Making big changes can feel overwhelming, so why not start small? When it comes to food storage, making small changes can generate big rewards. When you make the right food storage choices, your kitchen will put out the best food possible. Food storage is where it all begins; make sure your dishes are supported with the best ingredients from the start. We found 7 ways to improve your food storage right now, and how to make your changes last in the long-run:
Throw Away Cardboard Boxes
It is easy to fall victim to the cardboard boxes that make their way into your restaurant during produce deliveries. Boxes carrying produce often have little critters as stowaways, waiting to wreak havoc on your unsuspecting foodservice operation. Kick the critters to the curb by stopping them before they make it through the door. Designate an employee to check deliveries before they enter your kitchen. Immediately take food out of cardboard boxes and transfer them to Camwear Boxes. Paired with Camwear SlidingLids, produce becomes easy to access yet food stays safe. Getting rid of cardboard boxes is a small but easy way to get started on the right path.
Clean Your Shelves
The easiest (and absolutely free) thing you can do is to clean your shelves. Keeping shelving clean decreases the likelihood of cross-contamination from accidental spills and drips. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one of those things that can easily get overlooked. If thinking about cleaning shelving puts you in the fetal position, you must not have Camshelving. Made with an antimicrobial protection permanently molded into shelf plates, Camshelving rebuffs the growth of mold, fungus and bacteria. Plus, there’s a lifetime warranty against rust and corrosion. Yes—your shelving will have no rust anywhere, at all. Employees can easily wipe Camshelving clean or run shelf plates through the dishwasher.
Get Rid of Single Use Containers
This is one instance where recycling isn’t encouraged. After emptying out a single-use container of its contents, it should be thrown out. Often, foodservice operators will clean the container and reuse it thinking they are doing a good thing. The problem is the containers weren’t made with anything other than the original food in mind. So, what’s the worst that can happen? Additives can transfer from the plastic into the food and customers could get sick, or flavors from the original food can pass from these containers to other foods stored in the same area. Trust us, these are not the new flavors you’re trying to bring to your menu. Plus, single use containers can be difficult to properly clean, resulting in food being stored in potentially dirty conditions. Instead, transfer food to CamSquares and Camwear Rounds. These food storage containers are NSF and virtually unbreakable.
Label Storage Containers to Keep FIFO
Are your storage containers labeled with a storage date and use by date? It is imperative to keep your food pans and containers labeled correctly to support FIFO (first in, first out). Not only is it useful for food safety purposes, but it helps you to waste less food. While having a label is important, not all labels are created equally. Many restaurants use masking tape to label their containers. Using masking tape isn’t recommended because the sticky residue that is often left behind on the containers can harbor bacteria and later contaminate food. One minute you think you’re doing the right thing, and then it causes a different bad side effect. Skip the sticky mess and use Cambro’s StoreSafe Food Rotation Labels. Cambro’s labels are biodegradable and dissolve in under 30 seconds. Just like that: No more sticky residue!
Tidy Up Your Kitchen
If you’ve somehow escaped hearing about Marie Kondo (we’re not sure how), she is a Japanese organizing consultant and author who recently had a show on Netflix where she helps people “tidy up” their homes. The question she asks when looking at any object: “Does it spark joy?” We encourage you to do the same thing in your kitchen. Dented food pans? No joy. Foil and plastic wrap? No joy. Rusty shelving? No joy. StoreSafe labelled CamSquares? Pure joy. Kondo’s method encourages a less stressed lifestyle because you are only surrounded by things that bring positivity to your life. While you can’t get rid of the person who gave you attitude earlier, you can cleanse your kitchen of material stressors.
Cover Your Containers
Food should never be left uncovered. It leaves room for cross-contamination, spills and decreases freshness and quality. However, simply covering your food isn’t enough. Rise above plastic wrap and foil into the magical world of Camwear Lids. Cambro Lids don’t just protect your food, they promote it to be its best. Seal Covers restrict airflow to keep food fresh and extend the shelf life up to three days. Camwear GripLids ensure spill-proof storage and transport. Never see drips of sauce coming out of a food pan again. Click here to see more Lids and how they solve your most common food storage problems.
Appraise How You’re Using Your Space
Use today to plan for tomorrow. Look around your kitchen and most likely you’ll find opportunities to use some spaces more efficiently. Some of the most underutilized areas are undercounters. Whether you’re a fast-casual restaurant with space underneath your front counters or a high-end restaurant with nothing underneath your prep tables, Cambro’s Elements Series Undercounter Units and undercounter Ultimate Sheet Pack Rack will boost your storage capacity in overlooked spaces. In a kitchen, every space is valuable. Use Cambro’s space-saving options to increase your storage without changing your floorplan.