Transporting food

People who transport potentially hazardous food must minimise opportunities for bacteria to grow.

Potentially hazardous foods

Potentially hazardous foods include all of the following:

  • foods containing raw and cooked meats including casseroles, pies and sandwiches
  • dairy products and processed foods containing eggs, beans and nuts
  • seafood
  • processed fruits and salads such as prepared salads and ready to eat fruit packs
  • cooked rice and pasta.

Safety rules when transporting food

There are three rules you should follow when transporting food:

  • keep the food protected from contamination
  • keep the food colder than 5 degrees Celsius
  • or keep the food hotter than 60 degrees Celsius.

Protecting food from contamination

You can protect food that is being transported from contamination by:

  • keeping it covered at all times
  • using suitable materials such as aluminium foil, plastic film or clean paper to completely cover food
  • keeping open food in clean, covered containers which have close fitting lids and are in good condition
  • avoiding using previously used materials such as newspapers to cover food.

Temperature control

You should keep food at 5 degrees Celsius or colder, or 60 degrees Celsius or hotter while it is being transported to stop bacteria multiplying to dangerous levels.

Alternatively you could use time, rather than temperature, to keep the food safe while it is transported.

Tips for transporting food safely

Transporting cold food

If the journey is short, insulated containers with ice bricks may keep the food cold.

If the journey is long or on a hot day, you may need a portable refrigerator.

Transporting hot food

Hot food may be kept hot in insulated containers or with heat packs for short periods.

You may need portable ovens to keep food hot over longer trips.

Preparing food for transport

You must pre-heat or pre-cool food before placing in an insulated container.

For more information contact Environmental Health.

Last updated: 13 October 2017