What is foodstuff? Foodstuff means substances intended for consumption by humans or animals.
Imagine if we have one box of Pesticide ( Class 6.1) which is toxic and 100 bags of animal feed for one destination can we stuff both in one container? Consequences of contamination by pesticides on this feed will be animals falling sick or dying! Or some will drink cows’ milk with added flavour of pesticides!
IMDG Code gives specific instructions for dangerous goods Stowage in relation to foodstuffs in Chapter 7.1.
It says Class 2.3 (toxic gases), 6.1(toxic substances) packing group I & II and Class 7(radioactive material) shall not be loaded with foodstuffs in same container; segregation requirement is “separated from each other”. Class 6.1(toxic substances) and Class 8 (corrosive substances ) may be loaded in the same container provided Competent Authority approves such consolidation.
We must look at each dangerous goods’ individual entry before deciding to consolidate as some of the Class 9 (Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles) ( example UN 3432) have a segregation requirement of separated from foodstuffs.
Moral of the story is if you have foodstuff whether other cargo is dangerous or not we must check the possibility of contamination and take necessary measures/action. Even if both are foodstuff we must take care because cargo like garlic will give its “fragrance” to all other cargoes lying close to it! For experiment you can leave some garlic in your refrigerator and see all other items like fruits milk butter etc smelling garlic 😉