When I was working in a restaurant, I was always looking for the best way to keep safe food storage in a restaurant. Sometimes I paid heavy losses due to carelessness and wrong storage of food by workers.
For this reason, I made a complete guide for the safe storage of food in the restaurant and posted it in the form of a list in the restaurant kitchen for everyone to follow. Today, I will explain it completely for you, so stay with me until the end of the article.
In this article, we decided to provide information about industrial methods of food preservation. We will also explain and review the health tips of food storage. Therefore, if you are also looking for information about food storage instructions, we suggest you read this article to the end.
First of all, storing food and foodstuffs in a restaurant requires industrial kitchen equipment, which we will first get to know and check their use together.
Equipment required for safe food storage in a restaurant
- Refrigerator and freezer: storing food in the refrigerator and storing food in the freezer are common ways to store food.
- Packaging machines: These equipments are used to pack food in a cool or frozen form. These machines are very effective for maintaining freshness and increasing the shelf life of food.
- Food storage containers: To keep food at the right temperature, you must use the right containers. Plastic containers are not suitable for storing food at lower temperatures. According to the food storage instructions, containers with features such as thermal insulation and resistance to breakage are used to store food at low temperatures.
- Thermal compartment: This equipment is used to keep hot food for a long time. By creating a thermal chamber, this equipment allows you to keep hot food until you are ready to eat it.
- Cooling devices: These devices are used to store cold or frozen food. By creating the right temperature, these devices allow you to optimally store food at the right temperature.
- Heating plates: These equipments allow you to keep hot foods properly by creating heating plates. By using this equipment, you can keep the food at the desired temperature and bring it to the right temperature when serving the food.
Classification of food for storage
In the next step, we have to categorize the food for safe storage in the restaurant, which we will explain in detail below. Food can be divided into different categories based on their physical and chemical properties.
Paying attention to the type of food is important in determining food storage methods. Also, the instructions for storing food will have differences according to their type. Below are some categories of food for preservation:
- Fresh food: Food such as vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, milk and dairy products, bread, etc. can belong to the category of fresh food. To store this category of food, you should use the methods of storing food in the refrigerator and storing food in the freezer.
- Dry food: Dry food such as beans, rice, flour, sweets, etc., are stored in containers with suitable lids in a dry and cool environment in the food storage warehouse.
- Frozen food: Frozen food includes fish, meat, vegetables, etc., which are placed in the freezer for frozen storage.
- Canned food: Canned food such as chicken, fish, beans, vegetables, etc. are stored in metal or glass packaging and with special methods at room temperature in a dry environment in the food storage warehouse.
- Open and closed foods: Open and closed foods include chips, chocolate, biscuits, etc., which are stored in packages with lids and different methods.
Important tips for storing foods in the restaurant
Preservation and storage of food in the food storage warehouse of industrial kitchen in restaurant, as well as observing the hygiene points of food storage, it is very important to pay attention to it for the health of customers and also to improve the quality of food.
In the following, we discuss some principles and methods of food storage in the industrial kitchen of the restaurant:
- Suitable temperature: The suitable temperature for storing food is different for each type. For example, fruits and vegetables should be kept at a lower temperature than meat and fish.
- Store in suitable containers: To preserve food in an industrial kitchen, it is better to use suitable containers.
- Labeling: To avoid confusion about the date of production and expiration of food, it is better to label them.
- Cleanliness and hygiene: You should always pay attention to the hygiene of food storage in the industrial kitchen. A clean environment helps to keep food well and prevent contamination.
- Use of preservatives: Some foods need preservatives to be stored for a long time.
- Duration of storage: For each type of food, the duration of storage is different. For example, red meat can be stored at a lower temperature for several days and at a higher temperature for several hours.
- Observing the order of storage: To avoid food wastage, you must follow the proper order for storing them. For example, fresh food should be stored in separate compartments from cooked food.
