Food storage is an essential part of the flow of food in the food safety equation, and it is key that all restaurant staff be trained in the proper food storage guidelines.
Here are a few tips for storing foods safely:
Utilize the FIFO (First In First Out) stock rotation system. The first product received must be the first product used. You can create your own label or use a labeling company. Either way, it is important to shelve products that have early expiration dates in front of others with later dates. This will also help to prevent food wastage by ensuring nothing goes out of date.
A label is not necessary if kept less than 24 hours. If held over 24 hours, a label must be present indicating when the food is to be eaten, sold, or discarded. You have up to 7 days to use the product if held at 41 degrees or below.
Storing Cold Foods
When possible, store all raw foods separately from ready-to-eat foods. When this is not possible, you will need to store raw and ready-to-eat foods in the same cooler.
When storing meat, store it at the bottom of the fridges to prevent any contamination from meat juices dripping onto other food items.
Be sure not to overload your refrigerator or freezer. Airflow assists in maintaining appropriate temperatures. Limit opening the cooler doors to assist in keeping your colds food cold.
In order maintain food safely, the refrigerator should be at 40 °F or below and the freezer at 0 °F or below.
All shelves and storage units should be cleaned regularly to safeguard against all contamination and bacteria. All food items must be kept at least 6-12 inches off the floor to prevent any contamination from water, dust and dirt.
Storing foods for Offsite Delivery
Hot and cold foods for delivery must maintain proper temperature when being held, transported, and served. In order to maintain proper temperature, insulated containers should be used and be food-grade. A label indicating the name, use by date and service instructions, including reheating, must be available.