HSN Resources for Food Donation Programs

Food Transport Equipment:
HSN reviewed food transport containers to identify those that do the best job of transporting food donations.  Factors that impacted the choice of a transport container include:
  • Amount of food involved,
  • Time required to transport the donation,
  • Availability and cost of different types of containers,
  • Container size when in use and when not in use.
A 12 gallon insulated pouch was ultimately decided upon as the best overall transport container for prepared food pick-ups.
Food Temperature Recommendations:
HSN has researched both government and industry standards to identify recommended storage and transport temperatures for perishable, prepared food donations. Follow these guidelines on temperature:
  1. Food temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (F) [between 4 and 60 degrees Celsius (C)] are in the so-called "temperature danger-zone." Harmful bacteria grow more readily at these temperatures and the food can spoil. Food donations MUST be kept at or below 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) during storage and transport. Ideally, food donations should be frozen to preserve them longer.
  2. Use a calibrated thermometer to monitor food temperatures during storage and transport (preferably a probe-type thermometer). Here is a helpful guide on thermometer calibration and use: Tips for Operating a Food Thermometer
  3. Rapidly cool food to be donated using one of the methods recommended by the USDA: USDA - Safe Food Handling Tips for Chilling Foods
  4. Pack the food donations carefully, following recommended guidelines, such as those provided on this quick reference guide: Cooler Packing for Safe Food Transport
Hot Topics for Food Donation
HSN has developed informational references on topics of interest to potential donors and others involved in food rescue operations. Use the links below to access quick references on the following topics:

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