Tips on Protecting Perishable Food Products in Transit
Transporting perishable products requires both special equipment as well as following unique procedures. Here are a few highlights on what should be communicated to drivers who are transporting food products:
- Advise driver of the correct shipping temperature. This temperature needs to be maintained throughout the trip.
- Advise if the reefer unit should be run in stop/start or continuous mode.
- Pre-cool the trailer to the desired temperature before loading.
- Minimize the loading and unloading time, unless backed up to a cold storage dock.
- Allow for air flow around the cargo.
- Close the doors immediately after the truck/trailer has pulled away from the dock.
- En-route, inspect the outside of the trailer for damage or tampering.
- Check for leakage of fluids or other proplems with the reefer unit during transport.
- Monitor the temperature function of the refrigeration unit every time the driver stops, or at least every 4 hours.
- Keep in-transit time to a minimum in order to reduce the opportunity for food spoilage.
- When arriving at the final destination, check and document the overall condition of the product.
- Move the product from the loading docks into storage immediately.
Following these steps will help ensure the product arrives in the best condition possible at the final destination.
Source: Transporting Food Products Requires An Attention To Detail, by J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. (June 4, 2014)
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
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