Last Updated : 12 October 2009
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Those working with food during transport and storage observe operating and monitoring procedures which are critical to food safety.
The food chain consists of a series of steps, beginning with planting and growing through to harvesting, initial and final processing and, finally, sale to the consumer. At each step along this complex chain, quality is maintained by trained professionals. In addition, great care is also taken in the important intermediary stages of transport and storage where food must be protected against a multitude of potential hazards such as:
- Cross-contamination between live animals being transported together
- Cereals becoming mouldy or infested with insects if not transported and stored in clean containers
- Eggs, normally transported without refrigeration, being contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis if transport is prolonged over two weeks: at elevated temperatures during transport, the Salmonella enteritidis can propagate. The World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommends that eggs be cooled and transported in refrigerated containers
- Soft cheese, which is prone to Listeria, becomes a problem if not transported and stored at proper temperatures.
Maintaining the quality and safety of food in transport and storage requires both: 1) operating procedures to ensure the preservation of food products and 2) monitoring procedures to ensure operations are carried out as intended.
Identity documents are essential elements in monitoring transport and storage procedures. They trace a food product's history from the farmer's field or barn right through to the consumer's plate.
To ensure this "traceability" of food products, all participants in the food chain commit themselves to documenting each step in the process. The history of a product contains a great number of important details: the land on which the product was raised, the lots of seed and fertiliser used, the record of pesticide treatments where appropriate, dates of harvesting, location of storage silos, the particular herd or flock from which an animal came, the date and location of slaughter, location and date of processing and packaging, the identity of ingredients used in processing, the condition of transport vehicles, the dates, duration and conditions of transport, storage locations, dates by which the product should be used and why, the name and location of the final retail store.
The methodical recording of this data is in part due to the increased awareness of its importance by the participants in the food chain and also to the use of modern information technology to process the relevant information.
Proof of proper procedures
Monitoring and assembling documented product histories is only valid if it is possible to measure specific parameters at every stage of the chain. These must attest that all the conditions necessary to ensure quality have been met. Temperature, humidity, atmosphere, length and conditions of handling are all critical. The most effective way to illustrate their importance is to show how they apply to a product such as milk. How should milk be transported and stored
The temperature of milk fresh from the cow is around 37°C. When cooled to 4°C, it can be stored in tanks for up to 48 hours. This temperature is maintained during collection and transportation to the processing plant in insulated tanks, right up to the actual processing into milk or cheese products.
Maintaining low temperatures is indispensable to transporting milk both prior to and after processing. Any delay in transport diminishes the shelf life of final consumer products. In the retail outlets, liquid milk products (unless sterilised) are maintained at low temperatures both in storage and in consumer displays. To ensure proper procedures are carried out, temperatures are constantly monitored by thermometers on storage and transport tanks for raw milk, as well as thermometers and temperature-recording devices on delivery trucks, and at retail storage and sales locations.
Milk and milk products are just one example of the need for careful temperature control. Similarly, a wide variety of fresh products (vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, prepared meals) must be kept at low temperatures throughout processing, transport, storage and final sale.
Likewise, it is necessary to keep frozen foods at temperatures that prevent thawing before the product reaches the consumer. Temperature controls are obvious to the consumer in a retail store, but equally important are the controls in place during transport, including various types of passive insulation and active refrigeration units in trucks, rail cars and containers used for marine and land transport. Chocolate, for obvious reasons, should not be transported in non-insulated trucks on hot summer days; nor should mineral water travel in non-insulated rail cars in sub-freezing winter temperatures. It is imperative that food heated in advance be kept hot between locations, for example between a central institutional kitchen and the point of eventual consumption on an aeroplane or train, for example. All transport and storage containers along the route must be thoroughly insulated.
Air that is too dry or too damp damages many fresh foods. Excess humidity can lead to the growth of moulds and bacteria on meat, and fungus on fruit, vegetables and dry cereals. Excessive dryness can dehydrate meats as well as some fruits and vegetables. Controlling humidity is often a question of how air is circulated around products in trucks, shipping containers and storage areas. In turn, air flow is dependent on the type of containers in which food is packed (net bags for certain kinds of vegetables, slatted cartons for certain fruits), and the way these containers are packed together, e.g., with relatively little air flow among them or with spacers between cartons specifically designed to enhance air flow.
Special atmospheric conditions are used less than temperature control for food preservation, but in certain cases, atmosphere control has a major impact on the quality of products in storage and transport. The best example is fruit that can now be picked in summer or autumn and preserved in special atmospheres for six months or more. A consumer may believe such long-term storage is only possible with chemicals; in fact, it is simply a matter of evacuating normal air from the storage facility and replacing it with "reconstituted" air which is low in oxygen and high in both nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
Workers handling food products throughout transport and storage play a critical role in food quality and safety. For this reason, training of personnel at each step in the process is important. They are responsible for ensuring products and packaging are neither physically bruised, broken nor bent.
