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The Role of Cold Chain Logistics in Food Safety

Cold Chain Logistics, also known as low-temperature logistics, refers to a specialized supply chain system that handles refrigerated food to extend shelf life or fresh perishable agricultural products. Cold Chain Logistics is essential for maintaining the quality of food and reducing losses from production to retail. The scope of Cold Chain Logistics is not limited to dairy products, frozen food, and other agricultural and processed foods, but also includes high-value medical supplies, vaccines, and special products such as wine and precision industrial parts.


Over 90% of food supplies in Hong Kong are imported, and fresh foods require refrigeration before retailing. Through temperature monitoring devices, Cold Chain Logistics covers upstream and downstream processes such as production, import, pickup, unloading, storage, processing, order picking, loading, transportation, and distribution.


Cold Chain Logistics and food safety are closely related. The key parts are low-temperature storage and transportation, where the concept of seamless Cold Chain Logistics plays a significant role. From production, storage, transportation to distribution to the end consumer, maintaining the freshness and quality of food is crucial to ensure the health of consumers.


Seamless Cold Chain Logistics is essential to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms that may cause foodborne illnesses. For example, the temperature of perishable food such as meat and dairy products must be kept low or even frozen to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Even a short interruption in the Cold Chain can render food unsafe for consumption.


Learn how the CSA Seamless Cold Chain Standard ensures food safety and prevents Cold Chain interruptions.


Source: Hong Kong Logistics Association - Cold Chain Logistics Management System Project Guide 2021.

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