Hygienic tips for storing food in restaurants
- Environmental health conditions: To store food, the environment in which they are placed must be hygienic and clean. For example, containers and equipment used to store food, such as containers and food devices, must be carefully washed and disinfected after each use.
- Temperature conditions: For the hygienic storage of food, the appropriate temperature for each type of food must be observed. For example, fresh food should be kept at a temperature lower than room temperature and hot food should be kept at a temperature higher than room temperature.
- Storage in suitable containers: To store healthy food, you must use suitable containers. For example, the containers used to store food should be covered and in such a way that air does not penetrate them.
- Use of protective materials: protective materials can be used for the hygienic preservation of food. These materials are placed on food as a protective layer and prevent direct contact with air and bacteria.
- Expiry date: In order to store healthy food, you should pay attention to their expiration date. Foods with an expired expiration date must be thrown away and their use is prohibited.
- Disinfecting: Disinfection methods such as washing with soap and water, disinfection with disinfectants or heat should be used to store food.
- Storage in a dry environment: For the hygienic storage of food, they must be stored in a dry environment. The humidity of the environment can cause the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can threaten the health of food. Therefore, food should be stored in a dry and cool environment.
- Keeping at the right temperature for transportation: If food is needed for transportation, it should be kept at the right temperature. For example, hot food should be stored in a warm shipping box and cold food should be stored in a cold shipping box.
Industrial methods for storage food in restaurants
- Thermal processing: This method involves the use of heat to increase the useful life of food. Thermal processing includes methods such as pasteurization that destroy bacteria in food.
- Chemical processing: This method involves the use of chemicals to preserve food. Some chemical processing methods include the use of acids, antioxidants, chemical preservatives, etc.
- Low temperature storage: This method involves keeping food at a temperature lower than room temperature, which inhibits the growth of bacteria in food. This method includes freezing, storing in the refrigerator and freezer.
- Storage in a protective environment: This method includes the use of a protective environment such as nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide, which reduces oxidation and the growth of bacteria in food.
- Protective packaging: Protective packaging includes the use of packaging that protects food from air, moisture and light. Some of these packages include food packaging in metal boxes, glass bottles and polymer packaging.
- Use of advanced technology: In the food production industry, advanced technologies such as quality control and automation systems are used. These technologies can improve quality, reduce wastage and increase productivity in the food industry.
In the end, by summarizing the entire content of this article, these 8 points should be observed for storing and preserving food in restaurants:
Follow the rule “whatever comes in first must go out”
This law says that the food that reaches you sooner should be consumed sooner. This law helps you ensure both food safety and food quality.
When a new load of food arrives, the newer food should be placed behind the older food so that the older food is consumed first: this is true for both cold and warm storage.
It is also good to write a label on all food with the date of receipt and also write down the “use by” date to ensure both the safety and freshness of the food.
Place the meat as low as possible
Even if you put in an insulated container, the meat or meat containers should be placed lower than all other items so that water dripping from the meat does not run down and contaminate the rest of the food.
How to store meat
- Store meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- For a longer time: Preferably in vacuum.
- For a shorter time: Preferably kept ‘aired’ under a piece of cloth.
- Heating and chilling should be carried out as quickly as possible.
- Trust your nose more than the given ‘use by’ date.
Always store meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator – in most refrigerators, the coldest spot is in the deepest part where the chill prevails even when you open and close the door. Restaurant refrigerators have fans that distribute the chilled air – about 2°C – evenly:
GETTING THE TEMPERATURE RIGHT
- Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
- Meat and other foodstuff should be kept for as little time as possible within the risk span of 5°C to 57°C.
- Re-heated food should keep a temperature above 74°C for at least 15 seconds.
- If you follow the instructions above, the food can be re-heated and chilled several times.
- Let meat thaw slowly in the refrigerator.
Place food in airtight containers
When food comes in contact with air, it starts to spoil. In order to extend the life of food and maintain its safety and quality, food should be placed in airtight containers. Use containers with lids to keep the kitchen clean and protect food from dirt and bacteria.
