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Why Transporting Perishable Goods is a Serious Business

September 17, 2018

Food poisoning is affecting approximately 4.1 million Australians each year. One main cause is that the food was not stored properly (e.g. during transport or storage the temperature reached higher than 5℃).

It’s especially the case with transporting and storing meat, poultry, eggs and seafood. It’s also the case with prepared fruit, vegetable, rice and pasta salads. Whether it’s a raw or prepared food product, food poisoning is always a threat both to the consumers and the businesses selling or delivering those goods.

What makes food poisoning a real threat

Most consumers are more familiar with the obvious signs of food spoilage or contamination. Often if the food is compromised, it looks, smells and tastes bad.

But the truth is, food poisoning bacteria (and possibly other microbes) don’t change the appearance, smell and taste of the food (source). For example, even if the food is contaminated with Salmonella or Staphylococcus aureus, the food might still taste normal. Even if certain E. coli strains or Listeria monocytogenes thrived on the food products, those items might still appear normal and non-threatening.

If food contamination was so easy to detect, there would be zero or much fewer food poisoning victims in the first place. The real threat lies in the detection difficulty of food contamination. Although visual inspection can reveal obvious mishandling problems (e.g. packaging was torn, portions of the product were exposed to the air), it’s often not enough to guarantee consumer safety.

How to ensure food safety & quality

Government agencies have already set standards when it comes to storing and transporting food (transporting is somehow similar to storage wherein food products still spend some time in a container during transit). For instance, products that need to be chilled should be stored at a temperature 5℃ or below.

Another temperature range could also be specified, provided that the business delivering the food can prove or demonstrate that the safe time limits were not exceeded. For raw meat, seafood and especially prepared food, exposure to higher temperatures for a long time period could greatly compromise the product. If the transport time of the food from the supplier to your business is really short, temperature control might not be too sensitive or impactful.

In contrast, long transport times mean that there should be tight temperature control. Transporting perishable goods in this manner is much more sensitive. Several kilograms of meat and seafood might be compromised during transit. The quality of the wine and fruit salads might also suffer because of the mishandling and lack of temperature control.

That’s why it’s important to rely on a reliable and reputable refrigerated delivery company. For example, here at Cooltrans (since 1997) we understand that temperature-controlled delivery is a serious and sensitive business. We regularly maintain our refrigerated fleet to to ensure the client’s consignment will arrive at destination in optimal condition. Contact us today for more information.