SOURCE: U.S. Foodservice

U.S. Foodservice

September 23, 2011 13:57 ET

Cold Chain Management Remains Top Priority for U.S. Foodservice

Sophisticated Temperature-Controlled Transportation Essential for Delivery of Safe Food Products

ROSEMONT, IL--(Marketwire - Sep 23, 2011) - U.S. Foodservice, one of America's leading foodservice distributors, affirms its commitment to food safety and reminds restaurant operators and distributors that temperature management throughout the food distribution process is one of the most effective ways to reduce foodborne illnesses. This announcement comes after recent highly-publicized investigations have proven that maintaining proper temperatures throughout distribution continues to be a major issue in the food industry.

"Not everyone with a truck can be a food distributor," said Jorge Hernandez, senior vice president of food safety and quality assurance, U.S. Foodservice. "Maintaining the cold chain is one of the most effective ways to ensure safe, quality food. And not every distributor is the same when it comes to the level of sophisticated temperature-controlled transportation and technology required to ensure food gets safely from point A to point B."

U.S. Foodservice uses a variety of thermometers and time-temperature recorders in distribution vehicles to gather data that can be merged with GPS and IT systems to not only regulate temperatures of products in transit, but to also manage the cold chain during loading, unloading and delivering. The company tested these processes with different food products, in various geographies and during all seasons to develop best practices that have been applied across the company's fleet of food transport vehicles.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish safety standards for food transportation. Until those standards are written, suppliers and distributors are responsible for managing themselves.

"At U.S. Foodservice, we take detailed steps to help prevent contamination during transport -- ranging from cold storage in trucks to food safety training for all employees -- and encourage other distributors, regardless of size, to adopt verifiably safe transportation practices under the FSMA," said Hernandez. "While a large portion of the responsibility rests with food distributors, operators should make sure that they buy from distributors with strong food safety programs and then make temperature management a part of their business."

The faster products are stored in the freezer or cooler, the less potential for bacteria growth. In fact, any food that requires refrigeration and is left above 41 degrees for more than four hours is at a high risk of causing foodborne illness.

"There is nothing more important than the safety of the food U.S. Foodservice delivers to customers," said Hernandez. "We continue to educate our employees, our suppliers and our customers on the importance of food safety protocol."

About U.S. Foodservice
U.S. Foodservice is one of America's leading foodservice distributors, offering more than 350,000 national brand products and its own high-quality private label items, ranging from meats to produce to frozen foods. The company proudly employs approximately 25,000 associates in more than 60 locations nationwide. U.S. Foodservice provides the finest quality food and related products to more than 250,000 customers, including independent restaurants, government operations, health care and hospitality entities, educational institutions and prominent multi-unit restaurant companies. With approximately $19 billion in annualized revenue, the company is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and jointly owned by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Discover more at www.usfoodservice.com.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Lisa Lecas
    Manager, Corporate Communications
    U.S. Foodservice, Inc.
    847-720-8243 Office
    Email Contact