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The Impact of Driver Behavior on the Cold Chain by Tom Chicoine





Article Author Biography
The Impact of Driver Behavior on the Cold Chain by
Article Posted: 12/11/2012
Article Views: 45
Articles Written: 29
Word Count: 379
Article Votes: 0
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The Impact of Driver Behavior on the Cold Chain


 
Automotive
??Maintaining safe temperature levels should be the number one objective of any individual working within the cold chain. Without commitment to this goal, not only will the likelihood of food borne illness skyrocket, but also economic ramifications will reverberate throughout the chain. As the old adage goes, “A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.” ?? Every regulation can be adhered to, every precaution taken, but it can all be for naught if even one “minor” oversight occurs during transportation. The passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act has lead to an increase in audits conducted by both the government and internally by cold chain companies. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the bad habits and practices of drivers, the individuals who are handling food for the majority of its journey: Keeping the refrigeration unit on when the doors are open. This allows hot, humid air to rush into the reefer and can quickly raise the temperature, especially if the driver becomes distracted. Of course, unnecessarily breaking the refrigeration seal should be avoided at all costs.? Failure to maintain a clean reefer. While this sounds obvious, we must not forget how important it is that drivers are proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to cleanliness. For example, drivers must practice due diligence with inspecting their reefer’s air ducts for mold and debris. Not reporting or simply ignoring a minor cleanliness precaution may not seem like an issue at first, but can quickly escalate into a serious issue for your company. Improper loading: a driver who loads pallets into the reefer too quickly and with little attention to detail can compromise some of the cargo, if not all. Drivers must ensure they are not blocking an air vent or having part of the pallet unexposed to the refrigerated air. ??Ensuring that your drivers are committed to these sorts of precautions and regulations will significantly decrease the potential for load spoilage or rejection. While cutting corners may seem like a harmless way to save (or make up for) time, in the end it will simply not be worth it. Communicating the importance of eliminating bad habits such as these will result in safer and more efficient deliveries, so that everyone wins.


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