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This article applies to selling in: United States

Chilled and frozen foods

Important: If you supply products for sale on Amazon, you must comply with all federal, state, and local laws and Amazon policies applicable to those products and product listings.

Seller requirements for refrigerated food, frozen food, and temperature-controlled food for quality or performance are as follows:

  • You must be registered as a seller on the Professional Selling Plan.
  • You must provide us with acceptable documentation (such as GFSI) and other information we request about the products you intend to sell.
  • Refrigerated food, frozen food, and raw agricultural commodities must be fully enclosed and sealed in packaging suitable for shipping. Packaging must be designed to maintain safe product temperatures throughout delivery to the customer. Temperature thresholds are shown in the "Food-Temperature Details" table below
  • Food that is temperature-controlled for quality and performance must follow temperature requirements that meet quality and performance standards.
  • Raw agricultural commodities that do not have an expiration date must have acceptable remaining shelf life on product, meet quality standards for ripeness and be absent of mold, pests, or contamination.

Validation and verification of chill chain

Maintaining proper temperatures of refrigerated food, frozen food and raw agricultural commodities is critical for ensuring food safety and quality. Temperatures outside the conforming temperature range may result in offer suppression and/or seller suspension.

Validation: Sellers are expected to validate the chill chain. To validate the chill chain, a seller needs to demonstrate how the product temperature will be maintained in "worst case conditions" (such as when the external ambient temperature reaches historic highs or lows, when the delivery is as long as it can be, when the delivered food has a low thermal mass or a high volume). A validation will be deemed successful when an external independent laboratory can repeatedly simulate "worst case scenario" and show that the product's internal and surface temperatures are lower than the targeted temperature at the end of the maximum time, corresponding to the longest possible delivery time. For businesses that do not restrict customer orders by state or ZIP code, Phoenix-AZ, Dallas-TX, or Miami-FL should be considered as the warmest delivery locations (depending where the food ships from).

Verification: Whereas validations are suitable to demonstrate theoretical compliance prior to launching a new business, route or packaging, a verification program is recommended to confirm at a defined frequency that products arrive at or below the targeted temperature in real business conditions. Like for the validation, verification programs should focus on worst case scenario. When verification results are unfavorable, a corrective action plan should be implemented.

Both validation and verification programs and recorded activities should be kept and made available to Amazon and regulators upon request. Not only is this information an essential component of food safety, it is also critical for ensuring that the products purchased by consumers are wholesome, and unadulterated.

General temperature requirements are provided below as reference, however you must determine safety and quality of your products depending on their nature.

Table 1. Food-Temperature Details
Food Type Conforming Temperature
Refrigerated meat 28-41° F
Refrigerated poultry 28-41° F
Refrigerated fish and crustacea (crab, shrimp, lobster) 32-41° F
Refrigerated processed dairy products or liquid eggs 32-41° F
Refrigerated processed foods 32-41° F
All refrigerated cut fruits, vegetables, and ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables1 32-41° F
Refrigerated shellfish (clams, mussels, scallops, oysters) 32-45° F
Refrigerated shell eggs or fluid milk 32-45° F
Frozen foods < 10° F
Whole, uncut, not ready-to-eat produce2 32-65° F
Bananas3 56-64° F

1All cut fruits, vegetables, and ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables are required to be refrigerated to maintain food safety.

2Target temperature for this group is only provided as a guideline to ensure produce quality. You are expected to validate your chill chain and ensure compliance.

  • If transported together with produce requiring lower temperatures, those produce sensitive to low temperatures should be protected against frost with a thermal barrier (for example, with a blanket.
  • Suppliers are expected to take measures to ensure produce quality by using the most appropriate temperature during on site storage and transit to the customer (based on produce type).

3Temperature range is based on banana pulp temperature.

Compliance documents

Food Permit

In the United States, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires that facilities engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding food for consumption in the United States submit registration information to FDA. The FD&C Act, as amended by FSMA, also requires food facilities required to register with FDA to renew such registrations every other year.

Audit Certificate

Amazon recognizes Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked standards and associated certifications (for example, BRC, SQF, FSSC, IFS) and will consider that food suppliers holding a valid GFSI benchmark certificate, relevant to the products sold to or through Amazon within any of the nine high risk categories identified, meet Amazon food safety and quality minimum expectations. Food suppliers that are not yet certified to a GFSI benchmarked scheme are expected to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Certify that all product is packaged and handled in a way to maintain safe temperature throughout the planned supply chain. For example, chilled products are maintained ≤41F/5C throughout the planned supply chain, or the period where the temperature >41F/5C but is ≤45F/7C is limited to 18hrs; Frozen products are maintained ≤10F/-12C or frozen solid at all times.
  • Certify that it holds all required registrations, permits, and licenses to distribute chilled or frozen products.
  • Provide a valid permit, license, establishment number, or most recent inspection record from FDA, USDA, department of agriculture or state regulatory requirements to ship your products to all states in the continental US (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories). If the above requirement is not applicable to your business or jurisdiction, provide a letter from the local health authority describing the business activity you are conducting as well as stating there is no required licensing.

GFSI

Amazon recognizes GFSI benchmarked standards and associated certifications (for example, BRC, SQF, FSSC, IFS) and will consider sellers that hold a valid GFSI benchmark certificate, relevant to the products sold to or through Amazon to meet Amazon's food safety and quality minimum expectations.

Last updated 07/31/2018

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