The recent foot and mouth epidemic has brought food hygiene right back into the public eye and this is never more prevalent than with chilled foodstuffs. Having the right equipment for your business is vital for this sake, but now there's a financial incentive, too. Talks with the government are progressing to encourage operators to use the latest energy-efficient fridge systems with special rebates or tax breaks. Increasingly, fridge manufacturers need to cater with multi-compartment designs for operators who need to carry both frozen and chilled foods in the same compartment. And it's because these designs don't require such large compartments that smaller food transport companies can look more seriously at the more compact and easier-to-park vans such as Peugeot Partners and Ford Couriers rather than the larger panel variety. As ever, the choice is split between having a dedicated conversion carried out on a standard van, or by specifying a box body on a conventional chassis cab. The latter is usually the more expensive initially, but has the advantage of being able to be transferred to another vehicle and thus enjoy a longer working life. It depends upon the size of the deliveries you are making, but you may be able to get away without a conventional fridge system by using either Eutectic tubes or Cryogenics. The former is made of a non-toxic gel, which is conventionally frozen overnight and can provide cooling down to -28 degrees. However, these tubes are not light in weight and because there is no provision to re-cool en route, frequent deliveries may render the idea out. The same applies to Cryogenics: a physical reaction when cooling to very low temperatures, giving rise to a gas, invariably liquid nitrogen. It's a system that's been employed in certain frozen lorries for a number of years and essentially what happens is that when the cargo bay is shut and sealed, the gas is sprayed and so lowers the room' temperature. The downside is that this gas must clear before you can open the doors, and so is impractical for constant deliveries. As ever, if you are undecided upon what type of system is right for your needs, then speak to one of the many refrigeration specialists around who can help you with your choice. Remember, many van makers market their own dedicated models. Quality conversions are never cheap, but the price you may have to pay for causing food poisoning and the damaging effect it will have on your business will probably be far higher. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}