Mobile Catering Transporting Refrigerated Food

Hi

I have just registered my new catering business and I am in the process of getting my van ready to start trading in a month or so.

I have a couple of questions in regards to the storage and transportation of refrigerated food.

I have 2 domestic electric under counter fridges in my truck which will be powered by a generator but what do I do to keep the food at the correct temperature during transportation?

Also, when the van is not being used, is it advisable to connect my van to my household electricity supply so that the fridges are constantly on or do most people leave the fridges off and store refrigerated stock in another fridge in their house for example?

If you use a fridge in your house, what are the implications as far as the environmental health/inspections etc. Also if you do turn off the fridges in the van, surely it takes a certain amount of time for them to reach the required temperature once you park up and connect them to the generator?

Thanks in advance

Andrea

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Sep 12, 2014
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Fridge temperature
by: Anonymous

I have just had a routine visit from a FSA rep. He was very helpful and made a comment about fridge temperature. You cannot be prosecuted for fridge air temperature incorrect, it is food temperature. Also by repeated prodding food to check temperate raises risk of cross contamination. He suggested getting a glass jar, labeled do not drink, temperature test. 3/4fill with water and pierce a hole in the lid so you can put a temperature probe in. Use this as a temperature check. The water will be food temperature.

Jul 09, 2014
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helping the fridge along...
by: Anonymous

I opted for a catering fridge, which we run off three leisure batteries when we're out and then we simply plug it into the mains when we come home. It probably does use more energy but it keeps the food really cold. When the batteries packed in one day, I then decided to keep the fridge packed with cold packs from the freezer,and this helps to keep the energy consumption down as well. It's surprising how much you can do to keep the temperature down. Meat for example, you can put into a box and within a box and have ice packs in between.

Good luck with your business!

Annette

Mar 24, 2014
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Refrigeration
by: Andrea

Thank you that's answered my questions!

Mar 24, 2014
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Mobile Catering Transporting Refrigerated
by: David

Hi Andrea,

If you keep the fridges at the right temperature before you leave home you should not have a problem with the temperature of the fridge while in transit. Avoid unnecessarily opening the fridge doors until you arrive at your destination.

Most fridges once the power source has been removed should hold their temperature for a few hours. As long as the pitch is within a reasonable distance this should not be a problem. I would also advise that a digital temperature gauge is fitted to monitor inside fridge temperature. These also come with a handy alarm to let you know if the fridge temperature falls below a set temperature.

Also, most LPG fridges have the capacity to run on 2, 3 different power sources LPG, 12V or main power supply. You should also be able to plug in your catering vehicle to a home mains power source when you get home. As for storing food at a home fridge you will need to inform the local EHO who will come out and inspect and advise you of the requirement that need to be met.

Hope this helps,
David


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