We recently completed an NSF supplier audit and were dinged for a major nonconformance on allergen storage.
The products are sealed bottles/packets of sauce. They are in individual containers, sealed cardboard cases, and in some cases additional plastic wrap around the cases. They are stored on pallets near each other.
The inspector suggested putting up pallet racking and making each shelf dedicated to a specific allergen. Not only is this not financially attainable, but we have many ingredients with complex and differing allergen profiles.
I have created zones with colored floor tape for products with single or no allergens. The others are stored on shelves with the best spacing I can manage. (For example: Wheat on top shelf, wheat & soy on middle shelf, and wheat, soy, & fish on the bottom shelf.
My question is this: Is this sufficient? The risk assessment for cross-contact was very low. They stay on the pallets until packed and shipped elsewhere.
Should I explore plastic barriers for between the pallets? Is there a required distance?
I totally understand the concern for allergen safety. I initiated sesame labeling on all products when I was hired. This seems a little excessive imho. Especially for ingredients that will eventually be packed and shipped together on the same pallet.