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The Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC), acting on behalf of the cold chain industry, has taken on the responsibility of developing a new series of Codes in a practical move to help combat the country's food loss and wastage problem, which is estimated to cost the country nearly $4 billion a year at farm gate value.

The first of five Codes was distributed to almost 100 organisations, government departments and supply chain providers during October 2020, for comment and ultimate adoption by the wider industry.

The result was overwhelming adoption of the code, and minor improvements suggested by stakeholders were made. Part 1 of the Cold Food Code is now available to industry as a practical guide to the Basic principles of thermometers and how to use them.

The AFCCC has always declared that the Codes it produces will be industry owned.

The Council sees its effort as its contribution to foster a change for the better in a cold chain culture in Australia that urgently needs tighter and more robust processes. At risk is not only food loss and wastage, but environmental and energy losses.

While the Code documents will be vital for setting the standards, it will be the associated training program that will have the greatest impact on those working in the many sectors of the food cold chain. The first of these programs, called the Cold Chain Professional Development Series, can be accessed on this website.

As AFCCC chairman Mark Mitchell explains, 'The purpose of the Code is to improve the cold chain, achieve knowledge transfer and create behavioural change. We knew, after completing Part 1, dealing with thermometers, that the code needed to be underpinned by training or a practical means to achieve this. Hence the development of the modular training which AFCCC has funded so far. We want industry to own this and will want everyone involved and supporting it.'

Part 1 of the five-part code series. Click to read.  

  • Basic concepts of thermometers
  • Types of thermometer
  • Thermometer selection
  • Measurement procedures and techniques
  • Importance of temperature control

The first online training course in the Professional Development Series consists of two parts – the first for cold chain practitioners or those who work at the coal face of the cold chain, and the second for managers or decision makers in charge of cold chain processes.

The first course, Thermometers and the cold chain practitioner, will cover:

  • introduction to the cold chain
  • introduction to heat and temperature
  • introduction to thermometers
  • temperature measurement

The low-priced modules can be accessed on this website, at Training


Early reviewers of Part 1 of the Code and its associated training modules have praised the initiative.

'a great job of encapsulating all of the information required for a practitioner to understand the importance of an integrated cold food chain and the use of the most appropriate thermometer technology'

'the content was well-presented, struck a good balance between technical content and terminology at the same time as ensuring that the document was accessible and was clearly understood by the practitioner'

'the training module reflects the content of the booklet well and does a really good job of clearly communicating key points of learning to the user'

Mark Barthel
Special Advisor
Fight Food Waste CRC

'a great job. The system is easy to follow, easy to understand and the tests certainly test the student.  A good way to review your knowledge with nice clear drawings for ease of understanding. It's easy to use and a great system.'

Nerida Kelton MAIP
Executive Director
Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)