American Services commercial refrigeration installation in Saint Louis knows that proper organizing of items in your commercial refrigerator or freezer is probably not your idea of preventative maintenance, and you may rank it way down on your list of priorities.
In fact, a poorly arranged refrigerator may be working harder than it should, leading to excessive wear on your compressor which could result in mechanical failure. This will also reflect on energy costs almost immediately.
Through plenty of research all commercial refrigerators and freezers require a systematic and organized approach to food storage organization. This applies to all sizes, shapes of commercial refrigerators and freezers. Based on the size of your refrigeration unit you may need to install additional interior shelving or dunnage racks.
With an organized approach, a few quick fixes in terms of organization you can prevent hot spots, improve cleanliness, and maintain food safety.
Space food items appropriately-when storing items in bulk, be sure there’s adequate space between food boxes so cold air can circulate properly. Better circulation means better cooling, and fewer “hot spots” inside. Apply the same concept for prepped foods, pre-made appetizers, and soup containers as well as frozen desserts. Both in the refrigerator and in the freezer it’s important to keep 3 to 6 inches from each wall and between each food item for the best cold air circulation environment.
Keep items off the floor in your refrigerator and freezer units-storing food items at least 6 inches from the floor is a “commandment” in almost all commercial kitchens. This improves sanitation by preventive pest infestation (not to mention health inspector requirements). Setting up additional shelving units and racking systems will remedy this problem.
Store Meats on the lower shelves-store meat on the lower shelves of your refrigerator, as meat marinates or thaws, accidental spills can contaminate other foods, if your meat is placed on the bottom spills will fall through to the floor and you can easily mop it up.
Store fresh produce away from the refrigerator fan units-internal refrigerator fans can actually damage food, delicate fruits such as berries and fresh greens are susceptible to damage and should be stored as far from the fans as possible. In a freezer environment storing food too close to the fans can result in freezer burn.
Follow the rule of first in first out (FIFO)-develop a “use-by” date system, place a date sticker on every product before putting it into the refrigerator. Newest items to the rear of shelving unit, older items are moved forward. Open items should be used first as long as they’re still fresh. FIFO ensures proper product rotation.
Label the shelves-creates organization that allows everyone to identify each product properly.