From street pop-ups to food trucks, restaurants and start-ups, food safety and hygiene should be the top priority for any catering and food industry business.
Failure to comply with guidelines can have implications and consequences, and if repeat offenders fail to act on their warnings, it can result in a close of business.
We have gathered some food storage safety tips to help keep your food fresh, your business in ship shape and your kitchen conforming with industry rules and regulations.
Why is Food Safety and Storage So Important?
Any business hoping to thrive in any industry knows that they live or die by the customer confidence in their product. Whether it’s food, electronics, events or services – news travels fast.
Today, with the advance of social media, in particular, a bit of bad press goes a long way. When that bad press is about the food we put into our bodies, you can bet that word travels even faster.
Food Storage Tips
In the food industry, it all starts here. We share some advice on storing fresh foods in your catering kitchen to ensure they’re safe to eat.
Not All Foods Can Be Stored at Room Temperature
Keep your fresh ingredients fresh and your prepared foods optimal. Keeping a constant correct temperature requires properly insulated cold rooms with sophisticated sensor systems.
Keep Food Groups Separate
Don’t forget about the basic food hygiene rules – for example, you mustn’t store cooked meat next to raw foods. Too many businesses get caught out and cross-contamination can cause food poisoning.
The same principle also applies to food handling.
Wrap Perishable Foods
All perishables should be securely wrapped in plastic wrap, or stored in a plastic bag. This includes frozen food.
Don’t Store Food for Too Long
Ready to eat food should either be frozen or eaten within 2 days.
Keep Storage Areas Cool and Dry
It should go without saying that all food such as dairy products should remain in the fridge. However, even non-fridge produce should be stored hygienically and usually in a cool dark space.
How Can We Help?
We’ve made storing food safely a top priority.
At Dephna, we make sure that our cold rooms are state-of-the-art and maintained to the highest levels. It’s not just your reputation at risk if things go wrong, it’s ours too.
This is why our commercial kitchen designs have been carefully thought out, to the smallest detail.
We monitor our cold storage units to keep them secure and at the correct temperatures, so looking after your cold storage room is that little bit easier. All areas have pest control measures in place and are always kept free of pests. With 24-hour access, you can work hours that suit you and our flexible terms mean you can move in when you like.
Fridge Storage Food Safety Advice
Here’s some advice for health and safety food storage in the fridge.
Marinate Food in the Refrigerator
Bacteria can multiply rapidly in foods left to marinate at room temperature. Also, never reuse marinating liquid as a sauce unless you bring it to a rapid boil first.
Clean the Refrigerator Regularly and Wipe Spills Immediately
Clean the fridge out frequently. This helps reduce the growth of Listeria bacteria and prevents drips from thawing meat that can allow bacteria from one food to spread to another.
Ensure to throw away any paper towels used in the cleaning process – don’t use them again!
Keep Foods Covered
Store refrigerated foods in covered containers or sealed storage bags, and check leftovers daily for spoilage. Store eggs in their carton in the refrigerator itself rather than on the door, where the temperature is warmer.
Check Expiration Dates
A “use by” date means that the manufacturer recommends using the product by this date for the best flavour or quality. The date is not a food safety date.
At some point after the use-by date, a product may change in taste, colour, texture, or nutrient content, but, the product may be wholesome and safe long after that date. If you’re not sure or if the food looks questionable like it could be past its shelf life, throw it out – better to be safe than sorry.
The exception to this is infant formula. Infant formula and some baby foods are unique in that they must be used by the use-by date that appears on the package.
Allow Hot Food to Cool
Hot foods cannot be stored in the fridge, as this provides a breeding ground for bacteria. If you cook food that needs storing in a walk-in cold room for the evening, allow them to fully cool beforehand.
Find the Right Space
In order to carry out the day-to-day running of your business safely and efficiently, the right space is essential. Whether you’re a small start-up or a large company, we’ve got a kitchen for you.
Ranging from 400 sq ft to 4000 sq ft, you’re sure to find what you require. We’ve got the basic features right, plus the extras that make all the difference, including parking. However, you can still customise your kitchen to suit your specific needs.
To find out more, don’t hesitate to call us or get in contact if you want to book a visit to our commercial kitchens or cold rooms. If you just want to stay up-to-date with the latest in industry news or hear our latest tips for your food business, keep your eye on our Kitchen Talk!