Temperature Sensitive Products

December 16, 2022
Cold Chain

When you think about the fresh and frozen sections at the grocery store or the large refrigerators at the doctor’s office storing immunizations, you don’t often think about where the items stored in this temperature-controlled device originated and the challenges involved in getting them from point A to point B. Maintaining the proper temperature throughout the supply chain plays a crucial role as nobody wants a spoiled steak delivered to their door or a compromised vaccine going into their body. These kinds of products are considered temperature-sensitive.

There are five main categories of products that require temperature control:

1) Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals – vaccinations and medications (Refrigerated: 36°F to 46°F, Frozen: -58°F to +5°F)

2) Biological Substances – blood, urine, saliva, etc. (36°F to 46°F)

3) Perishables – meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, vegetables, fruits, etc. (below 40°F)

4) Industrial Chemicals – combustible/flammable chemicals (varies)

5) Wine / Alcohol (45°F to 65°F)

As consumers, we assume that these temperature-sensitive products are being handled properly through the supply chain. But hitting some roadblocks along the way is not uncommon.  

Refrigerated trucks can have maintenance issues with the cooling system. Lack of staffing at loading docks may force the product to sit for too long in 80°F weather. Lack of training or instruction can lead to product mishandling. Inclement weather can cause delays with shipping. However, with the proper plan in place, any problem can be addressed and mitigated quickly and efficiently. Millions of temperature-sensitive products move across the world every day. They go from point A to point B with many stops in between.  

Many factors contribute to the successful transport of temperature-sensitive products. Most of us are blissfully unaware when perusing the supermarket shelves or rolling up our sleeves for a shot. With shortages in both supplies and labor, we are all grateful for those that are working hard to ensure things go right. Challenges may arise but can also be conquered so that the safety of all consumers stays a top priority.

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