infoRETAIL.- The situation of the conservation temperature of refrigerated products in the Spanish distribution is “very improvable”, according to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), which has prepared a study among 63 establishments in six cities. “They are still most open chambers, without doors, where the temperature soars,” they say from OCU referring to refrigerated products. “Sausages should not exceed 6 °C, but in the chambers without doors they do”, warns the organization, which also highlights that “in frozen products there are fewer problems”.

Hipercor, Alcampo and Carrefour, with ratings of 69, 61 and 59 points out of 100, respectively, are the best-performing chains in this study of the temperature of frozen and refrigerated products. They are followed by DIA (56), Mercadona (53) and El Corte Inglés (50), while Eroski (44) closes the ranking.

In any case, OCU points out that, in general, the results obtained in this study are much better than those recorded in the previous edition, carried out in 2011: only Mercadona (-2) and Eroski (-2) lower their scores slightly, but there is an improvement in Alcampo (+22), Hipercor (+23), Carrefour (+12) and El Corte Inglés (+3).

OCU reminds that there is currently no regulation in force that establishes temperature limits. “What is clear is that above 7°C the problems begin, because the microorganisms that live in food multiply more than necessary and can deteriorate them or, in the case of pathogens, cause serious intoxications,” warns the entity.

In the case of frozen foods, the risk is not the microorganisms but the texture. “When temperatures rise, ice crystals grow or regroup and damage the cells. In the end, the texture becomes more strobing,” OCU sources add.