There is nothing like waking up in the morning to watch the Today Show on NBC and see that the bacon and eggs you just had for breakfast may have been exposed to dangerously high temperatures before they even got to the grocery store. Growers take great care in making sure your oranges don’t freeze on the tree and fisherman assure your seafood is dropped in ice as soon as it is caught, but what happens next is both shocking and preventable. Thousands of people get ill worldwide every year from food borne illnesses
Yesterday morning on NBC’s Today Show, Bob Rossen reported on the hazards of food delivery trucks and temperature monitoring. It was shocking that drivers shut off their engines and were not aware that it also shut off their refrigeration units. One truck with chicken and vegetables was pulled over by the highway patrol and revealed that the temperature was 101 degrees F. The vehicle’s cabin smelled and chicken was literally melting. Fluids from the meat were dripping onto this lettuce. The driver was totally unaware of the mechanics of the refrigerated transport, and would have delivered the shipment at the correct temperature, possibly unaware the food was ever exposed.
It happens more often than you think. The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) estimates that Salmonella infection causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other type of germ found in food. The high price of fuel coupled with independent truckers desperate for business, has contributed to an increase in this occurrence. The CDC reports that about 1 in 6 (or 48 million) people get sick each year from contaminated food, with 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually.
For the most part, larger transportation companies do a good job of cold chain management, but those that have concerns or are worried about upcoming regulations and consumer pressure should look at temperature mapping, active monitoring programs and trailer validation.
Are you concerned about your trucking fleet putting you at risk? Watch the broadcast, and then tell us what you think or how we can help.