Protect Your Food Inventory with Proper Refrigeration
If you own a restaurant, and you have spent any time watching restaurant rescue shows, the chances are good that you already understand just how important proper refrigeration is in your line of business. Walk-in coolers and freezers that do not maintain the proper temperatures needed to store food safely risk losing expensive inventory or could put diners at risk of getting ill.
Maintain Best Practices for Food Safety
As a restaurateur, diners are giving you the opportunity to prepare a meal for them, so it is important that you take your job very seriously. To get the rave reviews that you want on popular social media websites, maintaining high standards throughout your business operations are key. The experience your diners have all start in the commercial refrigerator your business uses and the freshness of the ingredients that you use. Proper refrigeration assures that your fresh produce stays crisp and fresh prior to food prep. Meats that are kept at proper temperatures are less likely to succumb to bacteria that can make them unsafe for consumption and can lead to food-borne illnesses when they are not stored, handled and prepared the right way.
Keep Your Cooling Temperatures Right
Depending on the type of commercial refrigeration units you have in your establishment, you should always be sure that your temperatures are set correctly for your usage. Reach-In and Walk-In Refrigerators should both be kept at 35° F – 38° F. Reach-In Freezers should maintain temperatures of +5° F to -10° F. Walk-In Freezers should remain at a very cold 0° F to -10° F while Ice Cream Freezers should be kept at -10° F to -20° F. Most modern refrigeration units now have digital displays that prominently show the interior temperatures, so there is no chance that a unit that is not working correctly can be overlooked or unnoticed by your prep chefs, sous chefs or executive chef.
Manage Your Food Inventory
Once you have all of your refrigeration units set properly, do not overlook the importance of managing the food inventory that is contained within. If you prepare any of your menu items ahead of serving them, you will want to be sure to use clean, commercial storage containers that are labelled with important information such as what the item is and the day and time the food was prepared. By labelling everything, your chefs will be able to manage their food preparation more efficiently.
Although it should be a given, produce that appears to be past its prime should be thrown away immediately, as a fruit or vegetable has gone bad, it is never going to get better.
To avoid cross contamination, your back of the house staff members should all be trained and refreshed on the best practices for keeping your coolers and freezers properly laid out and rotated. By doing this, you are taking steps to assure that all of your guests have a positive dining experience that is worth telling all of their friends and family about on social media, which can turn into more business for you.