When your business handles food, you will have many perishables in your refrigerator. This can include dairy products, fruit, vegetables and meat. Of course, they will spoil if they are not stored at the correct temperature and used within a certain time. Those items will no longer be safe to serve to your customers.
Are you worried that you are not storing your perishable goods correctly? Unfortunately, businesses can get complacent, which is when problems occur. Let’s discuss how to store perishable goods appropriately.
Always Refrigerate Quickly
When you purchase perishables, they should be refrigerated immediately. When they are left out and not at the right temperature, bacteria has the chance to grow, and the flavour is affected. You can throw away your money when you are not refrigerating items quickly enough.
Therefore, you should make a rule in your business that you should refrigerate perishables as soon as they are brought in. This makes sure they are kept at the best temperature to serve to customers. If you have cooked meat and vegetables, they should be refrigerated within two hours.
Ensure Circulation Space
Is your business guilty of piling items on top of each other and making the refrigerator packed? This is something that is not recommended, as it can affect the freshness of the goods. If you want the right temperature maintained inside, you have to allow air circulation. This means allowing some space between items in the fridge. You should not pile things on top of each other.
If you cannot organise and solve the problem, consider investing in additional cold storage. This is something that can be affordable when you hire instead of buying. You can find out cold room hire prices at Icecool Trailers. They will deliver and install the cold storage for you, allowing it to be available quickly. This will allow you to spread out all of your items and ensure there is appropriate circulation.
Wash Items Beforehand
If you are storing items like fruit and vegetables, washing them before they are used is generally recommended. But, many people are guilty of doing this later on before they are prepared. Instead, you should get into the habit of washing items before they are put in the refrigerator. This way, they are clean and ready to use.
In addition, make sure that the items are as dry as possible before they are stored. This is going to help prevent bacteria grow and allow the items to be as fresh as possible. You should complete this task with cold water. Of course, you also want to ensure that you have clean hands before you handle and wash all of the fruit and vegetables.
Store According to Expiration
Many businesses have waste because they are not paying attention to expiration dates. In other words, perishables spoil because they are left unused, costing your business money. This can happen when you are constantly investing in more items, and they are pushing the old ones to the back of the refrigerator. You end up using the newest goods first rather than those near expiration.
Instead, you need to have your cold storage more organised. In particular, you should store everything according to expiration. You have the nearest dates at the front, so they are grabbed first. Then, you have the longest dates at the back. This way, everything gets used, and there is minimum spoilage.
Cover Refrigerated Food
It is not enough to just put perishables in the refrigerator. You also have to ensure that the food is covered. This is going to make sure there is no contamination in the refrigerator, as well as help with keeping items fresh and tasty for customers.
For that reason, it is best to invest in storage bags or containers. They should keep the food fresh and covered, allowing your business to maintain its good reputation. Note that you should always check your perishables for spoilage before you use them.
Freeze Items Immediately
Do you want to freeze some of the perishables you have? This can be a good option if you do not feel you will use them immediately. It saves them from being thrown out because they are past the use-by date.
If this is something you want to do, it should be done immediately. This is best practice so that the perishables are fresh when freezing them. This is going to preserve the flavour and texture, as well as ensure it is safe to eat later on. Therefore, as soon as you bring them into your business, prepare the items and place them in the freezer.