Transporting Perishable Products? Maintain the Cold Chain.
What is a “Cold Chain?”
A cold chain is just a supply chain that maintains a constant cold temperature. This helps ensure product safety and stability.
What are Some Critical Cold Chain Risks?
The effort required to identify and minimize cold chain risks (and verify your efforts to do so) depends in part on whether your ingredient sources and final product distribution are local, regional, national, and/or international. A cold chain export logistics system may include 39 or more steps and 21 or more potential cold chain failure points. The greater the number of variables, the greater the risk of cold chain failure.
Risks to the supply chain during domestic transportation include training employees to load products properly into refrigerated trailers to maintain the consistent desired temperature, such as 45 degrees F for shell eggs.
Why is Cold Chain Risk Management Important?
If you cannot document that you have maintained temperature security for your perishable products, you might unintentionally sell spoiled food to your customers. This presents organoleptic concerns as well as health risks, because pathogenic bacteria may not be detectable by taste or smell.
How Can My Company Manage Cold Chain Risks?
Your company can apply HACCP principles to manage its cold chain to identify risks, mitigate them, and maintain optimum product quality and safety. This includes keeping good records of your compliance by, e.g., using integrated time and temperature recording devices to monitor cold cargo.
The FDA provides a wide variety of free forms to document compliance for a number of types of regulated food processors, both at the production plant and in transit.