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close this bookCARE Food Manual (CARE , 1998, 355 p.)
close this folderChapter 7 - Storage and Handling
close this folderIV. Food Storage
View the documentA. Open Storage
View the documentB. Height of Stacks
View the documentC. Stacking Food
View the documentD. Stack Cards
Open this folder and view contentsE. Physical Counts

C. Stacking Food

Whenever possible, use pallets to keep food off the floor, and keep stacks at least one meter away from the eaves of the warehouse. This allows air to circulate and helps reduce the risk of infestations. Pallets should be clean, level, and free of projecting nails or splinters. When pallets are not available, such as at the beginning of an emergency operation, try to place food on wooden planks, woven mats or plastic sheeting. Keeping food off the floor is essential.

Guidelines for Stacking

· Be sure there is easy access to food that has been stored the longest so that it will be dispatched first.

· Store separate shipments of the same food in separate stacks. If this is not possible, place food remaining from a previous shipment on top of newly arrived food so that it can be dispatched first.

· Set the first layer of the stack carefully on the pallets -- this layer is fundamental for maintaining uniform stacks. (See Figure 3 below.)

· Bond or interlace layers bags of grain or processed food to construct the stack. (See Figure 4 below.)

· Line up bags or containers of food with the edge of a pallet. (See Figure 5 below.)

· Place the same number of bags or containers on each level to make counting easy.

· Leave at least one meter between each stack, and between the stacks and walls to facilitate inspections, inventory counts and fumigations. Leave at least one meter of circulation space between the top of the stack and the eaves. (See Figure 6 below.)

· Stack cartons or tins of oil in their upright position.

· Limit stack heights to avoid crushing food on the bottom and excessive floor loading. Do not stack bags of grain or processed food higher than 25 layers, nor containers of oil higher than 10 layers. (See Figure 7 below for an example of a well constructed stack which also can be used like a staircase to easily put food on and take it off.)

· Lift bags and containers and do not throw them.

· Create separate stacks for food in original packages, damaged packages, repackaged food, food suspected and/or declared unfit, and sweepings.


· Take physical inventories by counting from the floor. Climb to the top to observe that the stack is whole and no food has been taken from the center.


Figure 3a: Correct Stacking Sequence -- Bottom layer as seen from above


Figure 3b: Correct Stacking Sequence -- Top layer as seen from above


Figure 4: Bonded or interlaced stack


Figure 5: Stacking on pallets


Figure 6: Stacking food to eaves


Figure 7: Staircase Stack