October 31, 2022 0 Comments

How to look after food in a refrigerated van

If you’ve landed on this article, then you have likely recently purchased a refrigerated van – congratulations! We guarantee you will enjoy the benefits a refrigeration vehicle has to offer. If you’re a newbie and you are not sure how to look after food in the van, there is no need to worry, we have you covered. 

Avoid food contamination

A simple thing to do to look after food in your refrigerated van is to clean the load area thoroughly and regularly to avoid goods contamination. Too many people make the mistake of not cleaning their vans often and this can cause a big problem with your food and the overall hygiene of the vehicle. 

When transporting food products, it’s vital to perform a thorough clean out of all surfaces inside the load space after every haul – this is particularly important if raw food/meat is involved. This transfers over to a similar point of preventing cross-contamination of ingredients that are known food allergens, a crucial factor to take into account every time.

A reliable temperature-controlled vehicle is the key to ensuring that all produce is delivered safely and in the same condition it was when loaded onto the van. A poorly performing refrigerated van can result in the spoiling of produce when kept at improper temperatures which can be a costly mistake for businesses, totalling a much heftier bill than what it would cost to simply maintain the vehicle.

At Cool Running Rental, all of our refrigerated vans are fully serviced and in top condition. Discover our fleet here.

inside Cool Running Rental refrigerated van

Make sure the temperature is set correctly

Ensuring the temperature is set correctly is important for transporting food. No matter how far or short your journey is, the food needs to be at the right temperature so that it doesn’t go off. There are rules and regulations you need to follow, for example, when it comes to chilled food, the maximum temperature is 8 degrees. For frozen food, the limit is -18 degrees, so make sure when you store products to double check what inversion it is.

Temperature consistency is essential to maintaining the food’s shelf life, so creating a pre-trip checklist will help you keep an eye on the food. Before every journey, pre-cool the compartment to ensure the food is at the correct temperature. This will give the compartment plenty of time to reach the desired temperature, and prevent the food from warming up. 

Here at Cool Running Rental, we have a great range of temperature-controlled vehicles capable of refrigeration, freezing and heating your produce to keep them at optimum temperatures during transportation. With a wide selection of large vans, smaller vans and medium-sized vans, there’s a model to suit all types of jobs.


Check the oil and coolant levels

Another basic maintenance task you should include to look after food is checking your oil and coolant levels regularly. Make sure your oil is clean as this is key to ensuring the smooth running of your refrigerated vehicle at all times. Ideally, to guarantee optimal performance, oil should be changed roughly every 3,000 miles.

As the oil ages, it becomes thicker and more viscous causing it to act more and more like a gel than a fluid. In extremis, this could lead to the flow of oil stopping altogether, as it is too thick to fit through the various tubes and apertures in the engine. The efficiency of oil is paramount to the overall efficiency and therefore output and emissions of the engine, and must be taken care of for this reason.

If you don’t check the oil levels it could greatly impact the food you’re transporting, and cause you to pay a significant amount of money to replace the items exposed. Also, checking the coolant levels is as equally important, as this plays a big part in keeping your engine running at its best without harming your produce. Ensuring that your coolant and radiator are working properly means that you don’t run the risk of your engine damaging your food.

coolant and temperature levels

Make sure the drains are clear

Inspecting the drains on a regular basis is a key component of looking after food in a refrigerated van. If the drain is blocked, the water can’t drain correctly and you’re likely to find pools of water in your vehicle. The blockage could also cause a foul stench in your van which can be difficult to remove if you haven’t got the correct cleaning equipment.

Cleaning your drains is a simple task that is often overlooked when transporting food, as the driver just wants to transport the food and on to the next destination. However, by following our simple steps, we can show you how to clean your drains without causing you stress or hassle. 

  1. Firstly, remove any hardware in your cargo space and use a high-power spray with a low heat setting from the front to the rear end of the vehicle.
  2. Clean down the walls starting from the top and working your way down
  3. Sweep out excess water
  4. Repeat twice and let dry

Sounds simple right? You bet it is. However, if you would feel more comfortable with a professional cleaning your refrigerated van, then we urge you to take this option. 


If you enjoyed our latest article and you’re looking to invest in a refrigeration vehicle to transport your food, get in touch with our team today. They will provide you with a unique insight into the vehicles we have on offer, and showcase what might be the ideal solution for you.