5 Best Food Safety Tips for Commercial Kitchens and Why the Right Commercial Refrigerator Makes all the Difference
Refrigeration plays an essential part in food safety, especially in commercial food-service operations where large quantities of perishable goods pass through the kitchens of cafeterias and restaurants. But despite sounding like a lot to keep up with, maintaining food safety standards through proper refrigeration and food storage makes good business sense.
On top of the scrutiny that foodservice operations face during health and safety inspections, the goal is to consistently serve customers with the freshest culinary concoctions, building loyalty in the process.
Read on to learn more about the best practices in food safety, including the latest in leading commercial refrigerators, and see how proper food storage can make all the difference as you develop exciting new flavours in your kitchens:
First In, First Out
Simply put, food is perishable — whether it's pumped up full of preservatives or used as fresh stock, food will always reach its sell-by or best-before date. This is why it’s essential to follow the “first in, first out” rule when stocking food supplies. This allows any old stock to be used first, avoiding copious, costly waste when unused goods spoil.
By implementing the “first in, first out” rule in using inventory, your business can also guarantee excellent food quality and safety to each customer who walks through the doors of your establishment.
What’s great about the “first in, first out” rule, is that it is also applicable to supplies stocked in commercial refrigerators. The best way to ensure that this simple hack is followed is to place new shipments behind older stock. Labelling stock according to their sell-by date can also help to ensure that older stock remains visible and is within reach ahead of fresher produce.
Use Airtight Containers
Stocking food in commercial refrigerators does not simply mean piling them up on the shelves. Additional precautions must be taken to maintain quality and freshness, ensuring that food lasts as long as it should from the moment it arrives in your facility to when it is served to customers. Any exposure to natural elements, particularly moisture, can cause food to spoil or hasten the process, resulting in more costly waste.
The good news is, an easy fix exists for maintaining the quality of food stored in commercial refrigerators. By wrapping and placing them inside airtight containers, air does not come in contact with the food, allowing it to remain fresh for as long as possible. Using airtight containers in food storage also keeps other contaminants out of the food preparation field, ensuring consistently excellent food quality.
Use the Bottom Shelf
When storing food in commercial refrigerators, it’s also important to think of proper segregation and shelving. For instance, one of the best practices in food safety is placing meat on the bottom shelf. When packed in an airtight container, meat stored on the bottom shelf prevents condensation from dripping on to other food and increasing the risk of contamination.
Implement Temperature Control
Naturally, commercial refrigerators are extremely cold environments useful for maintaining the freshness of food. But even then, there are correct settings that need to be programmed and periodically reviewed in order to maintain optimal food storage conditions.
For efficient performance and optimal food storage, temperatures in commercial refrigerators need to be set at approximately 4°C (40°F) or below, to minimize the growth of bacteria and exposure to contaminants. This temperature setting should be periodically checked to ensure that the refrigerator is functioning properly and food stored inside remains fresh. But manual labour isn’t the only way to ensure consistent temperature settings.
The latest commercial refrigerators are built with a cloud-based management system that collects and stores real-time and historical data on the function of each cooling unit. This eliminates the need to manually reset and program the system, as the cloud-based temperature control detects errors and inconsistencies and alerts users to changes in storage conditions. This ensures that temperatures in commercial refrigerators are maintained across large-scale operations.
One of the most common oversights in food storage and handling is overstocking. This occurs when there is a surplus of new products, or when shelving units are not properly used across multiple units, resulting in the cooling equipment having to work harder to maintain the optimal temperature for all items stored inside. In worse cases, not all products may be cooled at the same level, resulting in a loss of freshness.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to stock products properly and distribute them evenly on shelving units. It’s also essential to ensure that the cooling system of each commercial refrigerator is routinely cleaned and serviced to prevent equipment failure.
Use a Refrigerator You Trust
The best way to prevent spoilage and contamination and promote food safety is by using storage equipment that you trust. Commercial refrigerators were built for this exact purpose. Designed with state-of-the-art cooling systems, smart temperature controls, and ergonomic shelving, commercial refrigerators are a savvy investment for any commercial kitchen, ensuring food safety and excellent quality in every plate.
Equally robust on the outside, the best commercial refrigerators in the market are also built with durable exteriors and glass panes that give the best protection for products stored inside, while maintaining the visibility and accessibility crucial to high-volume operations.
By following these simple but effective food safety hacks, food spoilage can be avoided, helping you maintain excellent service and customer loyalty. All it takes is finding the right commercial refrigerator that offers optimal food storage and supports your day-to-day operations without costing
To learn more about commercial refrigeration for your kitchen or business, call Ancaster Foods at 866-711-5486 or contact us here.