5 Best Practices for Food Shipments: Fresh Goods for Customers

Food transportation is one of the most common forms of interstate commerce. Americans transport billions of dollars worth of food products daily across state lines.

Food shipments are prone to a range of problems that can impact both the sender and receiver, including spoiling, pest infestations, and a loss of nutrients. If you’re planning to send food long distances, it’s essential to understand how these factors can affect it.

For example, there are special considerations when shipping food across the country in hot weather. Being unprepared means you risk losing money on spoiled shipments.

Don’t go away if you’re in the food industry and want to learn more about food shipments. Keep reading to learn five things to do when shipping food long distance.

1. Understand Food Transportation Requirements

When shipping food across the country, it’s essential to understand and adhere to food transportation requirements. These requirements are set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For example, one condition this act specifies is:

Transportation Equipment

The act requires all food industry transporters to keep their vehicles well-maintained. It also requires that all equipment be appropriately cleaned.

2. Train Your Employees

If your employees transport perishable goods, there is always a high risk of contamination or spoilage. For this reason, you must train your employees in proper food shipping so they know and adhere to sanitary transportation practices.

They should also be trained to handle food transportation correctly. Finally, your employees should understand how to document food shipments accurately.

3. Monitor Your Temperatures

If you’re shipping food that needs refrigeration, you must transport it at the correct temperature to avoid spoilage. Taking care of your transport vehicles and equipment is vital to ensure the food can be stored at the proper temperature.

During transportation, drivers should be trained to check that the temperature is stable periodically. For example, suppose something goes wrong with the compressor. In that case, an employee will notice a problem before the food perishes.

4. Avoid Cross-Contamination

If your food logistics business transports items other than food, you should watch out for cross-contamination.

This can happen when you ship perishable goods and non-perishable goods together. Instead, a good business practice separates food shipments from other deliveries. This way, you can be sure that nothing is contaminating the food while shipping it long distance.

5. Keep Proper Records

Finally, your company needs to keep proper delivery records. This way, your company complies with the requirements set for food shipments.

These records should be kept for at least one year. They can help your company prove its following food business compliance. These records can include:

  • Driver logs
  • Shipping documents
  • Receiving records

First Grade Food Shipments

Understanding and adhering to regulations regarding food shipments is essential if you’re transporting food long distance. Employees should have the proper training so they correctly handle perishable goods.

Each delivery and receipt should be accurately documented and kept for at least twelve months. Finally, ensuring the food is stored at the right temperature is essential to avoid losing perishable goods.

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