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As climate change affects the world at large, so too does it affect the inventory we work with.

Keeping products safe during lengthy shipping times, or periods of extreme temperatures, is a difficult task on the best of days, but this goes double for the sort of extreme heat waves we’ve been experiencing throughout most of America these days.

Up here in Michigan, for example, we’ve been seeing extended periods of high temperature, even more so than normal during our already-humid summers, and this can create a lot of complications along the entire supply chain.

Few industries are affected by heat waves and temperature spikes than food storage. Most food products are already greatly dependent on being stored at a safe temperature during the entire logistics process, and this makes them particularly vulnerable to heat waves even if your warehouse is climate controlled.

Here’s a few of our favorite tips for beating the heat, and keeping your food products safe:

 

Food Product Storage in Extreme Temperatures

 

Weather predictions

We’ve all heard the dad jokes about how often the weatherman is wrong, but luckily that’s not quite the case these days, and keeping that data around can actually help avoid a lot of issues.

As the summer continues, keep a close eye on the weather service of your choice to plan ahead. Knowing what days will be hotter (or cooler) can help you plan a way to adjust the temperature of your warehouse and/or your walk-in freezers, and can help you avoid high energy bills by only turning the AC up on days when it’s truly needed.

 

More durable storage

Extreme temperatures outside tend to lead to extreme temperatures inside, and if your warehouse shelves can’t handle the temperature fluctuations, it can actually lead to even greater risk of product damage.

Even above and beyond the sanitation requirements faced by food storage warehouses, make sure to use shelving rated for the environments they’ll be used in. Use rust-proof wire shelving and walk in freezer shelving to help mitigate the risk of damage to both your shelves and the goods stored on them.

 

Monitor your freezer

During these temperature spikes, your coolers and freezers will be working harder than ever, and the last thing you want is a motor burning out at the last second. Schedule regular maintenance of your most-used freezers and coolers, monitor their temperatures to make sure everything is working properly, and be ready to adjust the temperatures up and down as needed.

 

Keep your team safe too

Safe food handling during a heat wave doesn’t stop at the food itself. Your team needs to be kept cool and hydrated during these temperature spikes to make sure they’re as safe and healthy as possible. Make sure to keep an eye on the maintenance and health of your in-building air conditioning, encourage frequent breaks, remember to keep everyone hydrated, and the second anyone seems a little too exhausted to keep working, tell them to stop what they’re doing. Your team, products, and customers will all be better off for it.

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