The cold chain refers to the management of the temperature of perishable products in order to maintain quality and safety from the point of slaughter or harvest through the distribution chain to the final consumer.
Why is the Cold Chain Important?
The cold chain ensures that perishable products are safe and of a high quality at the point of consumption. Failing to keep product at the correct temperatures can result in a variety of negative attributes including, among others, textural degradation, discoloring, bruising and microbial growth. Moreover, a quality product leads to a satisfied customer, greater demand, and overall protection of public health.
Who Bears Responsibility for Managing the Cold Chain?
Each sector of the chain, from the point at which product is harvested to the point at which it is sold, shares responsibility. Breaks in the chain may occur just as easily on a warehouse dock as they do on a supermarket floor. If one link breaks, all suffer the consequences of a disatisfied customer.