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The Cold Chain

WHAT IS a Cold Chain? The cold chain is the deciding factor that determines if your case of lettuce lasts until you use the last leaf, or if that rock-bottom price you got on a warm case of lettuce will come back to haunt you when half the case goes bad in a day. The cold chain describes the process of events that brings the raw product from harvest to the end recipient, including packaging, storage, transportation, shipping, handling, warehousing, distributing and delivery.

"Reefer" refrigerated containers preparing to be shipped across the waters.
“Reefer” refrigerated containers preparing to be shipped across the waters.

An unbroken cold chain gives you milk that lasts until (and past) the expiration date, meat that stays bright and fresh, celery that stays crisp and fruits that are brought in unblemished and firm. Fresh produce and dairy products will last one (1) day less for every one (1) hour that they stay out below their optimal cooling temperature. This means that pack of berries or gallon of milk left out of a closed refrigerator, will be rotten one day earlier for every hour it sits on a warm table. A guarantee of an unbroken cold chain is of high importance when transporting frozen and cooler foods, medicines and vaccines, expensive film and chemicals.

A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range. It is used to help extend and ensure the shelf life of products such as fresh agricultural produce,[1] seafood, frozen food, photographic film, chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs.[2] Such products, during transport and when in transient storage, are called cool cargo.[3] Unlike other goods or merchandise, cold chain goods are perishable and always en route towards end use or destination, even when held temporarily in cold stores and hence commonly referred to as cargo during its entire logistics cycle.

Bahamas Food Services (BFS) ensures an unbroken cold chain from the supplier to our facilities in Nassau to your receiving door or to the mail boat, guaranteeing the freshest possible imported produce and perishables. A commitment to providing businesses in The Bahamas with the best possible quality includes BFS partnering with reputable suppliers who guarantee an unbroken cold chain from farm to your door. A prime example is Fresh Point, North America’s largest fresh produce provider which provides specialty and exotic fruits and vegetables, cheeses, mushrooms, baby and organic veggies as well as peeled & cut vegetables.

BFS believes that due to the constantly increasing costs involved in growing, shipping, loading, storing, transporting, documenting and so on of perishables, the necessity of a strong consistent cold chain is a requirement and not an option in today’s modern foodservice and retail grocery industries.


August 2015

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