The Bob Dorough song says that “3” is the magic number, but at Adam’s Cold Storage, the magic number is 41 for refrigerated foods.
While ACS only handles packaged or cased products, we are trained and experienced in identifying the 12 hazards named by the Food Safety Modernization Act. One way we prevent the hazards is by keeping an eye on a key number: temperatures.
For food safety, “41” is a magic number. Temperatures over 41 degrees could lead to exponential bacteria growth, eventual contamination, sickness and lost inventory.
Numbers are important
We guarantee our refrigerated rooms to be in the 33-36ºF range, and minus zero for our freezers. Temperatures throughout the facilities are recorded every 15 minutes and temperature alarms are constantly monitored.
However, vigilance doesn’t start inside our facility — it starts at the front gate. In one respect, each load that arrives at our docks is given a “wellness physical,” just like we get from the doctor. And, just like the doctor’s visit, taking the temperature is part of the physical. Using state-of-the-art infrared temperature measuring devices, we take readings at 3 key places inside the truck, documenting each reading. We will not accept a perishable shipment that exceeds 41 degrees without written consent from the customer.
If a shipment does not meet our HACCP standards, we report the findings immediately, and the client decides to accept, quarantine, or reject the shipment. In the quarantine process, we place the shipment in a secure location until a USDA inspector evaluates the condition and safe suitability of the product. This is an important process in order to keep the food supply safe and the end beneficiary — the consumer — healthy.
Why are we obsessed with numbers? Some of our largest beneficiaries are Florida’s school systems, where we store USDA commodities for the National School Lunch Programs from Jacksonville to Key West. In addition, those food supplies double as emergency supplies for shelters in case of state emergencies. For school children, for those in emergency shelters and for everyone in between, numbers matter. It’s not magic, it’s an ongoing commitment to a process that promotes quality, vigilance, and care.
A blessed & happy Thanksgiving to all!
This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage, LLC, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.
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 some 250,000 square feet of multitemperature warehousing and is AA rated by BRCGS.