There are four key natural elements in fresh produce cold storage that has a material impact on the qualitative condition, as well as the commercial value of fresh produce in cold storage, viz:
- Ambient/core temperatures
- Airborne pathogenic bacteria/viruses/spores/moulds/yeasts
- Ethylene gas (in the case of ethylene sensitive produce)
- Relative humidity
The far majority of cold chain HACCP protocols, safety audits, and food safety training tend to focus exclusively on ambient/core temperatures.
By ignoring the remaining 3 elements such programs/audits/safety training courses offered by food professionals are displaying a disservice to their clients; employers; and ultimately, the consumer.