Food Safety and the Role of Refrigerated Transport
The Cost of Food Waste
The Australian food industry is worth billions of dollars annually. A large and essential part of it is the transportation of food. In 2018, more than 23 million tonnes of refrigerated food were transported in Australia. The quality and safety of refrigerated food is a challenge for those in the industry. $3.8 billion dollars is wasted in the cold food chain every year. A cause of this is because many foods need to be kept between certain temperatures. This is easily managed when stock is idle, but is a risk when food is transported – particularly for long times. However, in the food journey from production to consumption there are a multitude of transport steps with different vehicles and operators. This increases risks significantly.
If refrigerated food is not kept at the correct temperature it can ripen quicker or lead to bacterial infestation. This can result in food poisoning and spoilage. The correct temperature doesn’t mean the coldest temperature. One example of this is fruit and vegetables, particularly lettuce, which will get a chilling injury if kept at temperatures which are too low. Another example is ice cream, which needs to be kept above -18°C. If it is not kept above that temperature the water and fat layers separate, and it crystalises. This permanently changes the texture of the ice cream and therefore the quality of the product.
What are the Causes?
There are three main ways that this challenge manifests in the transportation of refrigerated goods. Firstly, when the truck used to transport the food has not been precooled. Precooling allows the inside storage room of the vehicle to be cooled down from the outside temperature, to the required temperature the goods will be transported at. If they are put in the vehicle without it being precooled, they will be exposed to increased temperatures before the storage area cools down. This will result in spoilage.
The second way this manifests is through hot air regularly entering the storage area. This occurs when truck doors are opened frequently, and the fridge is not powerful enough to cool the inside quickly. The cold air escapes and the hot air outside rushes in. This risks the inside temperature the goods are exposed to.
Finally, damage to the walls, floors and seals from incorrect loading and use can impact the trucks’ ability to cool and maintain temperatures inside. This challenge results in a loss of stock and therefore profit and income.
What Can You Do About It?
The quality and maintenance of the refrigerated truck is crucial to minimising this risk. If the vehicle is not up to standard, some solutions to this problem can be to buy a new truck that fits the needs of the business, repair the damaged truck or to add a more powerful fridge or curtains to keep the interior cold. Eurocold can help with these solutions.
What Does Eurocold Offer?
Eurocold has a huge range of different sized models with the best quality equipment and body to meet the most demanding needs. They can provide companies with a new truck that caters to the needs of the business. This includes refrigerator power and curtains to keep it cool, based on the number of times the truck needs to be opened.
The global measure of the effectiveness of a refrigerated body is called the K-factor. The lower the number the better the retention of temperature. Eurocold have the lowest k-factor rating, proving that their trucks will keep the cold in and at the correct temperature. The trucks are made with the strongest materials, and there is a five-year warranty on the floor. This guarantees quality and reinforces their reliability.
Eurocold trucks also have a 20% lighter body. Apart from the fuel savings of moving a lighter body, this means that they can carry more food at one time, before food spoils. Finally, Eurocold has the lowest excess in the industry and will repair any hired truck that is damaged. Given this, it is easy to see how Eurocold can help companies overcome this challenge and ensure high product safety during transport.