4 Things You Should Know To Transport Meat Safely

4 Things You Should Know To Transport Meat Safely

With meat being such a delicate commodity prone to spoilage and contamination, transporting it as a supply chain business can prove to be extremely difficult without the right measures in place.

This blog post will go over information on how the meat supply chain works and what to keep in mind when transporting products.

How the meat supply chain works

The meat supply chain sees animal products like game, cattle, poultry, pork, and seafood like shrimp or lobster moving from a ranch or farm all the way to a consumer’s plate. 

Between the start and end goal are a series of important processes that the product goes through to be safely prepared for eating and cooking. This series of processes must be properly handled, as any miscalculation could result in delays or product spoilage.

Here are the steps involved in getting products to market.

1. Production

The first step is raising livestock like sheep or pig for food processing. Ranch owners and farmers provide the animals with food, water, necessary check-ups, and medical treatment during this stage.

2. Processing

Next, farmers work with mid-chain processors to transport and slaughter the livestock into different meat cuts. 

The packaging and labeling added by processors ensures the smooth movement of products throughout the supply chain. Accurate labeling helps with product identification for distributors and retailers. 

For consumers, packaging makes all of the difference in whether they decide to buy a product. In this sense, it’s a crucial component of the supply chain for businesses, as it can be used as an effective marketing tool to capture the attention of customers and drive sales.

3. Distribution

The products are then distributed to centers like grocery stores, food service providers, and retailers who are ready to receive the meat. 

4. Purchasing and consumption

End-buyers who purchase the product from distributors have their own offloading processes to ensure the meat hits the shelves in a timely manner or is properly prepared in a hospital, restaurant, or school.

The supply chain ends when the product has reached the final customer and is consumed as part of their diet.

4 things to keep in mind when transporting meat

Businesses operating in the meat supply chain must ensure that the meat processed and distributed is safe to consume throughout all levels and stages.

With that said, here are some important considerations and some advice to keep in mind when dealing with and transporting this sensitive commodity. 

1. Training workers in food handling is vital

Proper handling comes down to giving workers the right knowledge and tools to do so. Businesses should have a comprehensive training program in place and be available to answer any questions workers may have.

Workers should be well-informed about applicable food handling techniques, including domestic and site- or state-specific ones. Any regulation or guideline changes should be communicated to workers immediately.

Equipping employees with adequate training materials and tools not only prevents contamination, but also reduces the likelihood of error along the supply chain.

2. Contamination is more of a risk

With contamination being more of a threat with meat compared to other commodities dealt with along the supply chain, it’s important to put measures in place. As previously mentioned, training workers in food handling is crucial. 

It’s important to also ensure:

  • Employees wear the right uniforms and proper safety equipment

  • Personal hygiene is made standard practice

  • Regular cleaning of meat processing and distribution facilities is conducted

  • Products are not handled by workers with injuries or wounds

  • A comprehensive traceability and lot tracking system is in place if recalls are needed

3. Temperature control is a must

Temperature must be closely regulated and monitored in product storage, processing, and cargo transportation. Being off by even a single degree can compromise quality and safety.

For freight trains or road transport, meat is often delivered in a temperature-controlled container, refrigerator, bag, or box with ice or cold water. 

Advances in technology have made logging temperatures and keeping them at set intervals in a vehicle or train much easier, ensuring that the meat retains its quality. 

When the product must be transported long distances, businesses may opt to freeze the meat, which makes controlling temperatures all the more important.

4. Travel times should be as short as possible

The key to preventing spoilage lies in decreasing product travel times.

This may mean working with local businesses rather than international ones to cut down on the distance the product needs to travel to make it to market. It could also mean optimizing travel routes using technology.

Due to the short shelf life of meat products, preventing delays is also vital and should be a priority.

Improve your supply chain processes with Silo

Safely transporting meat products means putting the right measures in place. For supply chain businesses that want to get ahead of the curve, this means enlisting the help of technological solutions like Silo.

Silo Capital solutions are designed for small and medium-sized supply chain businesses looking for ways to optimize, grow, and expand their operations.

Our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution allows for better tracking of important business data so you can price your products more competitively and make more informed decisions based on trends. 

If you’re looking for ways to fund operational changes, look no further than Silo Capital. One Silo Capital offering, Silo Instant Pay, allows you to pay 90% of a customer’s invoice upfront to free up cash that would otherwise be tied up. This infuses your business with more cash flow to expand operations and makes problem solving for complex issues more manageable.

Another offering, Silo Cash Advance, issues users lump sums of funds that are often applied to larger investments in their business such as physical capital acquisitions and product diversification.

Book a demo with Silo today to learn more about how Silo’s inventory management, insights, and financial products can help grow your business.

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