Within the food service industry, there are a wide variety of requirements that you must meet in order to keep your guests safe. At Chef’s First, we believe that safe commercial refrigeration is essential if you want to stay in business and continue creating delicious dishes for your loyal customers. You may feel a false sense of security when you rely on the fact that your kitchen already has a commercial fridge, but is it really cold enough to preserve foods and prevent spoilage?
Why Is Refrigeration Important?
If you run your own restaurant, then you understand that there are food safety requirements that you must follow in order to pass health inspections. Part of those requirements includes refrigeration, but it is essential to understand how refrigeration works and why it is necessary. Bacteria exist everywhere, but cold temperatures can slow its growth. There is a “danger zone” at which point bacteria can grow quickly on food products, which can result in spoilage and food poisoning. Food that is between 40 and 140 degrees is highly susceptible to food-borne pathogens.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for a Commercial Refrigerator?
In order to prevent bacteria from flourishing, your restaurant equipment should be set to refrigerate at 40 degrees or below. A commercial freezer from a restaurant supply company should not get above 0 degrees in order to keep perishable food safe. If you are unsure of whether or not the thermometer in your equipment is accurate, you can use a separate thermometer to test.
At What Temperatures and for How Long Should Foods Be Stored?
While 40 degrees is the standard temperature at which food should be refrigerated, some foods require cooler or warmer conditions for safety and taste, including the following:
- Seafood: 30 to 34 degrees
- Fresh produce: 41 to 45 degrees
Storage times for different types of food can also vary, ranging from just a day or two to several weeks.
As a restaurant owner, one of the most important things you can do is encourage proper food handling and storage. If all of your employees are up to date on refrigeration requirements, you are less likely to have any problems.