Never keep food on the floor
Food should be kept at least 15 cm above the ground. The reason is to prevent the entry of water, dust, and other contaminants into food bags.
Temperature control is still in effect
Refrigeration is essential for food safety, but only when it is kept at the right temperature. Even the refrigerator should have a thermometer so employees can check the temperature and make sure the food is below the temperature danger zone.
Do not overfill refrigerators and freezers
If a lot of products are placed in a refrigerator, your appliance has to work hard to maintain the right temperature. In this way, hot spots are created in areas where the cabinet is not very cold. The refrigerator may even fail.
Closing the inlet and outlet air vents also makes the refrigerator not work properly and can even lead to the loss of food safety.
Keep shelves and floors clean and tidy
Use wall shelving and sorting units to keep your fast food restaurant kitchen organized. Anywhere there is dirt or food residue, bacteria can grow.
So keeping the floor and shelves clean is a necessity to maintain food safety in your fast food restaurant kitchen. Neat shelves with proper labeling of items also help employees spend less time standing at the door and finding items.
When in doubt, throw it out!
The bottom line of food safety is that when in doubt about a food item, err on the side of caution and throw the food away.
If you want to say to yourself: “It’s not a problem”, you usually get food poisoning, which results in losing your job and the whole reputation of your fast food restaurant. Be sure to be careful in the maintenance and storage of fast food and follow the health tips so as not to suffer losses.
Conclusion for Safe Food Storage in a Restaurant Kitchen:
In safe food storage in a restaurant article, we explained and reviewed the methods of food storage. As mentioned, for the basic preservation of food, we must specify their type and according to their type and classification, use the best storage methods, such as storing food in the refrigerator and storing food in the freezer, etc.
Paying attention to the instructions for food storage and observing the hygienic tips of food storage will help you to store food in the best conditions and for a longer period of time while fully maintaining their quality.
FAQ for Safe Food Storage in a Restaurant Kitchen
1. How to store different types of food in a restaurant?
If possible, you should consider a separate space for cooked and raw food.
Store perishable items such as dairy products and meat in the refrigerator. Be sure to use closed containers to store items.
2. What is the ideal temperature for refrigerating food in a restaurant?
Usually, in restaurants and fast food, the temperature of the refrigerator or the topping refrigerator should be 40°F (4-5 degrees Celsius)
The temperature of the freezer should be set to 0°F (18 degrees Celsius).
3. What are the instructions for storing meat in a restaurant?
Usually, meat is kept in the coldest parts of the refrigerator. It must be kept in a closed place so that it does not leak outside, such as steel bain-marie.
4. How should fruits and vegetables be stored in a restaurant?
It is easier to store fruits and vegetables in winter due to the cold weather. But be sure to separate the fruits and vegetables and wash them before consuming them to prevent them from spoiling quickly.
5.What is the best way to keep food fresh in a restaurant?
According to my experience, the best way is to do your daily shopping. That is, buy as much fruit and vegetables as you consume daily and consume them fresh.
6.How to store pre-cooked ingredients such as rice and stew?
To store cooked ingredients such as rice and stew, store them in sealed stainless steel containers at the bottom of the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
7. What is the best way to store spices?
Store spices in a dry and dark place. Usually, keep them in a place away from sunlight and heat and keep them in closed bottles so that they stay healthy and fresh.
8. How important is ventilation in food storage?
Proper ventilation regulates humidity and eases food storage. The use of industrial hoods and suitable centrifuges for restaurants is one of these points.
9. What sides should we use to prevent corruption of rice or flour?
To prevent rice and flour from spoiling, store them in closed sacks or steel containers in a dry and cool place away from gas flame.
10 .Where should we store semi-prepared potatoes and burgers and at what temperature?
The freezer is the best option for storing semi-prepared burgers and potatoes and similar foods at a temperature of 0°F(minus 18 degrees Celsius).