TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – “We’re trying to make it safe for the people going out to eat, that buy their groceries, things like that,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley.
It’s a problem Indiana State Police have been cracking down on for the last several years. Troopers are looking for trucks traveling up and down Interstate 65 with food spoiling in the back.
“You’re using the same fuel to run the refrigeration unit that you’re using to drive the truck a lot of times,” said Riley. “So to save money, they’ll shut that refrigerator unit off and just drive the truck.”
Riley said every summer troopers are on the lookout for hot trucks, but he said they’re often hard to spot. He said most times they’re discovered after the truck is stopped for an unrelated reason.
“You’ll walk up there and you’ll see the temperature says 75 to 80 degrees in the refrigeration unit, and all of a sudden you see the driver turn around and start the refrigeration unit, and you know there’s something wrong there,” said Riley.
Every summer, Riley said they conduct a federally funded operation which puts more troopers on the road to search for problem trucks.
However, he said they can’t do it alone.
“If these businesses realize that their trucks are coming in there and the food is thawed — if things aren’t quite kosher — they need to basically tell that truck driver, I’m not buying your food. Move on, I’ll get it from somebody I know is reputable,” said Riley.
He said for the most part, 99 percent of the trucks on the interstate are following the rules and refrigerating food like they’re supposed to.
Riley said it’s that one percent of drivers not following the rules that they’re hoping to catch this summer. If you spot a hot truck in your area, you’re asked to call your local Indiana State Police Post.