16 Jun

When Things Go Wrong: What To Do If The Cold Chain Is Broken

In refrigerated transport, the cold chain refers to the logistics management process of keeping temperature sensitive products in their required environments during their transport.

This includes when they are being stored and handled as well as during their distribution. 

For more information on appropriate temperatures for chilled and frozen goods, read our blog The ‘Never Warmer Than’ Rule – What It Actually Means For Refrigerated Transport.

However, there are times when the cold chain can be broken and it’s important to identify what to do when this happens. Whether it is a result of human error or technological failure, it’s important that the correct procedures are followed.


It goes without saying that the best method to deal with this problem is to ensure that there are practices in place that prevent it from happening in the first place.

At Cannon Logistics, we use the Best Practices in Refrigerated Transport to ensure that your temperature sensitive goods are always in the correct environment and the cold chain remains unbroken.

Ensure The Breach Is As Short As Possible

If the cold chain breaks, it is imperative that it is remedied the moment the breach is noticed.

This means getting the contents back into their required temperatures as soon as possible.

Depending on the items and how long they were out of their environment, some of it may be salvageable if they are placed back in time. 

Notify The Manufacturer

After the break has been identified and remedied, it is important that the producer or manufacturer is notified of the break, its nature and the circumstances surrounding it.

Ensure that you take further action, if any, specified by product documentation for the break in conditions or any that is communicated by the business owner, manufacturer or producer.

Identify Affected Products

If the cold chain is breached, it is important that the goods that have been affected, melted, warmed or damaged are identified and isolated in separate containers.

Mark the containers (e.g. placing a large X on them using a large red marker pen) and attach a visible sign stating “DO NOT MOVE OR USE: AWAITING INSTRUCTIONS”.

If the products in question are vaccines, there is a certain protocol issued by Queensland Health that needs to be followed. You can read about this here.

Record The Cold Chain Breach

It is important that the breach is recorded and all relevant information is included, such as:

  • The nature of the break in Cold Chain conditions and any circumstances relating to the break;
  • the time and date of notifications to the business owner and the manufacturer (including the name of the person contacted and the person making the contact); and
  • what action was taken, when and by whom, and who was consulted or authorised actions.

Cannon Logistics has all of the appropriate procedures, practices and training in place to firstly prevent breaks in the cold chain and act accordingly in the rare chance that it does occur. 
If you want complete peace of mind that your goods won’t be damaged on the way to their destination, contact us today.

// More News In Logistics //


19 Trade St Lytton Between 6:30am and 12pm
PO BOX 475 Cannon Hill Q 4170


P: +61 7 3396 1911
F: +61 7 3396 7586
E: info@cannonlogistics.com.au


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