To help ensure food safety, once the delivery arrives you should check that the food is still properly covered and packed. You can do this randomly if it’s impossible or extremely difficult to inspect every item. You can also ask the food suppliers if the food products are protected from contamination during transport.
What to check when potentially hazardous food arrives
For potentially hazardous food products that are chilled, you have to make sure that 5℃ or lower temperatures are maintained during transport. For frozen products, they have to remain frozen (not partly thawed). If stored and delivered at other temperatures, you must be sure of the safe limits (food is still safe to consume even when transported at that temperature range).
For your reference, here are some of the potentially hazardous foods that should be stored and delivered at certain temperature ranges:
- Raw meat
- Dairy products including dairy-based desserts
- Processed fruits and vegetables such as salads
- Foods that have eggs and other protein-rich foods
If the food delivered was not stored and transported under safe temperature levels, you should reject the delivery and return it to the supplier. It’s also the case when the cover or package is damaged (this makes contamination likely because the products are exposed or tampered).
Regular and systematic inspection is key here. You also have to be clear about your delivery temperatures and other requirements to minimise contamination and mishandling. This way, you avoid financial losses and ensure that you’re always meeting customer demand (rejection of delivery might cause you to run out of supply of products to sell to customers).
Aside from systematic inspection, you also have to make receiving, preparation, handling and processing faster to minimise contamination and exposure to less than ideal temperatures. For example, the unloading should be reasonably fast so that there’s less chance for microbes to enter and grow (during unloading it might be too hot outside). It’s also the case during preparation and handling. Every step of the supply chain should be straightforward and efficient.
That’s our approach here at Cooltrans whenever we carry out refrigerated deliveries. We ensure speed, efficiency and tight temperature control throughout the delivery journey. This way, we can help ensure food safety and better protect businesses and consumers.