When you ensure your restaurant is using the most effective food storage systems, you will reduce food waste, preserve food safely and maximise space. It is crucial for food to be stored correctly to help prevent foodborne illnesses.
Rotation and Labelling
In commercial kitchens, it is vital to rotate food so older food is used first. This process can be simplified by using the most effective storage devices. The system of first in, first out prevents older food languishing at the back of shelves or in the bottom of fridges, which can have a huge effect on its nutrients, according to The Guardian.
Labels are an ideal and inexpensive method of keeping track of stock and displaying use-by dates. This also allows all staff in the kitchen to keep track of food rather than relying on one indispensable person.
There is a huge range of food storage containers available, from shatterproof transparent polycarbonate containers that allow for easy identification of contents to economical stackable polypropylene tubs and stainless steel food containers suitable for use in cold storage, ovens or for service.
Once food is in the appropriate container, it needs to be stored in suitable shelving units and at the correct temperature. Commercial fridges are often able to maintain a suitable temperature even when regularly opened, but it is also worth considering walk in cold rooms such as those available from https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms which can allow much more flexible storage of a wide variety of foods.
Meat storage can be a high-risk part of any kitchen. If stored high up on shelves or fridges, the juices can drip down and contaminate other foods. It is possible to use floor space under shelving for meat with dunnage racks, which raise contents off the floor to prevent pests.
Bacteria is prevented from growing if food is stored at the correct temperatures. Above 8 degrees Celsius, the bacteria responsible for food poisoning is much more likely to multiply, so fridges must legally be kept below five degrees it is recommended they are kept between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius. Fridges and freezers must not be overstocked as air must be able to circulate to ensure all contents are kept at the correct temperature. Freezers should be chilled to around -18 degrees.