Proper Restaurant Equipment for Storing Food – Food Storage Safety Tips
Selecting the proper restaurant equipment for storing food is important to ensure you have enough storage space to adequately stock up the food you need in order to be able to offer everything you serve on your menu, as well as be able to handle a steady flow of customers. However, aside from knowing what type of restaurant supplies and equipment would be most suitable for storage, you also need to make sure your employees understand how to store food safely to ensure it remains fresh, will not spoil and will not cause hazards.
Below are some food safety storage tips you can apply to your restaurant operation:
Put the FIFO rule into practice.
The FIFO (first in, first out) rule is designed to preserve both the quality and safety of food. When new food shipments arrive, the newer goods should be stored behind the older ones to make sure the older items are used first. This rule should be followed for both dry and cold food storage.
Put the date on all food products you receive.
This will not only help you make sure you are using the FIFO rule effectively, but will remind you how long you have had the food to assist in determining its freshness and safety. That said, always remember, should you ever be in doubt of a food’s quality or freshness, you should dispose of it as it is better to be safe than sorry.
Food should be stored in containers with an air-tight seal.
As soon as air makes contact with food, its freshness begins to deteriorate and food will begin to spoil. Therefore, obtain restaurant supplies, such as food pans with lids that snap on securely, that will help to maintain food freshness, prevent spills and make the carrying of foods from one spot to another safer and easier.
No food products should be stored directly on the floor.
Many food health codes require foods to be stored away from the floor at a minimum height of six – twelve inches. This is to ensure that contaminants such as dust, water, etc. do not soak through food containers. In addition, foods that have the potential to leak, such a meat products, should be stored below other goods to prevent the contamination of other items.
Use a refrigerator thermometer for temperature control.
A quality thermometer is an important restaurant supply for any commercial kitchen. A thermometer will help to ensure food is always kept well under temperature danger zones.
Do no overstock refrigerators or freezers.
If there are too many items in a fridge or freezer, the units will need to work extra hard to maintain the right temperature and may not be able to keep food as cool as it needs to be. Moreover, they may overload and stop working altogether.
Last but not least, label food containers and keep them stacked neatly and organized so items are quick and easy to find.