Food storage is a top priority in any kitchen. When storing your food correctly, you keep your customers safe, your ingredients fresh and your money in your pocket. However, storing food incorrectly still happens in restaurants every day. Don’t allow small mistakes to cost you big time in the long run. If you have dented food pans or one of these other 5 signs of poor food storage practices, it’s time to take action:
Dented Food Pans
Dented metal pans are quite common in a kitchen. What’s the problem with a dent or two?
Besides the fact that it’s a less than professional look when any dented pans are in view of customers, the potential problems of dented metal pans quickly add up. In a steam table, food pans with dented edges and corners allow steam to escape out and away from your food. A dented metal food pan can cause storage headaches. Ever see a stack of metal pans resembling an extreme version of the leaning tower of Pisa? Odds are good that a few dented pans caused that lean and are probably stuck to the other pans. And to get them un-stuck, you’ll probably create additional dents in the pans. There’s also the very serious employee safety issue of bent metal corners causing injury.
From prepping to storage to oven to steam table, Cambro pans are designed for the daily demands of your foodservice operation. Use Camwear® pans for storage and prepping. The do-it-all High Heat H-pans™ go from prep to cooler to oven to steam table. All pans are made to last without denting, chipping or warping.
Not Using the Proper Lids
Repeat after us: plastic wrap and aluminum foil are not a substitute for a lid. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil often leave gaps where air and bacteria can sneak into food. Don’t allow your food to be compromised because of something as easy as snapping a lid on top of a container or pan. Lids also minimize handling and reduce the risk of contamination. When stored in a clear container with a clear lid, employees can easily see what is inside without having to lift and replace wraps. For instances where food has been displayed without a lid, keep food safe and free of cross-contamination with FlipLids. Employees can easily access food by flipping the lid up and down without having to fully take it off and place it on the counter.
High Amounts of Food Waste
Is your kitchen repeatedly wasting prepped food because it spoils before it can be used? The culprit is likely your food storage equipment. Decrease your food waste and stop throwing your money away by switching to Cambro’s Colander Pans and Camwear drain shelves. Both items lift food away from liquids and juices while it’s being stored. Food doesn’t sit in liquids, allowing its texture to be preserved.
If you make large quantities of food like guacamole, you likely lose a large amount of product because of the oxidation process. Each time you scrape off the top brown layer on the guacamole, you’re throwing your money straight in the trash. Keep these delicate foods from spoiling so quickly with Cambro’s Seal Covers. These lids seal in air tremendously better than the usual wrap and press method. Learn more about how restaurant Green2Go saved the greens.
Food Kept in Cardboard Cartons after Delivery
When food is delivered to your business, it should be immediately inspected and placed into sterile food storage boxes with lids. Not only does this prevent critters from entering your restaurant, but it ensures you only accept food that measures up to your quality standards. Camwear Food Boxes topped with a SlidingLid make storing produce easy. The lid slides back for easy access to contents, minimizing handling while keeping food covered. The chance of cross-contamination is decreased significantly because the lid doesn’t need to be removed or placed on a potentially contaminated surface while produce is being taken out.
Reusing Single-Use Containers
Reusing single-use containers that hold foods like sour cream and cottage cheese may seem like a smart way to recycle, but it can be a very risky decision when it comes to food safety. These containers are made to tolerate a certain foods. When they are used with a different type of food, it can cause additives to transfer from the plastic to the food and customers can potentially get sick. Another downside to reusing single-use containers is possible flavor transfer. Flavors or odors from the prior held food can pass through these containers to other foods stored in the same area. If a container isn’t NSF listed, it is not a suitable storage container. Cambro storage products are designed for the heavy-duty demands of a restaurant kitchen.
Unclear Organization of Allergen-Free Products
During the last few years, allergens have transformed the food industry. More and more people are realizing they are allergic to commonly utilized ingredients. To keep your customers safe and happy, Cambro has a special line of Allergen-Free storage items. These purple accented CamSquares, measuring cups and StoreSafe food rotation labels make it easy for employees to know which ingredients are safe to use when preparing meals for guests with allergies. Emblazoned with “Allergen-Free”, these products will greatly reduce the risk of ingredients mixing and causing cross-contamination.
Save yourself from these food storage mistakes by contacting your Cambro rep for more information about the products mentioned in this article.