Ben Adams, Jr.

More need-to-know facts about the cold supply chain

Last month, we barely scratched the surface when we brought to mind some very interesting facets of the public refrigerated warehousing (PRW) industry and the overarching cold-supply food chain. There’s much more to share.

  • • The transit period is the most critical part of the cold supply chain. Because there’s less human monitoring of temperature controls, it’s also the weaker link in the chain and where most food spoilage tends to occur.
  • • Newer technology is helping with the food transit challenges. This includes time-and-temperature recorders (TTRs) and remote temperature monitoring systems that can be accessed through a Web-based interface and satellite. Under development is an optical kind of sensor that can detect spoilage in food products and help reduce waste and extend shelf life.
  • • You might only hear about a few of them, but food recall notices are issued just about daily. They range from the Class I recall—where there’s a strong possibility consumption will cause sickness or even death—to the less-serious Class II and Class III recalls.
  • • In Florida, people in the cold-supply food chain deal with a whole alphabet soup’s worth of regulatory agencies. Just to name a few, there’s the FDA, USDA, USDC, NOAA, FDACS, BFD, FSIS, LEPC, SERC, EPA, and sometimes, the CDC. You can give Google a workout learning the agencies behind these letters.
  • • With frozen or refrigerated foods moved by planes, ships, trucks and trains, the cold-supply chain truly is global. At Adams Cold Storage alone, we secure products from South America, South Africa, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Europe, and India, in addition to products from all over the USA and Canada.
  • • Lastly, have you heard the expression “Fresh, not frozen” when it comes to meats? That’s not necessarily true. While not hard frozen, many meats are shipped and stored at 28 degrees—four degrees below freezing. They have to be so that mouth-watering steak you see at the grocery will be excellent eating after you take it home.

BIO: Ben Adams Jr. is an owner and 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 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion project currently under way.

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