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How Microbes Cause Food Spoilage?

April 15, 2018

Microbes break down food which results to production of acids and other waste products. Some microbes may even release toxins (e.g. spoilage of meat, poultry and milk) that endanger human lives.

Foods undergo both physical and chemical changes when they spoil. They become inedible or the unpleasant smell becomes very noticeable. This results to huge financial losses in the following industries:

  • Food processing & storage facilities
  • Meat & poultry industry
  • Agriculture (harvesting & delivery of fruits & vegetables)
  • Catering & food delivery services
  • Groceries & other shops that sell food and ingredients

Aside from financial losses, food spoilage if left undetected can also result to ruined reputation and loss of customers. That’s why businesses are careful to prevent food spoilage by applying proven measures in every step of the supply chain.

Preventing microbial growth is the key

The rapid growth and reproduction of bacteria and other microbes lead to food spoilage. Even just a few hours in this phase can seriously spoil the bulk of food stored or being delivered. One effective way to stop or slow this down is by maintaining freezing temperatures all throughout.

Above 4.4℃ and below 60℃ many species of bacteria may undergo rapid reproduction. That’s their Comfort Zone which is similar to how we humans live (we die or lose our functions if we’re exposed to extreme temperature levels).

Temperatures above 60℃ may kill most bacteria and break down food particles (e.g. in the process of cooking). On the other hand, temperatures below 4.4℃ may also kill most bacteria by causing the rupture of their cell membranes (ice occupies a larger volume than water). The low temperature levels may also slow down the most significant enzymatic actions.

That’s why temperature levels must be kept low in the following stages:

  • Food production
  • Food transportation
  • Storage & distribution

It’s especially the case during food transportation because of the long hours during deliveries. It’s almost the same as food storage because the foods and beverages are being stored inside containers while in transit.

Refrigerated trucks and vans should be maintaining the low temperature levels all throughout the transport process. Even an hour of going into the bacteria’s Comfort Zone may mean massive and rapid spoilage of the goods.

How to ensure reliable delivery of frozen/chilled foods

Understanding how microbes cause food spoilage is only the first step. The succeeding steps should now be about how to do reliable deliveries while maintaining strict temperature control.

Here at Cooltrans we’ve been doing that since 1997. Whether it’s a small or huge delivery, we handle it all while ensuring on-time arrival to all assignments. Contact us today if you require strict temperature control and prompt deliveries.