Tips for Organizing Your Restaurant’s Walk-In Cooler
As businesses that work with perishable inventory, restaurants must follow a well-designed organizational system for their commercial refrigeration units. Good organization allows your restaurant employees to find needed items quickly, prevent food spoilage, reduce the risk of cross-contamination, and perform proper sanitation.
Storing Meat Products
Juices, marinades, and meat fragments can fall from stored meat products onto other foods. You can prevent cross-contamination by storing meat products on the lowest shelf. Keep all non-meat products away from meats. If any other food does come into contact with meat or its juices, you must throw away the contaminated food.
Commercial refrigeration units like walk-in coolers have strong fans to maintain a safe air temperature for food storage. Because of the vigorousness of the air flow, it’s a good idea to store delicate produce items away from the fans to prevent the possibility of freezer burn. Fresh greens and berries are examples.
Organizing by Use-By Dates
Give yourself or your employees enough time to stock newly delivered food items. Taking a few extra minutes to organize new items can prevent food loss from spoilage. Check use-by dates on old and new items, and move things around as needed so that the items with a shorter shelf life are placed toward the front of the shelf. Items that will keep longer should be placed toward the back, and they should be used last.
It might seem like packing everything as close together as possible would be an efficient use of your walk-in cooler space. But actually, the cold air needs to be able to circulate. Uneven cooling may lead to food spoilage. Leave about three to six inches of space between food items, and between the food and the walls.
B & J Refrigeration specializes in servicing and installing commercial refrigeration solutions, including walk-in coolers and freezers. Our team of expert technicians is based in Tucson, AZ, but provides services throughout Southern Arizona. You can reach our friendly office staff at (520) 308-6722.