The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that each year approximately 48 million people get sick,128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne illness. To combat these effects, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aims to restructure the food safety system to one of prevention rather than reaction. Prevention strategies FSMA will enforce include:
- Mandatory preventive controls for facilities;
- Mandatory produce safety standards;
- Mandated inspection frequency; and
- Records access and testing by accredited laboratories.
Designed to safeguard food safety, these and many other regulations are changing the way the supply chain handles food. The first FSMA regulation will be implemented in 2015, meaning fleets, shippers and processors should already be equipped for these changes.
Each level in the supply chain must be prepared to meet heightened standards of accountability in order to avoid rejected shipments upon delivery, which are often a result of food spoilage. Sickness upon consumption of spoiled food is largely caused by inadequate or inconsistent refrigeration during transport. Bacteria grows most rapidly between 40º and 140º Fahrenheit—also known as the “danger zone”—and can double in number in as few as 20 minutes. To ensure cargo is safely delivered, proper temperature controls are now more critical than ever.
Cold chain monitoring tools help minimize consumer health risks by providing the technology needed to guarantee proper temperature controls are maintained throughout transit. Direct drive technology, in particular, is a smart and cost-effective option for fleets seeking to ensure temperature maintenance procedures are FSMA compliant. Unlike other temperature monitoring systems, such as cold plates or portable containers, direct drive units have capacity to meet specific temperature settings.
Additionally, direct drive technology enables fleets to maintain traceability with its use of telematics. FSMA requires shippers and carriers to provide proof of compliance with written procedures and records of temperature control. Thermo King, a global leader in transport refrigeration and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, offers TouchPrint, a compact temperature recorder that provides refrigerated fleets data transparency. TouchPrint harnesses direct drive technology to track and record cargo temperatures at every point throughout delivery, updating the network in real-time. This removes the need for information to be manually entered post-delivery, which decreases the potential of human error and adds validity.
Cold chain monitoring tools help minimize consumer health risks by providing the technology needed to guarantee proper temperature controls
FSMA regulations aren’t the only factors driving precise temperature control forward. Consumers expect their food to meet the highest standards of safety, now and in the future.
Direct drive technology is helping processors and shippers meet this market demand that will only become stricter as time and technology advance.