If you work within the food preparation or retail industry, you’ll understand how detrimental spoiled food is. Not only to the end customer where it can cause a multitude of illnesses and sicknesses. But unkempt food also has the potential to severely damage the reputation of your business, setting you up to potentially lose business in the long run. When it comes to temperature-controlled foods, this risk is increased. Therefore, it is important that you understand the environments these foods should be stored and shipped in.

What temperatures should frozen food be kept at?

According to the FDA, freezers should be kept at 0°F (-18°C). Therefore, this is the optimal temperature your food should be stored at. When shipping, frozen food must be kept at 0°F air temperature while the internal product temperature should never exceed 10 0°F. Temperature-controlled vans need to be pre-cooled to 20°F air temperature or lower during loading.

What lenience is there for frozen food temperature?

Generally, there is a 3°C lenience allowed for both Quick Frozen and ordinarily frozen food. This increase or dip in temperature normally occurs during loading or when the van door opens or closes. So, in theory, Quick Frozen food can be kept at -15°C and normal frozen food at -12°C.

So, when should you reject a frozen food delivery?

If you receive delivery of Quick Frozen food with a recorded temperature above -15°C or normally frozen food with a temperature above -12°C, you are within your legal rights to reject the delivery. The potential for contamination and spoilage increases from this point and there is no point putting your business at risk, as a result.

How to tell the temperature of a delivery?

Ordinarily, temperature-controlled vans will have a temperature gauge within the storage. Additionally, most companies have HO-based technology that remotely records the inner temperature at dedicated points throughout the day. And, drivers are required to keep a physical log too. You are fully within your rights to ask for this information. And, any reputable company will be happy to provide it as evidence that their logistical set-up is in place.

If you have any questions about the correct procedures for temperature-controlled shipping, let the team here at Iceotemp give you all the information you need.