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Seven Transportation Monitoring Best Practices to Ensure Food Safety

This is the fifth and final post in a five-part series on food safety throughout the month of September.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires stakeholders to implement and document a program ensuring safe transport of food within the U.S. Shippers, receivers, loaders and carriers engaged in transportation operations need to be aware of and understand the impact of FSMA. If there is a food safety incident, the following may be required:

  • Proof that the vehicle used in transport did not allow food to become unsafe
  • Written procedures of the company’s food transport safety program
  • Verification that employees were adequately trained on proper safe pre-cooling and transport procedures
  • Proof that the product was transported under safe temperature conditions

Instead of reacting to an incident, we recommend a proactive approach to food safety that can help mitigate risks, reduce shrink and protect brand reputation. The fresh foods supply chain is complex, with multiple steps and parties involved, and if inconsistencies in temperature occur in any segment along the journey “from farm to fork,” food quality and safety can be compromised. Also, companies that recognize the technology advancements available for automated, real-time temperature monitoring can use these solutions to modernize their supply chain.


Below are seven temperature monitoring best practices to leverage throughout the transport of fresh foods to help with creating an effective written program with FSMA in mind:

  1. Establish pre-cooling processes: Before food is transported, it should be pre-cooled by the supplier to the correct transit temperatures, as this can have a direct impact on product quality, safety and shelf life. Pre-cooling should occur when the container is connected to the cold storage unit.
  1. Ensure proper loading practices: Perishable products should be loaded in a manner that allows airflow through the transport container, making sure that it does not go above the “load” line. Also, the product packaging itself should promote airflow.
  1. Develop and communicate proper transport temperatures: When the product is then shipped to distribution centers, it must remain within acceptable temperature ranges for the particular commodity (i.e., 56-62°F for bananas and 32-39°F for dairy).
  1. Integrate temperature monitoring device and placement procedures: Place a digital temperature monitoring device on the product to provide the most accurate product temperature data. Establish consistent placement locations in all trailers.
  1. Check temperature data upon receipt at the distribution center: Quality assurance staff should check the temperature monitoring device’s data for any breaches once the shipment reaches the distribution center. These devices provide historical information about what happened during transit and can help identify any issues that may not be visible but could affect the future food quality and shelf life.
  1. Continue product monitoring from distribution center to store: Once the product is consolidated at distribution centers, it is regrouped and sent to an individual store. While this segment of the cold chain is subject to similar food quality risks, independent monitoring devices are not always used to validate that product temperatures have been maintained. We recommend use of these devices in this step along the process for a complete, continuous monitoring program.
  1. Utilize facility management systems for yard monitoring: Finally, as perishable products are held in stationary facilities while being pre-loaded and waiting for transport in the yard, use facility management systems to address this segment in the supply chain.

 For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

Frank Landwehr
Vice President and General Manager, Cargo Solutions

Note: the content in this blog post originally appeared in a white paper titled “Freshness is Cumulative” from Emerson-acquired company, PakSense.

To read all posts in our series on food safety for retailers, click on the links below:

  1. Food Safety Remains a Top Priority for Retail Businesses
  2. Prevent Food Safety Issues with Remote Monitoring Services
  3. How Does the Food Safety Modernization Act Impact Food Retailers?
  4. Food Safety Throughout the Cold Chain “From Farm to Fork”
  5. Seven Transportation Monitoring Best Practices to Ensure Food Safety

Suggested reading – Two-Stage A/C Systems Save Money, Energy

Seer_labelA recent Angie’s List article touts the benefits of two-stage air conditioning systems, mentioning the compressor as a standout feature that differentiates it from a standard, single stage cooling system. The article also explains the details of the energy savings and comfort benefits. It’s really good to see this message communicated in this popular consumer forum.

Read the full article
Learn about Copeland Scroll™ two-stage compressors

Frank Landwehr
VP of Marketing and Planning, Air Conditioning

Why You Can’t Always Get What You Want Out Of a New AC System

Why, in survey after survey, do consumers indicate they would pay a little extra for better comfort or energy savings but still continue to purchase the basic, minimum efficiency and lightly featured systems? This past year, AC & Heating Connect worked with Triple Pundit (a new-media company for highly conscious business leaders focused on the triple bottom line – people, planet and profit) to survey their readers on issues related to purchasing patterns of HVAC consumers. Industry data indicates that 70% of consumers consistently purchase minimum efficiency and minimum featured HVAC systems and only 30% buy the higher featured and more efficient models. This is all true despite our company’s sponsored research, which indicates that almost 70% of homeowners surveyed prefer systems that offer superior energy savings and comfort or created less impact on the environment.

Why You Can’t Always Get What You Want Out Of a New AC System
According to a 2013 survey of more than 500 Triple Pundit readers, we found some indications about what might be going on with HVAC consumer buying behavior. First, we asked if consumers would pay 20-30 percent more for a system that provided certain benefits.

  • 85% would pay for better efficiency and reduced energy consumption
  • 68% would pay for a lower overall impact on the environment
  • 67% would pay for greater monthly energy savings
  • 56% would pay for better overall comfort and indoor air quality
  • 6% would just buy the lowest cost system no matter what

When asked to rank various HVAC features in order of importance, the respondents indicated the following priorities, in order:

  1. Improved energy efficiency for reduced operating costs
  2. Reliability
  3. Reduction in monthly operating costs
  4. Lowest environmental impact
  5. Improvements in comfort or air quality
  6. Low sound or operating noise
  7. Lowest initial cost to purchase

Again, in line with prior survey findings, the lowest initial consumer cost is ranked lowest by the respondents.

Next, we asked why they thought more people don’t choose to buy higher efficiency systems.

  • 66% just don’t want to be uncomfortable (a pretty low threshold)
  • 54% are too busy to do the research
  • 45% think the terms and technology are too confusing
  • 23% have no interest in efficiency or comfort – just want cold air when it is hot

Although the results are not conclusive, we believe these responses give some indication of what’s going on. Confusion about what features are available in new systems and having the time and energy to research all the tradeoffs before making an HVAC investment decision are common problems for both consumers and contractors trying to satisfy their needs.

For more information go to

Frank Landwehr
VP of Marketing and Planning, Air Conditioning
Emerson Climate Technologies

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