Due to the perishable nature of seafood, it’s essential to ensure tight temperature control during transport (as well as short delivery times whenever practical and possible). This way, we can limit microbiological growth and production of biotoxins as well as maintain the products’ safety and quality.
About the safe transport of fish and seafood
When it comes to tight temperature control, the common standard is 5℃ or colder. Slightly higher temperatures can be tolerated but it should be demonstrated first that the seafood products’ microbiological safety is not compromised even at a slightly higher temperature range.
For most seafood products though, 5℃ or colder is still the standard. Sometimes the seafood’s actual temperature can still get a bit higher during transport. To minimise or prevent the adverse effects, the duration of being exposed to that higher temperature should be shortened as often as possible. Note that microbiological growth can exponentially accelerate at higher temperatures even for just a few minutes. This exponential microbiological growth can result in rapid production of biotoxins (which can lead to total spoilage, food poisoning or compromised quality, aesthetics and safety).
The importance of temperature monitoring
We’ve talked about the importance of tight temperature control. However, how do we ensure that the temperature is actually 5℃ or colder and it’s maintained throughout the long hours of transport?
This is why accurate temperature gauges and other indicators are crucial in food safety. Manually inspecting the seafood in terms of the products’ appearance, taste and odour won’t provide accurate information about the seafood’s safety and quality. For example, the unusual odour might be masked by the natural smells of the seafood or the surrounding environment. When it comes to the food’s appearance, the visual symptoms might just appear hours or days later but the food’s quality was actually compromised long before it arrived to the receivers.
Earlier we mentioned that it’s possible for the products to be exposed at higher temperatures for a short period of time (and we aim to shorten that time whenever possible). This is why continual temperature monitoring is important. Aside from the final temperature reading, we also want to know what happened during transport and how long the safe temperature range was exceeded.
When it comes to safe refrigerated transport and tight temperature control, Cooltrans always set the highest standards. This has been our commitment since 1997 as we complete each refrigerated freight request for single carton deliveries, one-off consignments, year’s contracts and 8-pallet loads.