Things to Consider Before Shipping Frozen Food
The refrigeration of perishable food is required to ensure your food is safe and fresh when eating. It's the same when it comes to shipping the perishables, as these items must be transported at specific temperatures to stop the risk of bacterial growth and spoilage.
Perishable items like beef, poultry, and even your blood, are highly susceptible to changes in temperature, causing the product to spoil when temperatures fluctuate. In the article below, we will highlight the key things to consider before shipping frozen or perishable food items in line with the food safety requirements.
✦ Always use the required insulated packaging
One of the essential criteria for shipping frozen food is the packaging, as this will work to help keep the food within the specified temperature range throughout the shipping duration. Using insulated packaging will help the perishable food stage within the legal range for transportation, and ensure the optimal shelf life of the item.
To maintain the standard temperatures, choose insulated containers or bags that are specifically made for perishable goods, making sure the insulated packages use advanced thermal materials that can inhibit the transfer of heat.
✦ Add to the packaging
When it comes to a frozen food shipment, it's not only the packaging itself that affects items, but what's also what's inside that counts. To ensure your perishable food items are kept within the correct temperature ranges, you may need to use a combination of dry ice and frozen gel packs to ensure a fresh and safe shipment. Some more information on both products below:
Dry ice: Dry ice is the primary cooling agent for perishable goods; it helps keep the packaging and items cooler for longer than regular ice packs. Typically, dry ice can last for up to 18 to 24 hours. Depending on the size, weight, and the required temperature of your food product, you can customise the amount of dry ice needed for your packaging.
Cold or gel packs: Both cold and gel packs are reusable inserts for shipping refrigerated perishable and semi-perishable food items. Pliable gel packs keep the items frozen for up to 24 to 36 hours within a sealed, insulated cooler. Since they can be easily reshaped, both cold and gel packs are handy for irregular space and surfaces, unlike plastic and foam cold insulation packs.
✦ Check and label the packaging
To ensure no mistakes are made in the packing process, ensure that all food items are also labelled and mot just the insulated package itself. Improper packaging for frozen food will often lead to bacterial contamination during transport. Depending on the food items, you'll need to choose the right materials: such as plastic, foam, styrofoam lining, and insulated bubble wrap liners for complete insulation.
So make sure the frozen food items are appropriately packed with proper labelling like "perishable," "semi-perishable," "keep refrigerated," and "This Side Up." Be sure to include any notes of necessary storage requirements and the receipt on the package as these will help the package shipment company performance their safety checks.
✦ Choose the right refrigerated transport service
Perishable food items will sometimes require temperature-controlled transportation along with temperature-controlled packaging depending on the size and type of shipment. So it's vital to check that your refrigerated transportation service can assure the temperature range required for your items.
While hiring the refrigerated transport service, here are the things to know and check-
1- A comprehensive collection of performance-enhancement possibilities-
There are many ways for you to ensure the safety of your perishable food shipment. Many freight services offer many ways to verify their refrigerated vehicle performances and have a range of trucks that will fit your needs perfectly.
As the refrigerated transport service is directly associated with the fresh food industry -modern temperature-controlled transport services have been advancing, with many features to keep up. These improvements include better hygiene standards such as multi-temperature refrigeration units, hydraulic lift gates, load-restraint systems, curbside doors, and tow liners, bumpers. All for a more secure, efficient, and reliable fleet operation.
2- Thermal efficiency
Another essential factor to check when choosing the right refrigerated trucks service is the proper thermal integrity in their refrigeration units. Ask questions about how often they update their technology and how they maintain their vehicles.
3- Minimise transit time policy
As you already know, perishable items deteriorate very quickly when exposed to heat and humidity. So you'll need to consider and be aware of any all the possible factors that might delay your frozen food arrival, including the destined location's food shipping restrictions. For various reasons like these, it's essential to choose a freight company that has a transit time of a maximum of 30 hours with required temperature control, shipment and delivery procedures, and recording delivery information.
By recognising the value of choosing a professional refrigerated transport logistics service, you can ensure you're securing and preserving your perishable goods. By asking the right questions and using a trusted, professional refrigerated shipping service, you can ensure that all safety standards are being met.