No matter if you are a professional chef, caterer or simply are performing the cooking for a friends party, food safety is an important consideration that must be kept in mind. Foods that are intended to be served cold must be kept refrigerated during transportation in order to prevent contamination or spoilage. This article discusses ways to ensure that your cold food will be safe to eat once it arrives at its final destination.
Packaging the Food Properly before Transportation
In reality, the most important way to properly transport food that needs to be refrigerated is to pack it properly before even beginning to move it. To do this, you should carefully package all of the food into containers that are large enough to safely fit the products without potential damage. Next, place a label with clean writing on it that states what is in each container. Finally, wrap each container in packaging material. While you can purchase specialty packaging material for use in catering, simple old paper makes a great insulator, and is more inexpensive that anything else you can purchase. Make sure all sides of each container are covered by the packing material, and place in a large, airtight cooler.
Transporting the Food
Once all of the food has been placed in the cooler, you can carry it out to the van that will be used to transport the food. The van ideally should be outfitted for catering, with a specially designed refrigerated compartment. However, if it is not possible for you to purchase or rent a catering van, make sure to start the car and turn on the air conditioner before placing any of the food in the car in order to allow for a less substantial temperature change between the refrigerator and the car. Make sure the coolers are placed on the floor of the designated location, and that there will be no opportunity for the coolers to tip. If you are concerned about the coolers tipping during transport, you may want to use bungee cords to secure the coolers.
Finding the Destination
The final step to properly transporting food that needs to be refrigerated involves finding the destination. This can be one of the most stressful parts of transporting food to an event. For best results, contact someone at the location where the food will be transported, and ask for detailed directions from your location. Make sure to double check these directions against a city map, your GPS or Internet mapping tools. Make sure you know exactly how long it will take to get the food from your location to that of the party.