If you've just opened a restaurant and need to bring in large quantities of fresh meat, you've got to work with professionals who know how to transport this food just on time and in perfect condition. As you may be new to this industry, though, what factors do you need to think about when it comes to transporting and receiving this perishable stock?
If you live in a hot part of the country, the climate won't be your friend. You will need to be particularly vigilant, especially in the summer months, whenever you order meat for delivery.
Your chosen carrier must pay particular attention to the internal temperature of the box or trailer. They must ensure they maintain these trailers carefully, ensure that the fridge units are always in peak condition and that everything works properly to combat high levels of ambient heat.
Precooling the Product
The carrier has definite responsibility, but this is only part of the equation. Neither the carrier nor the driver can be responsible if the food is not presented to them in the ideal condition. This means that the shipper has to precool the product before it is handed to the driver. They must keep to a set schedule as well so that the food can be loaded and delivered without any unnecessary delay. Normally, the driver has to precool the trailer as well before loading and be ready to get underway.
Pulping and Checking
Shippers are required to "pulp" the product by checking the internal temperature of a sample and precooling by using air induction or a similar method. Then, the driver should also sample a few pallets of the product by inserting a probe or digital thermometer. This will tell them if the shipment is within the expected temperature range, and they should note all of the detail onto their manifest.
Adjusting for Defrost
It is also important to take into account the operating cycle of the onboard reefer (refrigerator). These devices will go through a defrost cycle from time to time to get rid of any buildup of ice. A driver should be aware of this cycle and make adjustments if necessary to compensate for the type of produce on board and its ideal shipping conditions.
Choosing a Transport Partner
Now that you know what is involved make sure that you work with a refrigerated transport agent. They will employ fastidious drivers, who will collect all the information and note any anomalies. They will also transport the precious stock to you without delay.