Freezing alone is only a single link in the chain that brings frozen foods from the field to your table in a process known as the “cold chain”. The first stage consists in product selection, in which only the freshest items are chosen, free of substances that could pose a threat to product quality.
The following phases include cleaning the product with water vapour, and successively bringing it to a temperature below -18°C, generally through exposing items to air at -30°C. This is carried out rapidly, usually in just a few minutes. The speed of the freezing process is fundamental to avoiding alterations caused by potentially harmful microorganisms. Products are then packaged and conserved at a temperature that never rises above -18°.
The cold chain must remain constant, and the same temperature is maintained in warehouses, storage areas, trucks and points of sale. For this reason, every frozen food section must, by law, be equipped with a thermometer showing consumers the temperature at which they are kept. It is the producers responsibility to guarantee that every phase of the freezing process and cold chain is performed correctly.