Did you know that nearly 40% of the food produced in the US is thrown away and wasted forever? That’s roughly 400 lbs of food per person per year. Meanwhile, nearly 1 billion people are starving worldwide, a fact that can be changed with proper food management.
But why does so much food go to waste? In most cases, people do not store food properly. If you have a restaurant, you need to follow certain food storage guidelines to minimize spoilage and food waste.
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Label Food as Soon as It Arrives
Food labeling is paramount for proper food management in restaurants of all sizes. For example, you should instruct your personnel to label food containers and packages with inexpensive, colored sticky labels. The label can contain the date of arrival as well as important information such as expiration date, whether the food contains allergens, etc. Check out GFSI for more information of food storage guidelines and instruction.
Use the FIFO Method
The FIFO method refers to “first in, first out” which is a form of food rotation in a commercial kitchen. It means that the first food that gets on a shelf will be the first one delivered to the customer. This is also known as stock rotation and it prevents food or ingredients from being forgotten at the bottom of the shelves. Following this guideline will considerably reduce spoilage and food waste.
Store Meat at the Bottom of a Shelf
Different types of meats are used in a variety of dishes, but this ingredient can contaminate other foods if not stored properly. That’s because it contains juices that might drip on vegetables, legumes, and other ingredients in your fridge. That’s why you should store meat, particularly raw meat, on the bottom shelves.
Use the Right Food Containers
There are different types of containers that can be used for food storage. Some of the most common are plastic and polypropylene containers. However, you should also use stainless steel containers, especially for soups and other similar foods. Stainless steel doesn’t facilitate the development of bacteria, it’s long-lasting, and it can be easily cleaned.
Change Your Cutting Boards Frequently
Especially if you use wooden cutting boards, these can easily get contaminated with juices from the ingredients and foods you cut on them. That’s why you should change and wash your cutting boards on a regular basis. You could also use one cutting board for just one type of meat such as chicken or turkey. This prevents the tastes and flavors of your ingredients from mixing up and spoiling the end result.
Now You Know How to Store Food in Your Restaurant
If you want to store food in your restaurant for long periods of time, you should use large and modern refrigerators and freezers. Meats should be stored at temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit and frozen food should be stored at around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
For more useful and interesting advice on food storage, preparation, and handling, make sure that you check out the other articles on our website.