Best Practices in Refrigerated Food Transport
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Temperature excursions during refrigerated food transportation reduce product shelf life. Maintaining the integrity and quality of refrigerated cargo is paramount to preventing these issues. Stakeholders, from the fleet that transports food to distribution centers and manufacturing facilities, follow industry standards to ensure food safety.
As an ecosystem, all involved in the food transportation and storage cold chain must understand their procedures. Temperature-controlled vessels transport perishable cargo. Consistent temperature preserves the integrity of the product to prevent spoilage, and fleets maintain a tight temperature and with minimum variations to ensure the product has the longest possible shelf life. In addition to standard food safety procedures, the fleet can follow food transport best practices to ensure the product quality and longest shelf life while realizing fuel savings.
The Pre-Trip Inspection.
The first step to ensure optimal food quality is to perform a pre-trip inspection of the transport refrigerated unit and the trailer. Manufacturers should set pre-trip inspection requirements that include clearing previous alarm modes or addressing the mitigating existing alarms.
Drivers should perform a visual inspection of the trailer to ensure the unit isn’t physically compromised in any way.
Pre-cooling the trailer ensures that cargo doesn’t reach inappropriate temperature during or immediately after loading. The same standards apply regardless of the starting and final trailer temperature to ensure temperatures are writhing safety guidelines.
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