Fresh Produce Tips
This summer, the heat is definitely on, so how do the ‘experts’ guys do it? Transfer food and drinks so they stay fresh? In this post, we share some fresh produce tips in food logistics for this year’s summer season.
What can you do as a Carrier/Shipper?
- Communicate with your people – drivers, staff and customers so everyone has realistic expectations about deliveries.
- Like the saying goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. Don’t be one of ‘those’ people. Make sure you know the produce shipping needs of your customers and plan the best routes to maximise time and ease.
- Keep an eye on the weather on your route and note the status of produce in the area that you run.
- When potentially hazardous foods are transported they should be kept cold or hot during the journey. Alternatively, you could use time, rather than temperature, to keep the food safe while it is being transported. If the journey is short, insulated containers may help to keep the food cold. If the journey is longer, you may need to use ice bricks to keep food cold and heat packs to keep food hot. Place only pre-heated or pre-cooled food in an insulated container, which should have a lid to help maintain safe temperatures.
- Containers of cold food should be placed in the coolest part of the vehicle. If the inside of the vehicle is air-conditioned, cold food may be transported better here rather than in the boot.
What can you do as a customer/wholesaler?
With summer definitely here and the bounty of delicious seasonal fruit and veggies available, keeping them fresh can be a challenge.Thankfully, all that good food doesn’t have to end up in the bin or compost – with just a little bit of extra attention, there are plenty of ways to keeps things like your greens and berries in prime shape for that summer salad or cake.
- Keep Tomatoes out of the fridge – Keeping them in cold temperatures rids them of their flavour and transforms their texture in just a couple of days. Instead, place them in a bowl that you’ve lined with a paper towel – their stems at the top. The most tender part of the fruit is directly around the stem, making this part most likely to bruise, which leads to rotting. Keep them away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
- Wrap your leafy greens – Leafy greens should be consumed within 1-2 days of acquiring them to ensure both freshness and that you are getting all the nutrients out of them you can. But if you are going to store these greens, the best way to extend their life is to wrap the unwashed leaves in a paper towel so that the towel can absorb any excess moisture — if the leaves retain excess moisture, they will rot quickly. After wrapping in the paper towel, put them in plastic bags and keep them in your fridge. Remember to toss any rotten leaves from the bunch before storing, and keep different varieties in separate bags.
- Freeze your fruits and veggies – You can freeze items such as capsicums, green beans, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, onions, eggplant, mushrooms, strawberries, blueberries, bananas… pretty much anything! Just make sure you blanch most vegetables in hot water before sticking them in below-freezing temperatures. Blanching neutralises bacteria present in foods, delaying spoilage.
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