Danish authorities have found that a quarter of businesses do not follow the rules when collecting or delivering food.
A control campaign by the Danish Food and Veterinary Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) from May to September 2021 examined the transport of foodstuffs at the retail level. It did not cover the occasional delivery of food ordered from supermarkets or restaurants.
Officials carried out 385 inspections to analyze the hygienic and temperature conditions for the transport of foodstuffs. Refrigerated goods should be moved at a maximum temperature of 5 degrees C (41 degrees F).
If food is not stored and transported correctly, there is a risk that the cold chain will be broken and it will become contaminated. Many registered businesses pick up the food themselves and deliver the finished goods in their own transport vehicles, which are often regular cars used to move other things as well. Longer transport time, especially in the hot summer months, is another issue.
One in four companies received a fine or warning from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. Some companies expressed a lack of awareness of applicable temperature requirements during transport.
The majority of inspections took place at businesses that themselves pick up goods from a wholesale market. In this group, one in three companies received a warning or a fine for violating the requirement that refrigerated food must be transported at a temperature below 5 degrees C (41 degrees F). Two penalties related to the risk of food contamination.
During the campaign, there was feedback that businesses were starting to use insulated boxes when collecting chilled goods from wholesale markets.
However, only a few warnings have been imposed on businesses handling food for the elderly, with the majority adhering to the rules.
Due to the findings, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is to provide advice, a rules factsheet and ask industry organizations to help create greater awareness of best food transport practices.
Updated smiley rating
Meanwhile, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has simplified the 20-year-old system used to help consumers understand whether or not an establishment has performed well during official checks.
The scoring system has been changed from four to three levels and now includes a happy smiley face, a straight face, and a sad face. The “slight” smile was dropped.
The change was prompted by surveys showing consumers struggled to understand the ratings and struggled to gauge how well a food outlet was complying with the rules.
From April, businesses must also log on to www.findsmiley.dk for the latest inspection reports from all digital platforms where they sell food, including sites such as Just Eat.
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