Products must be kept free of dust, moisture, unsuitable temperatures, odours and various rodents and insect pests, all of which are capable of damaging the quality of the product. For example, products stored on damp, mouldy pallets could become mouldy themselves. Ham transported in a truck previously used for fish and not thoroughly cleaned could absorb fish odours. Biscuits made with flour transported in trucks used previously to transport polyethylene could become contaminated, making the products unfit for human consumption.
Maintaining quality standards
Because of the importance of maintaining high standards in transport, an increasing number of agreements exist between organisations representing the food industry, transporters and even those specifically responsible for cleaning trucks and containers. In addition, there are at least three international bodies responsible for implementing quality standards in the transport and storage of food.
- The European Union's legislation on the preservation of hygiene and safety of food applies to transport and storage.
- The norms of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) contain a chapter on the storage and delivery of food products.
- The Codex Alimentarius established in 1962 by the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation includes the issues of transport and storage in the overall recommendations for the preservation of food.
Transport and storage form vital links in the food chain between the farmer's field and the consumer's table. While the role of the farmer, the food processor and the retailer in the food chain is easily understood, it is simple to forget the importance of well-managed transport and storage.
These links in the chain can make all the difference in ensuring the quality and health quotient of the food. Similarly, the professionalism of personnel in transport and storage, as well as the effectiveness of their procedures and tracking systems, play important roles in determining the quality of the food reaching the consumer's table.
The concept of “farm to fork” relates to the traceability of edible products as they move throughout the food supply chain. Key SCM players including food manufacturers, 3PLs, farmers, distribution centers and retailers must now closely monitor and control food handling and preparation practices and procedures.How will you ensure the food safety on storing and transporting foods? ›
- Keep high-risk food at 5 °C or below or above 60 °C to avoid the temperature danger zone and food poisoning.
- Store raw foods below cooked foods.
- Store food in suitable, covered containers.
- Avoid refreezing thawed foods.
- Check and observe the use-by dates on food products.
- Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. ...
- Organize cooler contents. ...
- Keep coolers closed: Once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cooler is opened as much as you can. ...
- Don't cross-contaminate. ...
- Clean your produce.
a reduction of nutrient losses by at least 50% while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility.What is from farm to fork policy? ›
The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to accelerate our transition to a sustainable food system that should: have a neutral or positive environmental impact. help to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. reverse the loss of biodiversity.What is farm to fork food safety? ›
This. concept implies that the responsibility of. provision safe food to the consumer is shared. among all those involved with food material. Food Safety Implementation: Farm to Fork.Why is proper food storage important during transportation? ›
Storing food correctly before transportation generally protects food from external elements and prevents organic decay. More specifically, storing food slows the onset of biochemical decay and microorganism growth while keeping the product separate from contaminants, pests, moisture, and dryness.Why food transportation safety is important? ›
Importance of Food Transportation
Finished products and raw materials have different lifespans depending on the items to be delivered. Keeping food fresh, safe, and quality assured is crucial for the business. Being unable to keep the product safe can lead to business disruption, lawsuits, and customer complaints.
- Keep food covered to protect it from dust, insects, sneezes, etc. ...
- Keep raw meat and seafood, eggs, ready-to-eat food (such as fruit and vegetables) and cooked meals separated in the fridge. ...
- Keep perishable foods hot (above 60 °C) or cold (below 5 °C).
- Refrigerate or freeze perishables right away. ...
- Keep your appliances at the proper temperatures. ...
- Check storage directions on labels. ...
- Use ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible. ...
- Be alert for spoiled food. ...
- Be aware that food can make you very sick even when it doesn't look, smell, or taste spoiled.
You can protect food that is being transported from contamination by: keeping it covered at all times. using suitable materials such as aluminium foil, plastic film or clean paper to completely cover food. keeping open food in clean, covered containers which have close fitting lids and are in good condition.How do you transport food when moving? ›
Pack Frozen Food: Wrap frozen meats in newspaper and place them in sealable containers or storage baggies to prevent juices from leaking. Store meats at the bottom of the cooler, then place other frozen items on top. Pack frozen foods tightly, as any air pockets may cause them to defrost faster.› food-safety-in-your-pantry ›
Transport, Handle, and Store Food Properly – Safe and Healthy ...
Tips for Transporting Food
How to transport food safely
Working on 'Farm to Fork' concept
The produce are residue free and our philosophy of 'Farm to fork' aims to minimize human handling of the produce to ensure high quality.
Farm to fork,” also referred to as “farm to table,” “locally sourced,” or “farm fresh,” means that the food on your fork came directly from the farm where it was produced. ... A farm to fork restaurant usually has a relationship with nearby farmers and buys directly from them. heart outlined. Thanks 7. star.What is the meaning of term farm to fork latest farming? ›
Answer: the oldest farming is the correct answer!!What is a farm answer? ›
A farm is an area of land, together with the buildings on it, that is used for growing crops or raising animals, usually in order to sell them.