Freezing can preserve the taste, texture and nutritional value of foods better than most other preservation methods. However, such qualities depend upon the careful choice of food materials, use of appropriate pre-treatments, the choice of freezer and frozen storage options and the use of appropriate packaging.
The major considerations for optimum quality of frozen foods can be described under pre-freezing, freezing and post-freezing stages of manufacture.
Temperature control within chilled foods is most important from a food safety perspective. Abuse of temperature is likely to lead to increased occurrence and growth of pathogenic bacteria.
It should be noted that chilled foods are easily temperature abused in comparison with frozen foods as the temperature of the former can rise quickly. The ice in the latter ‘protects’ them in safety terms, and from quality loss for brief periods at less-than-ideal temperatures. Awareness of the need for temperature control at all stages in the chill chain and for a low initial bacteria count (e.g. less than 103 per gram) is of paramount importance to all involved with the handling of chilled foods – including the consumer!
Transfer points, e.g. chiller/freezer to cold store, factory to distribution vehicle, retail cabinets to consumers’ refrigerators, are well known problem areas. A useful concept is that of the ‘relay system’, where the food product is transferred safely from one responsible person to another, and where a signing-over system includes information on product temperature and history. Such a system necessitates thorough education and training of staff likely to come into contact with the food product.
Monitoring the cold chain requires detailed information on food product temperatures. Temperature monitoring includes both measurement and recording.
The PIMM™ Supplier Delivery System provides our customers with a customized quality management solution for inbound deliveries. iPIMM™ SuD is the first software platform that elevates the traditional “temperature logger” to integrated cold chain solution allowing the driver to guarantee a quality delivery.
PIMM™ Supplier Delivery solutions provide an integrated supply chain solution for End to End Visibility, Traceability & FSMA Compliance. Our system captures and identities product traceability characteristics; compliance inspections for quality and safety; temperature control for product storage and transport; and visibility throughout the supply chain.
To learn more about this and other PIMM™ Products, please visit us at www.Procuro.com or call TOLL FREE today 1-888-571-PIMM (1-888-571-7466)!