Slowly but surely, our nation has become obsessed with fresh food. Most of the time, this is a good thing. Fruits and vegetables actually lose nutrients if they lie on the shelf too long. Meat and poultry also tends to taste much better when it’s fresh. However, keeping fresh food in good shape presents a challenge. Canned and sealed food stays safe longer, whereas perishable food is highly susceptible to adulteration or spoilage.

That’s why cold chains exist in the first place: to keep temperature sensitive foods safe and fresh. An unbroken cold chain keeps food at an even, appropriate temperature throughout the transportation process, from the factory or ship to the temporary holding facility, and from the truck to your own grocery store. It’s the only way to reduce foodborne illness and keep popular foods deliciously fresh.

However, it’s not all good news. The fact is, all kinds of accidents can happen in a cold chain. Germs propogate quickly, and one blip in the system can ruin an entire shipment of food. Because perishable foods need to be kept within a specific temperature range, the only way to guarantee products’ safety is to constantly monitor them. And this kind of cold chain monitoring can prove to a be a huge hassle.

As a food retailer, it’s your responsibility to sell products that are safe for your customers. It’s essential to your reputation and continued business success. But working with your vendors and suppliers on this isn’t always easy. The best way to protect your products is to require your suppliers to use a cold chain monitoring system that’s simple, effective, and transparent.

Cargo Data Corporation’s Lighting system doesn’t require special readers or reams of printed temperature records. Everything is saved to The Cloud: Suppliers only need to activate the Lightning NFC recorder and note the instrument serial number before placing it in the shipment. Receivers simply hold the Lightning NFC temperature recorder back-to-back with a very common Android NFC-enabled smart device. The free app will then display the full temperature chart. This immediate data display can help identify which products are unsafe. Each data point will be uploaded and permanently stored in Cargo Data’s secure servers, where suppliers, carriers, and Receivers can access online anytime. It’s fully compliant with the new FSMA regulations as well.

In the long run, proper cold chain monitoring helps keep everyone safe and dramatically reduces costs. It can reduce shrink associated with spoilage, and contributes to increased food safety. To learn more about how to specify Lightning NFC system to your suppliers, give us a call at (800) 338-8134 or visit