When it comes to running a restaurant, maintaining the highest level of food hygiene is vital. While first rate hygiene is crucial in keeping food free of germs, so too is correct cold food storage. Proper storage of cold foods not only guards against customers becoming ill, but also reduces costs and saves time. In addition, it helps ensure you serve only the best quality and tastiest foods possible for your customers. Therefore, here are the steps you should take to ensure proper cold food storage in your restaurant.
Accepting Products for Cold Food Storage
Firstly, you should always keep raw food orders separate from orders for ready to eat foods. This will help reduce the risk of cross contamination. Make sure that the supplier you purchase from is reliable and transports foods at appropriate temperatures to preserve hygienic conditions. Unload food in a hygienic area and check all items for any damages, mould, or expired use by dates. Make sure to keep all important information, such as use by dates, with the packaging if you remove it.
How to Store Chilled Foods
You can safely store ambient foods such as tinned and jar-based products at room temperature; however, chilled and pre-frozen foods need the right cold storage temperatures. In much of the UK you must store chilled food at 8°C or below, so you should set your cold food storage fridge to around 5°C. Do not keep chilled food outside of the fridge for more than a few hours otherwise you will need to dispose of it. Keep raw foods and ready to eat foods separate; otherwise, store ready to eat food above raw food, with raw meat kept below raw fruit and vegetables. Once you have opened any packages, make sure you wrap the food up and label it with the correct use by or best before date.
How To Store Pre Frozen Foods
You need to store pre frozen foods such as ice cream and frozen chips in your cold food storage freezer as soon as they arrive. You should set your freezer at -18°C or lower to ensure bacteria does not grow. Although you can keep items frozen indefinitely, you should still use them before the best before date to ensure the best quality. Keep in mind that it is illegal to sell foods past their use by date; foods past their best before date may still be used but their quality will be reduced. You can preserve certain foods, such as meats, for longer by freezing them, so long as they are consumed within a day of full defrosting.
Here at Welch Refrigeration we provide efficient and reliable cold food storage services for commercial industries. We provide expert repair and maintenance services with 24/7 emergency call out to ensure your fridge is back up and running quickly. To find out more about our commercial refrigeration services we invite you to get in touch with us today.