In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses within the food industry are adjusting to meet the new demands. Online shopping and food boxes services have become the new trend amongst consumers. This presents some challenges and opportunities across the supply chain. Here, we review how the food industry can achieve a strong cold-chain safety culture.
Even though there’s no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the coronavirus disease, food companies face some pressure when it comes to consistently deliver high-quality food across the cold chain.
Ensuring regulatory compliance for temperature sensitive products such as meat, seafood or ready-to-eat food could be tricky in a new environment like this.
Food business operators should continue to follow the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) guidance on good hygiene practices in food preparation and expected standards.
Cold Chain compliance starts with knowing the exact temperature range your products need to be in and providing the necessary tools to keep them at that same range while being transported.
Often delays in transportation cause temperatures to change dramatically for the product to be safe, resulting in a huge cost and waste of product. With travel and other restrictions in place, it is essential to have a plan that looks at minimising and mitigating these problems. Crisis management will only reinforce the differences between companies that have exercised food safety preparedness previous to this situation from those who didn’t put enough resources into it. For more information on Cold Chain regulations and updates you can visit this link: Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Packaging is an important element to keeping the food supply chain safe. Enclosing and labelling produce correctly are often overlooked but essential for the correct functionality of the whole process.
The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low according to the World Health Organization, although all hygiene standards and Covid-19 procedures for contaminated people should be followed.
In most cases, this change has forced many businesses to operate online and deliver goods to end-customers rather than to the supply chain. Food businesses are now packaging deliveries for their customers on a daily basis. Temperature sensitive products need to be handled with care and packed with gel packs for shipping to prevent their temperature going down dramatically while being moved around.
Gel Packs are essentially cool blocks filled with eutectic gel. The plates are frozen and added into consignments of goods to help prolong the temperature of stored goods. Find out more about gel packs and how to precondition them to efficiently and safely transport temperature sensitive products. Find more about Gel Packs for shipping, their correct use and how they can help you safely transport your goods here: Eutect Plate Preconditioning – Gel Pack Preconditioning.
An efficient cold chain will be a combination of the people, and cold storage equipment involved.
There are several tools and technologies available to help food processors obtain and sustain a safe cold chain. Well-trained employees who strictly follow the standard requirements or efficient equipment with sensors that monitor temperature accurately, are just some of the main elements needed to keep everyone safe.
Covid-19 and new customer expectations are challenging the industry to be more agile and transparent than ever before. People’s commitment to safety, following compliance procedures, plus the use of the right equipment will define the success and adjustment of food and beverage businesses trying to adapt.
At CRS, we are experts in temperature-controlled storage. We understand the challenges and can offer you advise on solutions that will help you define and maintain the temperature standards of your products. Get in touch today for a free consultation or to enquire about our gel packs refrigeration solutions.