Food Supply Chain: Transportation and Storage
Food can travel a long and extensive journey before it reaches a restaurant or store. It is vital that on every step of this journey, all food items are effectively stored and at the correct temperature to remain the best quality possible.
Any items that require refrigeration can’t be left at room temperature for longer than 4 hours, even in transit. The same rule of separation that applies to raw foods and ready-to-eat foods is essential during transport too.
What are the best methods of transportation and storage to keep ingredients as fresh as possible during the food supply chain?
Food Storage Containers
Dry ingredients that are most fresh in air-tight conditions need only to be stored in a hygienic food storage container during transport. If transport options are refrigerated, food storage bins can also be used to transport dairy produce and meat. Food storage bins are suitable for use within a wide range of applications, including food manufacture, bakeries, and butchers. For larger quantities, food grade mobile bins fill the same need, but they’re easier to move with the assistance of wheels.
With capacities of up to 455L, food grade mobile bins make moving heavy amounts of ingredients much more manageable, reducing the risk of employee injury. For transporting a bulk of ingredients around restaurants or manufacturing premises, there isn’t a better option.
Milk Bottle Crates
For the transportation of glass bottles between supplier and store, suitable storage is vital to avoid smashed glass and wasted product. Milk bottle crates are designed to safely transport glass bottles, and not just milk ones either. With a great range of sizes available to choose from, milk bottle crates can securely store anything from 275ml beer bottles to 2L poly bottles.
Made from plastic, milk bottle crates are also suitable to be kept in the fridge where necessary. This can help organise your industrial fridge and keep all your liquid ingredients separate but secure. This level of organisation is also useful during the transportation process, as no time is needed separating different products upon delivery.
Bakery and Meat Trays
Meat trays assist with the packaging of meat, poultry and seafood for butchers. Adequate packaging of meat and fish products is incredibly important as a supplier, as any defect could allow air into the product and ruin its quality.
The CDC cites ‘raw foods of animal origin’ as some of the most likely to be contaminated and cause food poisoning, so extra precautions should be taken when supplying such products. A heavy-duty meat tray to safely transport your meat around your premises is a great place to start.
Bakery trays are ideal for transporting bread products around during packaging, as the finished products don’t need to be kept in air-tight conditions (unlike the initial dairy ingredients). In a factory or bakery setting, the premises are hygienic enough to allow for open-top storage and easier access during the packaging process.
Food Dispensers and Ingredient Bins
In a fast-paced industrial environment, food storage bins can be difficult to work with and their plastic lids can get lost or in the way. Since the lid needs to be taken off and reapplied with every use, they are also less sanitary than their food dispenser and ingredient bin counterparts.
Dry ingredients that need to be used often, such as spices, flour and raisins, are perfect for a food dispenser and scoop. The food dispenser allows for easy and sanitary access, while not having to be air-tight since the ingredients aren’t compromised with exposure to air. The same can be said for ingredient bins, since they don’t provide an air-tight environment, but can hold a larger amount of product than the food dispensers.
There is a great deal of food storage options available on the market today, all specifically designed with hygiene and ingredient integrity in mind. Every step of the food supply chain needs to be taken with the quality and safety of the product in mind, particularly with meat and poultry supply. For more advice on suitable storage solutions for your business, please feel free to contact us!