Documenting Unfit Food
If food is declared unfit for human consumption, it is considered a loss which is recorded in CARE’s warehouse and commodity inventory records and reported to donors in the same way as other losses. For marine losses, the amount of unfit food must be reported in the independent discharge survey report and Loss and Adjustment Reports. For internal losses, the amounts must be reported on the Loss and Adjustment Report. and, asappropriate, the Independent Delivery Survey Report.
Warehouse managers, storekeepers or others who suspect food may be unfit must promptly notify a government official and request a review and analysis of food.
Lab or Other Analysis
For both internal and marine losses, normally only a public health official or an authorized laboratory can declare food to be unfit for human consumption. If no health official is available, an independent chemist or private laboratory may be employed by either CARE or a surveyor to analyze the suspect food.
Samples for marine losses must be:
Samples for internal losses must be:
Timeliness of Documentation Regarding Fitness
If the surveyor notes food was damaged onboard the vessel and the food is later declared to be unfit for human consumption, a cause-effect relationship must be established between damage and declaration of unfitness. The key to establishing this relationship is timing.
In the latter two cases, CARE has not promptly or properly minimized damages and must submit a narrative statement explaining why damaged food was not properly analyzed and/or repackaged on a timely basis.
Certification of Commodities Unfit for Human Consumption
Once the food has been inspected and declared unfit, a Certification of Commodities Unfit for Human Consumption (see Attachment) must becompleted by the Health Authority or the private laboratory. The form mustbe signed, including the title of the signer.
The written statement or certification should include but need not be limited to the following information:
Donor Notification Requirements
For marine losses the certification along with other marine loss documentation should be submitted to the Procurement Office CARE USA for U.S. Government donated food and to CARE Britain or Euronaid, or other donors for non-U.S. Government food.
For internal losses, the certification must be kept on file. Notice and requests for approval to dispose or destroy unfit food must be obtained as required by donors.
Often food is declared unfit at remote warehouses or distribution sites Unfitfood can be sitting in warehouses for long periods of time while inspections take place and Loss and Adjustment Reports are prepared and authorized.
Country offices should discuss this issue with donors and request approval to dispose of unfit food as soon as Loss and Adjustment Reports have been authorized by CARE. Donors can be notified of the disposition of unfit food in Commodity Status, Quarterly Consolidated and Quarterly Loss Reports.
Disposition of Food Unfit for Human Consumption
Once food is certified unfit for human consumption and donor approval has been obtained, unfit food should be disposed of in the order of priority shown in the following table:
Disposition of Food Unfit for Human Consumption
Rules and procedures set forth in CARE USA’s Procurement Manual for Overseas Operations shall be applicable to all sales of unfit food.
To minimize the possibility of impropriety and to maximize proceeds of the sale, a public tender should be issued whenever unfit food with a value greater than or equal to US$500 is sold. A tender involves soliciting sealed bids, usually through public advertisement (often through a newspaper or the posting of handbills in public places). If the offer cannot be publicly advertised, a sufficient number of parties known to buy damaged food for animal feed or fertilizer must be contacted to obtain the highest price.
In general, notice of tenders should contain:
It is advisable to establish a committee of at least three persons to open the bids in the presence of the others. Ideally, members of the committee should come from offices separate from those involved in managing food resources.
For example, a committee may consist of a project manager, financial controller and the assistant country director for administration and finance.
When food is sold as animal feed or fertilizer, country offices must take measures to ensure that the local organizations do not re-sell the food for human consumption. Some suggestions for ensuring that unfit food is not resold include:
All requirements set forth in the CARE Overseas Financial Manual, July 1992 must be followed when receiving and disbursing proceeds received from the sale of unfit food.
Proceeds from the sale of unfit food must also comply with established donor requirements. Most donors allow CARE to retain a percentage of the sales proceeds for administrative and other costs related to the sale. Other donors reimburse for actual expenses incurred. This should be negotiated locally with the donor. In order to ensure that food is not purposely destroyed, most donors will only pay expenses for damages when proper efforts have been made to minimize or prevent damage. Examples of improper exercise of responsibility include storing food in a leaking warehouse without taking steps to stop the leaks, not fumigating as required,or transporting food without a tarpaulin during the rainy season.
There are no specific guidelines by donors on the donation of unfit food to local governments, individuals or organizations, other than food used for animal feed. Country offices need to keep up-to-date information on programs which use unfit food and be satisfied that they are using the unfit food only for animal feed or fertilizer.
Files should be kept of all communications relating to the donation of the unfit food along with copies of waybills which show dispatches to the organizations receiving the unfit food.
Any food certified as unfit may be destroyed by burning or burying. Local populations may not understand or be aware that the food is unfit for humans and animals. Thus, it could be perceived that CARE is destroying food intended for project participants. If food is buried, there is also a risk that people may later dig it up.
In destroying food, CARE must:
Once food has been destroyed, a Certificate of Destruction (see Attachment) must be completed. The attached Certificate can be used as one example.
The warehouse manager or storekeeper should keep a copy of the Certificate of Destruction on file with the related Loss and Adjustment Report and a copy should be sent to the Country or regional office commodity financial accountant and the Food and Logistics section for filing with their copy of the Loss and Adjustment Report.
The waybill and the authorized Loss and Adjustment Report are the support documents for removing the unfit food from warehouse inventories.
In cases of sale or donation of unfit food, the Receipt Information section of the waybill would be signed by the person purchasing or receiving the unfit food. When food is destroyed, the warehouse manager, storekeeper and independent person/s witnessing the destruction should fill out the Receipt Information section of the waybill.
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