Summer School 2013 110We’ve compiled brief answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

  1. Where can I find information to help me with my school project?
  2. What market data is available for chilled food in the UK and abroad?
  3. What foods do you define as being ‘chilled food’?
  4. What temperatures are chilled foods stored at?
  5. How can I receive the CFA newsletter?
  6. Can I join CFA?
  7. Any more questions?

1. Where can I find information to help me with my school project?

Firstly please make sure that you really are looking for information on chilled food and not, for example, on frozen food. Chilled foods are kept fresh and safe by being stored in the fridge (not the freezer). Other organisations deal with other product types – check them out.

You’ll find information on chilled food careers, food science degrees and other courses on our Chilled Education site which also carries information on teacher training and links to free lesson plans, fun videos and quizzes.

High hygiene standards are vital for the production of chilled foods since they are not preserved and rely on careful handling and storage. Have a look at the principles of food safety on this site.

We have a number of PowerPoint presentations on our website about what we do and food safety considerations for chilled prepared foods.

Further detailed information including on HACCP in practice, the layout and design of manufacturing facilities, heat processing, staff protocols etc are given in CFA’s Best Practice Guidelines for the Production of Chilled Food, which can be ordered from The Stationery Office.

The vast majority of chilled prepared foods carry nutritional information on their labels. For further information on nutrition please visit www.nutrition.org.uk.

For information on ingredients and usage instructions please check the labels on the food.

Our market data has information on types of chilled food on sale in the UK, and you’ll find a summary list of major chilled food categories and survey the ranges of chilled foods sold in supermarkets.

 

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2. What market data is available for chilled food in the UK and abroad?

There is no official collection of market data either in the UK, EU or internationally. For instance there is no single tariff heading in EU figures for chilled foods, unlike for frozen products. Since an estimated 99% of UK chilled foods are sold under retailers’ own labels, e.g. Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury, ASDA, market data is particularly hard to come by for the chilled sector. The data on our website are derived from Members’ own estimates and published reports. Beware of comparing these and any other data on chilled food because definitions vary, for example prepared recipe dishes may or may not include uncooked pasta, fresh pizza, meal accompaniments. ‘Chilled food’ may include other data include dairy products such as yogurt and cheese or fresh (raw) meat, which we do not class as ‘prepared’.

 

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3. What foods do you define as being ‘chilled food’?

‘Chilled food’ covers retail prepared chilled foods, which can be ready to eat, ready to heat or which require cooking.

Sandwiches, fresh pasta and prepared salads are just some of a wide variety of chilled foods.

 

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4. What temperatures are chilled foods stored at?

Chilled foods could not exist without the chill chain. Manufacturers work to a target of 5ºC maximum. Once at home chilled foods should always be kept in the fridge (at 0-5°C).

Also see CFA’s temperature control page

We must all play our part in making sure that the final links of the chill chain (transport to and storage at home) are not broken. Use a cool bag for chilled food shopping and make sure that the coldest part of your fridge is working at 5ºC – check it by using a thermometer and adjusting the thermostat until the right temperature is reached.

 

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5. How can I receive the CFA newsletter?

CFA News contains information about CFA activities that are of interest to companies and organisations interested in chilled food manufacture, distribution and storage.

Contact us to receive our CFA News via email.

 

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6. Can I join CFA?

Membership is open to chilled food manufacturers and their chilled components/raw material suppliers, who demonstrably comply with the Association’s Best Practice Guidelines for the Production of Chilled Food and supplementary guidance. Compliance is demonstrated by successful audit against the Guidelines carried out by a UKAS-accredited organisation. The list of non-compliances and close-outs from the most recent audit should be provided along with the CV of the person responsible for food safety in the business and a reference from an existing member.

Information on membership benefits and application forms for Full, Associate and Affiliate membership are on the site.

CFA is non-profitmaking, fees being set each year with this in mind.

Details can be obtained by prospective members from the secretariat.

 

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7. Any more questions?

Contact CFA

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