FoodTransport, a free new app from University of Florida postharvest experts, provides brief but authoritative recommendations for shipping perishable foods via truck or rail.
The user-friendly app is the next step in a years-long project that started in 2017 when the UF/IFAS scientists began working to revise and digitize a USDA handbook last updated in 1995. That work resulted in an extensive smart document for food transportation industry professionals, “Protecting Perishable Foods During Transport by Truck and Rail,” and was completed in 2019. It serves as the source material for the new app.
“The FoodTransport app helps users quickly filter to the guidelines for the exact commodity they’re transporting,” said Jeffrey Brecht, UF/IFAS professor of horticultural sciences who assembled the project team. “It covers all perishable foods, and for the most part, the information provided in the app is the recommendations portion of the larger guide.”
The app is categorized by commodity type: fruits and vegetables, canned foods, dairy products, meat and seafood, and poultry and eggs. Food safety considerations are also featured.
“This is an abbreviated version of the full manual,” said Steven Sargent, UF/IFAS professor of horticultural sciences who oversaw development of the app. “The manual has a lot more detail, with descriptions of shipping equipment and procedures, as well as images.”
The FoodTransport app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. (When searching, note that the name is one word.) It also works from a web browser at foodtransport.ifas.ufl.edu.