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Summary: The ‘stowaway’ is the infection of perishable food whilst in transit on board ships and the precautions necessary to prevent this are illustrated in this film.
Description: The film opens with the loading of an American cargo ship and a team of Veterinary Corps inspectors at work. An inspector has visited the galley and pronounced it clean to the Captain who offers to demonstrate the cleanliness of the various storage areas of the ship. The inspector is taken on a tour by a senior officer and they observe frozen beef carcasses being loaded from the quayside where other inspectors are checking the temperature and that each carcass is stamped ‘Inspected US Army’. Carcasses are hung individually in refrigerated areas below 0°C which allows the cold air to freely circulate. Eggs and dairy products are stored in refrigerated areas just above 0°C and Vegetables and similar produce stored in refrigerated areas 32°F to 40°F. Dry stores are placed on pallets to isolate them from steel decks which can become quite hot.
Careful handling is essential to prevent leaking tins and crushed boxes, and items are stored in date order so that the oldest items are used first. Before any loading commences a team of inspectors check the temperature and cleanliness of all stores and refrigerated areas. The importance of ventilation, either natural or fan assisted is stressed for all storage areas, whilst condensation on refrigeration pipework must not be allowed to drop onto any stores. The inspector’s tour ends and he meets the Captain to congratulate him on the high standards maintained. He says the most important thing for storage, as for preparation in the galley, is ‘keep it clean’.