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Avoiding food spoilage – Time matters

Written by Creme Global
30/03/2021

Expect the unexpected

Time matters. Cargo ships delayed in the Suez canal matters. Those ships account for around 12% of total global trade, with tons of perishable food onboard waiting to be delivered. What’s the effect of a 1 day delay? Maybe not so great, but how about 10 days? When does a delay become a real problem, and how can you tell what’s happening to the food containers? The growth of microorganisms on food can be a hidden enemy, writing off tons of spoiled food, so time matters.  

Food is delivered safely around the globe everyday – it’s a vital service. It’s an amazingly fine tuned logistics system which can’t allow for major changes to the plan. Following the Suez Canal blockage, we saw many companies use alternative routes at huge cost – often adding on average 8 days to the journey. Why? Because the integrity and quality of their cargo is essential. A cargo of spoiled food is no cargo at all.  

Already under pressure from COVID-19 related issues, the global food system now faces another major disruption that could further impact the availability and safety of food available to consumers.

Predict risk before you set sail

What impact do events like this have on food safety and can we predict the risk before it happens? The growth of microorganisms in food products is affected by environmental conditions such as temperature of storage, water activity, acidity and humidity. The development of predictive models for your products and experimental data can help you control the safety of the product and minimise the risk of microbial contamination. Tools that can be used to assess product shelf-life and safety from a microbial perspective are called predictive microbiological models. Predictive models have been developed for both spoilage and pathogenic organisms and there are growth, survival and heat inactivation models available for use.

Act Now: Manage Your Risk

The application of scientific modelling, data science and new technologies are quickly maturing, and adapting to the greatest needs. With that comes the knowledge and the expertise required to continue to grow this important toolkit that has become an integral part of many organisations in the food sector. The digital revolution of food safety is here now. The new frontier is building accurate, data driven decision making tools which can be effectively used to predict the outbreak of safety or quality issues, saving time and resources by proactively protecting companies global reputations.

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