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Safe Seafood Handling and Transport: How to Accomplish This

October 15, 2018

Let’s discuss how to perform safe seafood handling and transport. We’ll focus on the important role of temperature control on the safety and suitability of the seafood.

Seafood transport is a crucial part of the supply chain. After all, seafood will spend a considerable amount of time during transport, which is why it’s important to ensure that the conditions minimise the opportunities for pathogenic bacteria to thrive or for toxins to be produced.

For example, often seafood must be maintained at 5℃ or colder during transport to achieve an ideal condition. Low temperatures decrease cellular and enzymatic activities (growth, reproduction and production of toxins of pathogenic bacteria). Temperatures higher than 5℃ can also be used at transport time, given that it’s already demonstrated that safety and suitability levels of the seafood are still maintained.

Transporting live seafood

This is a sensitive business because aside from temperature, there are other factors that affect seafood quality and safety levels such as:

  • pH
  • Salinity
  • Humidity
  • Packaging conditions

These variables (along with temperature levels) play dynamic roles on whether the live seafood will be acceptable upon arrival. Extreme levels (or slightly higher or lower levels but for prolonged periods of time) might result to live seafood becoming stressed or dying. This could result to huge financial losses and tarnished reputation.

The objective is to keep the seafood alive and not in a stressed state. For instance, transporting live seafood in cooler temperatures slows down the respiratory and metabolism rates of fish and crustaceans. This improves their survival rate and reduces the stress they’re experiencing in an environment outside their natural habitats.

Whether it’s transporting prawns, carp, rocklobsters or Spanner Crab, tight temperature control is crucial to their survival rates. The optimum temperature for transport varies according to species. For example, 16℃ to 20℃ is the ideal temperature range for transporting Mud Crabs. At this temperature range, maximum survival rate can be achieved (minimal financial and product losses).

Aside from temperature, the packaging condition also plays a huge role. Overcrowding and overfilling often result to physical damages to fish and crustaceans. This will adversely affect their survival rates and suitability levels for later food preparation and consumption.

Tight temperature control & monitoring

We’ve discussed the important role of temperature control on ensuring seafood’s safety and suitability levels. We’ve also touched on other important variables that affect seafood quality during transport.

It’s a serious business, which is why here at Cooltrans, we ensure tight temperature control during transport. We also ensure prompt deliveries because time is also a crucial factor whether in ensuring safety levels or meeting current customer demand.

We tailor our approach depending on each client’s requirements. After all, there are various species of fish and crustaceans with varying optimal temperature for transport. In addition, travel times could also widely vary from point A to point B depending on the source and the client’s location.

Contact us today and let’s discuss your frozen or refrigerated delivery requirements. We’re available to handle both small and huge delivery assignments.