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Good Organic Retail Practices 2022 Guide

Grocery and Prepackaged Foods Best Practices and System Plan

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Cleaning and sanitizing the grocery and prepackaged foods department is similar to other departments. Follow the guidelines in Section 2 (Cleaning and Sanitizing) to prevent contamination.

  • Store cleaning materials away from food products and preparation areas. Never store these materials above a sink or preparation area.
  • Use only department approved cleaning materials.
  • Complete any written documentation of your cleaning activities when needed.
  • Clean up spills when they occur.

Grocery and Prepackaged Foods Receiving

Receiving for grocery and prepackaged foods are similar to receiving any other organic products. Follow the guidelines in Section 2 (Receiving) for receiving best practices to prevent commingling and contamination when receiving prepackaged food products.

  • Always verify product ordered matches what is delivered and what is written on the invoice/bill of lading.
  • Always look for clear organic labeling and “certified organic by…” statement.
  • Place any item in a quarantine area that does not meet USDA labeling rules. Get missing information from supplier.
  • When a store purchases organic product through a distributor, it’s the distributor’s responsibility to maintain the documentation on the products they sell. Cases of new products or the product itself should be reviewed at receiving to verify use of the word “organic” and identification of the certifying agent name on the case or product label.

Grocery and Prepackaged Foods Storage

  • If products are packaged or otherwise enclosed in a sealed container prior to being received, and remain unopened, in the same package or container until the final sale to the consumer, then no special precautions exist to maintain organic integrity.
  • Fumigation agents are never allowed within the same air space as organic foods.


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