Food & Beverage Companies Should Avoid Refrigeration Equipment Temperature Abuse

What is the FDA food code violation most frequently encountered during audits and inspections? The Answer: temperature abuse. This can be a direct result of refrigeration equipment temperature abuse. And that can mean that the refrigeration equipment used to transport or store a product wasn’t doing its job properly.

You don’t want to be the transport company that let a product drop below required temperatures. If the recipient catches it, they can refuse the shipment. That’s going to spell trouble for the transport company and the business providing the product. It could even mean the cancellation of a contract with either the transportation company or the recipient canceling the contract with the product provider.

Again, you don’t want that on your shoulders. Are the refrigerated units in your fleet up to par?

 Let’s take a look at some cold hard facts when it comes to cold products.

Before Refers

Before the invention of mechanical refrigeration units, snow and ice were used to cool food. Holes in the ground, or cold cellars, were packed with snow and lined with straw or wood in the very beginning. Some services, and in certain types of displays, still use ice. Cold water springhouses were sometimes used as refrigeration units as well.

In the summer, ice from icehouses was used to keep things cold. The ice had been acquired in winter when it was plentiful. In the middle of the 19th century, the initiation of artificial methods of producing ice was introduced. After World War II, more and more Americans were able to access refrigeration units, changing over from their previously used ice boxes.

Appropriate Refrigeration for the Product at Hand

All refrigeration units are not created equally. They are manufactured and designed to meet the conditions, operations, and needs of a specific commercial setting. A walk-in refrigerator, for example, maintains products at holding temperatures that have been prescribed for cold foods.

On the other hand, refrigerated buffet units (such as salad bars) are intended for customer self-service. They maintain received refrigerated foods at the proper temperature for brief periods of time. You could not use the display unit to maintain temperatures of all cold products consistently over extended periods of time.

And then there are beverage coolers. They aren’t designed to cool anything but wine, beer, carbonated beverages, etc. Potentially hazardous foods – those that must be stored at precise temperatures – should never be displayed, stored, or transported in refrigeration units intended as beverage coolers only.

Additionally, there are storage refrigerators, refrigerated food prep units, rapid pulldown refrigerators, display refrigerators, refrigerated transport trailers, and more. Each unit has a specific job that it is meant to do.

Practical, Additional Tips

Naturally, it’s important to use the proper refrigeration unit for the type of food you are transporting or storing. But here are some additional tips:

  • Always use a refrigeration thermometer to check refrigeration equipment temperatures.
  • Ready-to-eat foods should always be kept above raw foods. And if there is a possibility of leakage, those containers should be kept at the utmost bottom.
  • Throughout the day, to spot potential problems with temperature recovery, at regular intervals, check your temperature.
  • Refrigeration temperatures should be at 40°F or lower (remember that the coldest part of your fridge should remain between zero and 5°C or 32 and 41°F).
  • The most potentially hazardous foods should be kept in the coldest section of a refrigeration unit.

Mickey Genuine Parts has used refrigeration trucks for the entrepreneur searching for money-saving opportunities. We carry accessories, parts, and more for all your transportation needs. When you need parts and service for your reefer, look no further than the Mickey certified service centers conveniently located throughout the United States. If you would like to talk to a helpful, friendly Mickey representative, contact us today.

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