Fresh meat is one of the most sensitive products in the supply chain, and for this reason, professional meat packaging solutions are widely available. If meat gets in contact with any foreign substance, it alters its physical and chemical qualities. Its nature is to absorb both liquids and small solid substances, such as dust, dirt, fungi, etc.
Thus, special government bodies actively enforce strict food safety standards all over the world. The slightest suspicion of contamination, improper handling and/or packaging will send an entire lot of meat to be destroyed. When people’s health and lives are at stake, the golden rule is always to err on the safe side.
Inadequate Fresh Meat Packaging – One of the Causes of Loss
For food processors, distributors and retailers, this means that every misstep translates into loss. And the mission of Logistic Packaging, as producer of professional packaging materials, is to help these companies prevent or mitigate loss.
This is important the more so as we speak of a very sensitive industry. In food and food production loss is not just financial – it is a loss of reputation with drastic consequences. Many companies had to shut down after a food safety issues determined all consumers to stop buying their products.
So, how does adequate meat packaging help prevent loss? The answer is: the benefits are visible at each step in the process of producing and processing meat.
1. First Step of Delivery: From the Slaughterhouse to the Processing Plant
Slaughterhouses usually perform only a primary portioning of carcasses. The fine cuts are performed by professional butchers in specialized plants. However, the meat has to reach them as soon as possible and under the best conditions.
This is where stackable EURO containers and EURO stack-nest containers 1800 prove to be extremely useful. They are made from virgin polypropylene approved for food contact. Thus, they can be used to transport fresh meat. Their design and space saving capabilities make these two ranges of containers not just safe, but also cost efficient to use by a food producing company.
Properly packed, the entire lot of meat will be accepted by the food processing factory. Otherwise, the delivery reception employee would send back the entire quantity, if they note a single irregularity in packaging that might cause contamination of any kind.
2. In the Food Processing Factory
Once the meat arrives at its place of processing, it is quickly loaded into rigid pallet containers or onto cleanroom pallets. These are plastic pallets created especially for sensitive applications, such as food processing or pharma. They have a minimalistic design, without struts, ridges and corner where liquids and dirt can accumulate.
After processing, the meat is ready to reach the stores, either in bulk or individually packed in primary packages. In all situations, the products need to be delivered in safe and reliable meat packaging materials.
Once more, stackable containers prove extremely useful. For bulk products, the best packaging solution is our range of nestable containers with lids. These containers offer maximum protection from any kind of outside contamination: liquids, odors, dust, weather elements, etc.
3. In the Store Coldroom
Coldrooms are kept at very low temperature to prolong the quality and safety of fresh meat. The specific nature of this pace in a store backroom makes many types of packaging materials inadequate for use. They would become brittle and crack under the drastic temperature variations.
Special plastic crates with perforated walls withstand these low temperature conditions and, thus, are recommended for meat packaging. They have an ingenious design with open handles of the narrow sides that help store employees handle deliveries quickly and restock shelves in due time. At the same time, they allow a perfect ventilation of the products, so they maintain the low temperature.
4. On the Store Shelf
Consumers judge products first of all by their package. If they see fresh meat placed in a dirty, chipping or peeling container made of wood or corrugated cardboard, they will change their lunch option from a home cooked steak to something else. Thus, as meat remains on the shelf for too long, it has to be sold at a discount price or sent for destroying if it reaches the expiration date.
However, things are different when you display the products in professional meat packaging that looks clean and appealing to customers. Bale-arm containers are an ideal choice for displaying bulk fresh meat in the refrigerated show-case.
5. At the End of the Delivery Cycle
After a full cycle of use all meat packaging materials end in the washing equipment for cleaning and sanitizing. Compared to other types of packages, special containers and crates for fresh food take a shorter time and less water to make hygienic once again. Plus, they also maintain their look (color, features) for a long time and do not betray the number of wash cycles they have been through.
In this way, food processing companies cut another type of loss: the high total cost of ownership of other packaging materials.
The Logistic Packaging team is experienced in dealing with any kind of packaging project, from the most simple to the most complex. We have extensive know-how in working with food processing companies and can recommend the ideal meat packaging solution for your business. Send us an email or schedule a live Skype chat to discuss your project!