Walk-in refrigeration tips for longer life from your equipment and better food quality for your customers.
- Space food items appropriately. When storing items in bulk, be sure there is adequate space between food boxes so cold air can circulate. Better circulation means better cooling results, and fewer “hot spots” inside. Keep three to six inches from each wall and between each food item for the best cold air circulation.
- Keep items off the floor. Storing items at least six inches from the floor is typically the minimum height accepted by most health departments. This improves sanitation by preventing contact with floors.
- Store meat items on the lowest shelves. As a food safety precaution, store meat on the lowest shelves of your commercial refrigerator. As meats thaw or marinate, faulty food storage containers or an accidental spill can contaminate other food product below the meat.
- Store fresh produce away from the fans. Internal refrigerator fans can actually damage food items stored near it, like fresh greens or delicate fruits like berries. Fresh produce is susceptible to damage and should be stored as far from the fan vents as possible. Items in sealed containers will be more likely to maintain their integrity. In the freezer, storing food too close to the fan can result in freezer burn.
- Follow the rule of FIFO – first-in, first-out. Pay attention to food product shelf-life and “use-by” dates. Put a date sticker on every product before putting it into the refrigerator. Place the newest items at the back of every shelf. Slide older items forward. Any open items should be used first, as long as they are still fresh.