Cold chain in the food sector

Cold chain in the food sector

Ensuring the cold chain means ensuring that refrigerated and frozen foods are kept at a constant temperature in accordance with regulations or their labelling.

The cold chain is a crucial element to control during your entire food logistics operations. Indeed, the cold chain can have serious consequences on the preservation of goods if it breaks down.

The cold chain ensures the safety of your products and their taste quality. In addition, it slows down or stops the proliferation of micro-organisms that are dangerous to your consumer’s health.

The cold chain is not limited to one stage: it is involved in the storage, transport and distribution stage! Failure to observe the specified temperature range compromises the entire cold chain. This can result in the product being unsafe to eat or, alternatively, in a significant reduction in its shelf life.

Such a break in the cold chain must be avoided at all costs.


Temperature readings

Maximum temperatures have been set to regulate the storage of fresh and frozen foods. It is the responsibility of the professional involved in each stage of the cold chain to ensure that these measures are complied with. The cold regulation imposes different temperatures according to the type of product considered. We have summarised them below :

  • Cooked fish, crustaceans and molluscs, cooked meat, products being defrosted, fresh products that have been started, home-made dishes prepared in advance, etc.: between 0°c and 4°c
  • Raw meat, uncooked fish, cold cuts, pastries with cream, fresh products made from raw milk, cut-up cheeses, etc.: up to + 4°C
  • Fruit and vegetables: + 4°C
  • Fresh dairy products, eggs, dairy desserts, butters and fats, etc.: + 6°C to + 8°C
  • All frozen food: – 12°C
  • All frozen food, ice cream and sorbets: – 18°C

What are the risks of non-compliance?

In the event of non-compliance, the penalties are high. In addition to the fact that the goods are deemed unfit for consumption and therefore destroyed, the professional risks a penalty up to 36,500 €, the closure of the company in case of aggravated breaches, and even imprisonment.

Importance and dangers

  • Ensure the taste quality of the products offered for sale.
  • Maximize the conservation of your products.
  • Comply with health standards and the law.

Breaking the cold chain can be dangerous for many reasons.

  • Your customers are dissatisfied… You may be responsible for their intoxication, which exposes you to potential legal action.
  • You lose your stock and the financial value associated with it.
  • You are breaking the law and face potential fines. Your right to practice may also be withdrawn.
  • You suffer from a poor brand image and lose the trust of your customers.
You are now well informed about the cold chain in the catering sector.

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