If you run a commercial kitchen, you’ll know how important it is to store your food properly. Not only do your food storage and preparation areas need to be scrupulously clean, but different foods need to be stored in different ways.
Here’s how to avoid a potentially disastrous food poisoning incident:
First in, first out
Make sure that you and your staff use food in the order it was purchased, the oldest first – this makes good business sense, too. Any food that is delivered should be clearly marked with a use-by date to help staff identify what to use next, and when to dispose of stock that is past its best.
Use airtight containers
It’s contact with air that encourages food to spoil, so store as much as you can in airtight containers. This not only helps with freshness, it also helps to prevent cross-contamination. That not only protects food from being tainted by other flavours but from bacteria passing from item to item.
Store meat separately
Ideally, you would have a fridge just for your meat products, commercial refrigeration provides units just for this purpose, but if that isn’t possible then store your meat (in airtight containers) at the bottom of the fridge. This means that if there is a leak, it won’t run all the way down the fridge – again this guards against cross-contamination.
Food needs to be stored at the right temperature and this should be checked and recorded regularly. Contacting Commercial Refrigeration Specialists will help you to source units that work well for you and display the temperature for ease of use.
The Food Standards Agency supplies guidelines for best practice when it comes to keeping your kitchen and your food storage areas clean. You can read more about that here: https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/pdf-ni/safe-catering.pdf.
Leave air space
Your fridges and freezers are only designed to chill a certain amount of goods. They need proper air flow to keep temperatures regulated, so make sure that you don’t pack them solidly or they may not function properly.
Although storing food correctly can seem a little daunting at first it is relatively simple once you have the routines in place. Basic food hygiene training for all staff is a great way to instil the right habits and protect your customers and your business.