A cold chain system entails storing refrigerated food at the right temperature. This ensures it is protected from the outside environment. The chain comprises a farm, processing facility, carrier, retailer, and end-user. The following are essential rules that people should follow during cold chain packaging.
Keeping Your Equipment Clean and Disinfected
Clean, disinfect, and sanitize equipment between duties. This includes the start of the day and the end of the day. Cleaning equipment entails removing debris and visible dirt. It also involves disinfecting doors, walls, work surfaces like electrical cords and floors with cleaning solutions and disinfectants. All surfaces and equipment should be sanitized using an ideal sanitizer solution. Ultra-high frequency (UHF) or ultraviolet (UV) disinfection is also recommended. When disinfecting, it is essential to use products registered by the state. Ensure they have been proven effective for their intended uses in food processing facilities. Many states have a list of approved products on their websites.
Use Package Liners That Seal Tight
Cold chain packaging requires that you always ensure your equipment is properly inspected and cleaned before the product is placed inside it. This will reduce the risk of cross-contamination and extend the shelf life of your product. Ice Gel Packs must be used inside the packing.
Make sure your product further stays secure by using package liners that seal with closed edges and double-stick tape. This will eliminate any opportunities for outside contaminants to find their way into your product. It also prevents a new development from getting into your current batch. Keep in mind that some products have a shelf life and need to be disposed of after use, such as ice packs. In this case, you may want to consider using the same package liner every day. This ensures you do not need to dispose of it daily.
Close Packaging After Use, Only Open When Needed
Place packages back in their original containers or another small container to fit inside the original container. If you are using multiple-layer cold chain packaging, make sure that all waste is removed from the outside of the tray first. Ensure you remove outer packaging and anything that might be blocking airflow in multi-layer packaging like a two-layer tray. Label where it should be placed in your storage location, i.e., fridge, freezer, etc. This helps to reduce the risk for cross-contamination. Never open once it has left your farm or processing facility.
Write Your Serial Numbers on The Label
Your serial number tells you exactly which package liner is which. This will help you know what day, time, and the person who placed the item in storage. With this, you can quickly determine the package liner if a recall may be necessary. Ensure to include production dates, harvest dates, batch numbers, vendor names, etc., with the package liners. This provides complete information about your products for ultimate consumer safety. Never use generic terms such as bag, undated, or any dates.
Online shoppers often look to e-commerce sites for new ideas on gifts from their loved ones. However, when shopping online, consumers must be aware of the risks associated with purchasing products. One of which is unsafe cold chain packaging. Retailers must follow the rules above to sell cold chain packaged items safely.
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