It all comes down to your ingredients. Top quality food is created from ingredients that have been safely stored with care. From receiving to delivery, proper food storage is imperative to keeping your food safe and fresh. In our Ultimate Food Storage Guide blog series, we’ll explore the different ways Cambro products keep food safe from the Danger Zone, cross-contamination and handling. Next, we examine the best ways to keep food safe and fresh during storage.
- Always store food in a container with a lid
This is a steadfast rule that must always be followed. There is absolutely no reason not to follow this rule. When food is stored in a container with a lid, the chance of cross-contamination is virtually eliminated and food stays fresher for a much longer period of time. For example, look at the shelf life of strawberries when they are properly stored versus when they are not:
To use plastic wrap, aluminum foil or—gasp—nothing at all does a disservice to your food, customers and your business as a whole. Cambro has an extensive line of NSF Listed, durable containers and lids for every food storage need:
- CamSquares® keep food organized and utilize 33 percent more space than round containers. These containers are a mainstay in kitchens around the world. Pair them with a Seal Cover for maximum freshness.
- Rounds promote food safety and freshness while increasing the air circulation in your walk-in. Without proper circulation, trapped air can create temperature inconsistencies around your food.
- Food Pans are available in Camwear® and Translucent materials, allowing chefs to see what is inside each container. When combined with a Flat Cover, Seal Cover or GripLid®, freshness is maintained while cross-contamination dangers are significantly decreased.
- Label and date all containers and maintain FIFO
After storing your food safely inside a container with a lid, there’s one more step you need to take before you can put it on the shelf. It is imperative that you put a StoreSafe® Rotation Label on the front to ensure it is used before it spoils. Fill out the label fully to ensure employees know when the contents of the container need to be thrown out. Plus, StoreSafe Rotation Labels dissolve completely in less than 30 seconds through the dishwasher or under running water. Not only are they food safe, StoreSafe Rotation Labels save time and money. Decrease the amount of waste your business contributes by employing FIFO (First In, First Out).
For consistent ingredients that need more than a label, we suggest personalized containers. You’re able to personalize CamSquares and Rounds with whatever word or phrase you may need. To hold ingredients like almond flour and coconut flour that typically cater to those with allergies, we offer Allergen-Free Purple Camwear® CamSquares and Lids. Chefs will know to grab the purple containers when making food for your gluten-free customers.
- Bulk Ingredients belong in food safe bins
Reduce the chances of critters and mold infiltrating your bulk ingredients by storing them in Ingredient Bins. Our NSF listed Ingredient Bins are made with an FDA-accepted material and are so hygienic, you don’t need to use a liner. Designed to fit under standard worktables, our Ingredient Bins easily integrate with most kitchen setups. We suggest choosing bins with a clear sliding lid to reduce handling and prevent waste. Ensure chefs never mix-up similar looking ingredients by choosing to personalize your Ingredient Bins with a custom label.
- Store food on hygienic, rust-free shelving
After you’re done putting all of your food inside containers with lids, store them safely on top of Camshelving®. All three Camshelving series are rust-free and designed with antimicrobial Camguard® shelf plates. Camshelving is designed with maximum cleanability; smooth shelf plates can be easily wiped clean or run through a dishwasher. As a food safety rule, all containers must be covered and stored six inches above the floor to prevent contamination from critters or dirty floors. To take it a step further, we suggest using solid shelf plates on all bottom shelves for an extra layer of protection from mop splashes during cleaning.
How you store your food is one of the easiest ways to impact your bottom line and decrease waste contributions. When you have ingredients properly stored in containers on rust-free shelving, you’re setting your menu up for the best possible quality. And an organized back of house will influence a successful front of house experience. In our next Ultimate Food Storage Guide blog series, we’ll explore how to utilize storage during prep, cooking and serving. Contact your Cambro rep today to get a personalized food storage evaluation.
Food Storage Resources
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.