Incorrect instructions for reefer temperature setting


  • Date: 01/02/1996

A port agent in the UK received a container list from his principal's South American agent which included two containers of frozen meat shipped at -18oC.  When this information was transferred to the agent's computer system the containers were incorrectly shown as containing film with a temperature setting of +13oC.  Unfortunately, the error was not picked up on additional checking with the result that when the containers were discharged at the UK port they were set to +13oC in accordance with the agent's instructions.  Three days after arrival at the container depot blood was seen to be seeping from the doors of the containers, which were then opened to reveal rapidly thawing frozen beef.  The temperature control was re-set to -18oC to try to stabilise the consignment.  Surveyors were immediately instructed by the carrier's P&I Club and the Port Health Authority issued notices stating that the consignment could not be used for human consumption.

An offer was accepted for salvage thereby reducing the claim against the agent which was settled by the Club.

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