Bacillus cereus (can be found in rice, pasta and cereals), Campylobacter (e.g. in the gut of livestock), Clostridium perfringens (causes gastroenteritis), Clostridium botulinum (botulism), Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis E virus, Listeria, Norovirus, pathogenic E. coli, Yersinia, Shigella, seafood toxins and Salmonella are some of the causes of foodborne illnesses.
How microbes and toxins get in to our food
Contamination and mishandling are the most likely causes. It even gets worse because of temperature fluctuations especially during long storage and transport. The temperature rise can promote the growth and reproduction of the harmful microbes.
Foodborne illnesses are a serious issue especially to vulnerable populations (e.g. those who are pregnant, older adults and young children). They’re vulnerable because of their compromised immune systems. Aging (coupled with taking certain medications) can lead to that as well as being young (i.e. young children’s immune system is still developing, their natural defences have not yet developed). For pregnant women, their pregnancy is somehow causing their immune systems to be altered (one reason is that their bodies are working hard during pregnancy).
Minimising the risk
As a result, it’s a must to minimise the risk of getting a foodborne illness through excellent handling, storage and transport. This includes the packaging, the temperature control inside the truck or van, the surfaces where processing and handling happen and the strict practices of personnel during handling.
To minimise the risk, relevant government agencies have set microbiological criteria and these have been continuously reviewed and updated (such as what the Food Standards Australia New Zealand does). Food businesses comply and even exceed those standards and take extra measures to better protect their customers.
Support logistics companies also comply and exceed those standards through responsible handling (including refrigerated and frozen transport). Their support services have been essential in protecting the integrity of food products and the reputation of food businesses (more importantly, the health of the customers and families). After all, every link in the supply chain must be of the highest integrity for the product to be truly safe.
Here at Cooltrans, we further strengthen that link through our refrigerated transport services. We ensure tight temperature control by using the most modern equipment and having them go under regular inspection and maintenance. In addition, we employ real-time tracking of deliveries so that we can instantly send a backup if there’s a risk of delay (transport time also plays a huge role in food safety). Contact us today if you require the highest standards for your refrigerated delivery.