NOW THAT WE’VE CLARIFIED the essential trailer and warehousing components of the cold supply chain, let’s reinforce and fully understand why temperature maintenance in this intricate process is so important. So many of the products we use in our daily lives depend on being kept at a specific temperature during the time it takes to get from the producer to the store shelf.
That is why the use of the term “chain” is such an appropriate description for “food-defense procedures.” If one link in the process is not performed correctly and according to proper procedures, the entire product building costs, efforts to achieve standards, and complete progression up to that point will be undone. There is also potential for great health risks if these links are not held together, documented, and implemented with precision.
For foods and pharmaceuticals that are being transported and stored, there is a temperature “danger zone” that must always be avoided. For example, the temperature range to transport and store frozen food products is typically below zero degree F. Anything above this temperature range could mean the “danger zone” of compromising optimal shelf life for products and/or consumer safety.
In the most severe cases, lack of attention to the appropriate temperature standards could result in growth of bacteria or product deterioration, and result in illnesses with various degrees of severity for anyone who consumes the products.
If you keep such a close eye on the way you store your foods at home, why should it be any different before it arrives on your shelf? The food safety tasks from producer/grower/processor — to warehouse — and ultimately to the consumer’s cabinet for future consumption may seem simple. The tasks are well-defined, constant vigilance is required at all times, and food safety is required in every step of the process, with no room for shortcuts.
column by BEN ADAMS, JR.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support since 1980. His current facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multitemperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion plan on the horizon.