After you’ve done all the purchasing for your pub or restaurant, the last thing you’ll want to think about is organizing it and putting it away. While it can seem like a tedious and unimportant task, taking the time to store your food properly can save you more time when purchasing next month, and extend the shelf life of some items.
Improper food storage leads to waste that isn’t just bad for your wallet; it also hurts the environment. So, what are some food storage mistakes that cause you to toss those groceries in the trash?
Using Original Packaging
Dry goods are convenient, and often quite inexpensive. However, if you store them incorrectly, they may get stale before you have a chance to use them. While the bags that dry goods come in seem convenient, leaving them in these bags is actually a wasteful food storage mistake. These bags are not airtight, and can easily be chewed through by pesky critters. The best solution to this problem is to place dry goods in airtight containers to keep them fresh for as long as possible.
Not Rotating Your Food
There will be times when you buy more of something before you’ve even run out. It’s easy to just shove the new items right in the front of the shelf, but you can avoid waste if you place the newer items in the back, and move the old ones to the front. This way, the food expiring first will be used first, and you’ll avoid having to toss out unopened items that have already expired.
Overpacking Your Fridge
Overpacking your fridge
is a common problem, especially after you’ve just replenished your stocks. You may think that as long as the door closes, it’s fine. Not only making it difficult for employees to find what they’re looking for, overfilling the fridge can decrease the air flow, allowing bacteria to multiply. So, give your food some room to breathe!
Putting Perishable Items in the Door
There are certain foods — like milk and eggs — that kitchen employees will reach for all the time. For this reason, you probably think it makes the most sense to store them in the door, right? Wrong. The door is the spot in the fridge that experiences the most fluctuation in temperature, so it isn’t the best place for your most sensitive items.
Not Rinsing Berries in Vinegar
You might be wrinkling your nose at this, but vinegar is actually great for keeping your berries fresher longer. To prevent having to buy a new batch of berries every few days, rinse them in a mixture of three parts water, one part vinegar, and dry them well before popping them in the fridge. Be sure to place them in a perforated container.
Not Being Aware Of The Temperature
Certain foods definitely don’t belong in the fridge, but you still need to be aware of temperature. Does the spot in the kitchen where you keep your potatoes get brutally hot in the summer from the back door being open? Extreme temperatures are not good for the longevity of your food, so make sure you’re keeping all items in a cool, dry place that’s out of direct sunlight.
Putting Certain Foods Together
As any pineapple pizza hater will tell you, certain foods don’t belong together. This is equally true for food storage. For example, cooked and raw foods should always be stored apart to avoid cross-contamination. Additionally, certain fruits (such as apples, bananas, and melons) produce gases that accelerate spoilage in vegetables. Avoid this food storage mistake by keeping fruits and vegetables in separate containers.
If you manage to avoid all of these costly and wasteful food storage mistakes you’ll be able to save more, increasing your profit margins in the long run.
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