Recently, Indiana lawmakers have passed new laws that help authorities keep dangerous food out of grocery stores and restaurants. It is a huge win for food safety. After months of patrolling state police found an alarming number of truckloads full of beef, sausage, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, and vegetables – all of it spoiled or contaminated. |
Refrigeration units on food trucks require a lot of fuel to operate, and, to save on fuel costs, drivers are turning the units off during transportation, and then turning the units back on for the last minutes of the trip. This practice brings the now warmed food back to legally-required temperatures in time for delivery. During an ISP safety check, Banner Wholesale Grocers lost 5,200 pounds of confiscated food items. The new law gives state police more authority to take these dangerous truckloads of food off the road. State Police can impound trucks that transport food unsafely, and the drivers of those trucks can face fines as high as $5,000. Indiana now boasts the toughest food transportation safety law in the nation and it seems likely that others states will follow suit.
Maintaining safe temperature levels should be the number one priority for any company involved in the cold chain. Not making this a priority will, not only increase the likelihood of food borne illness, but economic ramifications will reverberate throughout the chain.
Ensuring that your drivers are committed to these precautions and regulations will significantly decrease the potential for load spoilage or rejection. If not supervised adequately, improper temps will result in spoiled goods, reduced shelf life, customer complaints or rejected loads. Real-time applications and alerts that sense not just ambient temperatures, but those that evaluate the core temperatures of products, allow management to proactively make the best decisions regarding perishable foods. A rejected load is a failure of all – the transporter who has to scramble to back fill the order, the retailer who must manage a potential lost sale and the customer who goes home empty handed. Technology that offers real time reporting on the temperature conditions of perishable foods should be the means to manage the truck fleet and its costs of operation.
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