After nearly five years of the Indiana State Department of Health urging for the passage of a law that would “make it a class A infraction to transport food that is more than two degrees above the acceptable temperature, that shows outward signs of contamination or spoilage or that is loaded in a way that risks cross-contamination,” the ruling went into effect last month. 1
Food safety remains a large topic of concern, with President Obama signing the Food Safety Modernization Act last year that would require more “inspections, recordkeeping, and testing” for shippers, as well as grant the Food and Drug Administration the authority to issue mandatory recalls opposed to voluntary ones. 2
But even with these regulations, shippers continue to face contamination concerns due to improper temperature conditions during transport of their food products. And with record temperatures across most of the U.S. this summer, this has become an even larger concern.
Just last month, Indiana State Police pulled over numerous hot trucks scheduled to deliver food products to stores and restaurants throughout the state, with trailer temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees for shipments containing dairy products (which are typically kept at 45 degrees).
In one situation police uncovered a truck hauling nearly 150 lbs. of meat products (chicken and pork) at 70-80 degree conditions, far exceeding the 41 degree maximum standard temperature that refrigerated foods must be transported in order to prevent bacterial growth and contamination. Not only does the meat now become contaminated, but thaws out, allowing for the dripping of juices and blood onto the trailer floor, thus serving as a petri dish for future shipments to possibly become contaminated as well.
In another case, police uncovered an odor coming from the trailer and found that a load of “cabbage had mold growing on it because of chicken juices and the beef, that had spoiled, had been re-cooled,” resulting in over 2,000 lb. of food being destroyed. 3
As Indiana State Police Captain Wayne Andrews explains, “Many of the trucking companies do not care about proper refrigeration. Some of them, they’ve been put out of service, essentially closed down multiple times, and they pop back up under a new name.” 3
Due to contamination concerns, Indiana restaurant owners are required to “check the temperature of food upon delivery,” however, “they do not have to document whether or not they’re doing it,” along with the problem that they do not know whether the freight maintained that temperature throughout the trip, since some drivers turn the reefer back on when they are a certain distance away to appear as if they kept the proper temperature, thus saving fuel. 1
But what if we told you that Road Scholar Transport can assure you, the shipper, that your products were safely transported in the required temperature range given throughout the entire delivery process?
With our ReeferTrak system, we can provide our customers proof of the exact temperature inside the reefer any time, even months after delivery so you don’t have to worry about whether your products face a possible contamination risk due to improper transport.
Our ReeferTrak immediately alert our team of even the slightest change in the temperature of your freight, providing the right environmental conditions for your freight.
As a shipper, would you conduct business with a carrier who could provide proof of the temperature inside the reefer during transport over one who could not?
Want to know what transport conditions are appropriate for specific products? Below is a list of guidelines for chill and frozen cargo provided by http://www2.nykline.com/liner/cargo_advisory/chill_frozen.html.
Tags: Food and Drug Administration, Food Safety Modernization Act, hot trucks, Indiana State Department of Health, reefer, ReeferTrak, road scholar transport, temperature protected, trucking company, trucking industry