Cambro Products

Make the Grade: Food Safety Violations and How to Fix Them


Picture this: it’s an average Tuesday. You’re minding your own business when a health inspector enters your foodservice operation. What’s your first thought? Panic? Cambro products are designed to give you a peace of mind, knowing your kitchen is equipped with the tools you need to pass your health inspections with flying colors. Every month, we’ll look at real violations from inspection reports around the US and identify how to prevent this from happening to you! This month’s examples come from a restaurant in Georgia…

Violation: “Observed wire shelving in reach-in cooler and walk-in cooler with accumulation of residue and coating peeling/flaking off. Food shall be protected from contamination by storing the food where it is not exposed to splash, dust or other contamination.”

Yes, your flaking wire shelving really is that bad. Don’t let your operation get caught with dirty or rusty shelving when the violation is entirely preventable. Wire shelving is extremely difficult to clean, and it often falls to the end of an operator’s lengthy to-do list. Switching to rust-free Camshelving® ensures you’ll never be caught with flaking, rusty shelving again. We believe in Camshelving so much—it even comes with a lifetime warranty against rust and corrosion. The promise is guaranteed thanks to Camshelving’s smooth plastic exterior. It’s easy to clean with a cloth or through a dishwasher, and it has an antimicrobial protection permanently molded into shelf plates (Premium and Elements Series) to inhibit the growth of mold, fungus and bacteria. We couldn’t make it any easier if we tried.

New Elements shelving

Violation: “Observed various containers of sauces, empanadas, tamales and soups without labels. Except for containers holding food that can be readily and unmistakably recognized, such as dry pasta, working containers holding food or food ingredients that are removed from their original packages for use in the food establishment, such as cooking oils, flour, herbs, potato flakes, salt, spices and sugar shall be clearly and legibly identified with the common name of the food.”

Food Label on Round photo credit to Hannah NoltemeyerIf you liked it, you should have put a label on it! Simply putting a label on your containers eliminates confusion, keeps FIFO and decreases the chance of cross-contamination. When you know exactly what’s inside a container, it only needs to be opened during use. Cambro StoreSafe dissolvable Food Rotation Labels are everything you want and more. Cambro’s StoreSafe labels are biodegradable and dissolve in under 30 seconds under running water without leaving a sticky residue behind. These labels are safe for all sewer and septic systems and don’t build up in drains. Cambro’s StoreSafe labels do all of the hard work for you!

Violation: “Observed raw beef stored directly in grocery bags in reach-in freezer. All food storage vessels must be of food-grade material and/or durable and easy to sanitize.”

shows bags being usedHave you ever done this and thought, “this will do for now, I’ll fix it when I have time,”? The biggest problem with this thinking is that you rarely find the time to correct this action later. While you might not use grocery bags to store your food, any container that isn’t food-grade material isn’t acceptable. Cambro food storage products and food safety go hand in hand. Cambro food storage containers are all NSF-listed, stain, acid, and odor resistant and designed for high volume wear and tear. Not only does reusing packaged food containers run the risk of flavors transferring, your health inspector won’t be very happy when they find diced onions in a sour cream container.

Violation: “Observed empanadas stored layered directly between cloths in reach-in cooler. Use of cloths are limited to storage in sanitizer buckets for wiping down of food prep surfaces. Do not use cloths on foods.”

In case you didn’t already know, cloths are not an acceptable food storage device. If you’re worried about food sticking together, there are a variety of solutions that don’t include cloths typically used for cleaning. Cambro Camwear Food Pans in 2.5” pan depth are slim and easy to stack, allowing ingredients to be kept separate without taking up a lot of room. Combine with Seal Covers or GripLids to increase food freshness for a longer period of time.

Food Pans and GripLids photo credit to Kristine Jingozian

Food safety violations can be easily prevented when the right products are used from the start. See all of Cambro’s products at or connect with a Cambro rep to discuss additional food safety solutions for your operation.


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