Food Safety Focus Newsletter June 2024

Welcome to Food Safety Focus, the newsletter covering all things quality and food safety in the logistics industry!  In this June edition, our Cold Chain Experts provide an analysis of how optimized cold chain storage warehouses can significantly reduce food waste on a global scale. A recent study from the University of Michigan revealed that nearly half of the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted annually could be saved with fully optimized refrigerated supply chains. This could also cut food waste-related emissions by 41%. To achieve these impactful savings, having an optimized supply chain with the correct health and safety measures in place is essential.

Maintaining Optimal Cold Storage Temperatures

Every stage of the supply chain is equally important, from farm to fork. Maintaining appropriate temperatures for each product is nonnegotiable. Consistent refrigeration equipment monitoring and maintenance can help prevent spoilage and ensure food safety. , maintaining a consistent temperature also plays a key role in avoiding unnecessary emissions. “The study estimates that poor cold-chain infrastructure could be responsible for up to 620 million metric tons of global food loss annually, resulting in emissions of 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, the equivalent of 28% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions.”

Understanding Your Product’s Cold Storage Needs

Although various products can be stored at similar temperatures, it is important to understand that each product is unique and may need to be handled differently. Training warehouse staff on the correct handling and cold storage procedures for different types of perishable goods minimizes the risk of contamination and spoilage. This includes recognizing the specific temperature and humidity requirements for all food products.

The study conducted by the University of Michigan found that one commodity in particular has the most significant impact on global emissions. “While the amount of fruit and vegetable losses is much higher, by weight, throughout the world, the climate-related emissions associated with meat losses are consistently greater than those associated with any other food type—due mainly to the high greenhouse gas intensity of meat production.” The study also found that meat accounts for more than 50% of food loss-related greenhouse gas emissions despite accounting for less than 10% of global food losses by weight. While most of this waste occurs at the household level, poor food handling in the supply chain contributes to this and can be easily prevented with proper safety measures.

Efficient Supply Chain Management

Organizing and managing an optimized supply chain reduces the time food spends in transit, decreasing the likelihood of food waste. Using advanced tracking, transportation, and warehouse management systems can enhance the reliability of your supply chain while putting food manufacturers at ease, knowing that their products are being handled correctly. At RLS Logistics, we understand the importance of visibility in our customer’s supply chain. Our cold storage facilities are held to the highest standard and are GFSI certified for Storage and Distribution. To increase the accuracy of orders, RLS locates and tracks inventory in real time. In addition, our online inventory control allows our customers to control and monitor their inventory and schedule reports from anywhere, anytime.

We can significantly impact global food security and sustainability by maintaining appropriate temperatures, understanding specific product requirements, and practicing efficient supply chain management. RLS Logistics has cold storage warehouses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Utah, and New York. Our cold storage facilities prioritize energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, ensuring your products are handled with the utmost standards of food safety. We provide both frozen and refrigerated warehouse space, catering to a wide range of commodities with dedicated service from our experienced team.

ABOUT RLS LOGISTICS: Headquartered in Glassboro, NJ, RLS Logistics is a family-owned, third-party logistics provider specializing in value-added cold chain solutions, including LTL and FTL transportation, cold storage warehousing, and direct-to-consumer fulfillment. Founded in 1968, the company has been owned and managed by the Leo family for over 50 years and has grown into a leading integrated cold chain 3PL. For more information, visit https://www.rlslogistics.com/.

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Food Safety Focus Newsletter April 2024

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