with the name of the allergenic substance, and must be stored and transported to avoid spillage or leakage onto other non-allergenic materials.
It is clear that any storage requirements will revolve around interpretations of terms like “segregation” and “separate”.Textually (eg see examples attached) it is IMO implicitly recognised that some deviations to an ideal physical separation are unavoidable in practice. But the magnitude is left unstated (ie risk assessed).
Explicit numerical requirements seem to be rare although occasionally occur, eg -
Shipping, receiving, handling and storage
Ingredients containing allergens should be shipped in properly labelled and sealed containers, and physically separated from allergen-free ingredients. Receiving employees should inspect the shipments for spills or damaged containers. Allergenic food ingredients should be stored separately from other ingredients. If not possible, a distance of about 1.5 meters should be maintained between allergens and other ingredients. Store allergenic raw materials on the bottom of racks to avoid accidental spills on items below them. Identify raw materials with an “Allergen” and/or a color-coded tag.
A few random official/non-official viewpoints are listed below –
Rgds / Charles.C