An exceedingly strong link in the food cold-supply chain can be a flexible one as well. That’s what a multi-temperature public refrigerated warehousing business can provide for its customers— flexibility in the kinds of perishable products it can safely accept, store, and help to distribute.
Our business, Adams Cold Storage (ACS) in Auburndale, is one such multitemperature, public refrigerated warehouse. With the operational launch of our newest freezer facility in April 2017, we now have a temperature-controlled footprint of more than 250,000 square feet of storage space. From floors to ceilings, though, the new freezer facility brought us from about 5 million cubic feet of warehousing space to approximately 7.2 million cubic feet.
Our warehousing units currently range as follows: About 70 percent for frozen products, about 20 percent for refrigerated goods, and about 10 percent for products that require only conditioned air. Based on food trends, customer needs, and other situations, we have the ability to swing these percentages— converting freezer units to refrigerated units and changing refrigerated space to freezer space. From a power consumption standpoint, it’s less expensive to operate refrigerated space over frozen space, but refrigerated space requires constant regulation due to the strict operating parameter ranges.
The temperatures in our storage unit are tightly controlled and monitored to meet regulatory requirements, to follow industry best practices, and, most importantly, to protect our customers’ products. We guarantee minus 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below for our freezers (typically kept at minus-1 to minus-2 degrees), 33 to 36 degrees for refrigerated rooms, and 54 to 65 degrees for our conditioned rooms. All of our rooms and docks are constantly monitored for temperature, with readings for protection and recording (proofing) taken every 15 minutes. Should we ever lose electrical power, a backup, and battery-operated temperature-reading system will sustain our constant monitoring capability.
Products for the National School Lunch Program are stored in each of the three kinds of units— frozen, refrigerated, and conditioned. The freezers maintain most of the center-of-the-plate items— hams, beef, chicken, fish, and seafood, for example— as well as breads, individually quick-frozen items (hash browns, French fries, fresh vegetables, etc.), and treats like frozen strawberry cups. Products for the refrigerated units include food oils and essences, fruit concentrates (grape, pear, pineapple, etc.), cheeses, and hotdogs. Conditioned rooms are for certain confections, dry beans, and similar items.
This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage, LLC.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr., is an owner and president of president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC, in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing, and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates some 250,000 square feet of multitemperature warehousing and is AA rated by BRC-International.