After our failed attempt to get chilled food at Christmas time, we're making good progress with chill chain now. We've got the system in place, we're collecting frozen chicken from Nandos and we're going to start collecting frozen food from Co-op Bicton Heath. We're going to keep these as separate runs for now, as chilled food needs a whole load of extra red tape to keep it safe, and prove that we've kept it safe.
Our local EHO has reviewed our chill chain procedures and given them the green light, so now we're doing some trial runs to get all the little wrinkles out. Who knew it was so hard to get a proper temperature reading from a frozen chicken?!
The chilled food we get is most likely to be on its use by date when we're given it - which makes it tricky. The stores idea is that they give us chilled food at the end of the day (9pm) to go into immediate use. That's OK if you're a homeless shelter feeding people overnight, but doesn't work for us. The best thing for us is to collect the food already frozen by the store - like the chicken from Nando's. Co-op at Bicton Heath are up for freezing food at the end of the day so we can collect it once or twice a week. Hopefully, this could be done by all of our stores in time.
Thanks to Carolyn, Alison and Lindsey for volunteering for the trials - if you'd like to get involved please let Katy know.