How to Organize Your Commercial Refrigerator or Freezer
A well-organized commercial freezer or refrigerator is the key to managing your food business efficiently. It will not only keep the food fresh for longer but also enable you to find the products easily. It will even reduce food spoilage and prevent losses arising from it.
Here are some useful tips to organize your commercial refrigerator:
- Follow the FIFO Rule
First In First Out (FIFO) means that old products should be sold first. You should store the foods which are open, old, and near expiry date on top or in front of the refrigerator so that you can use them first. Label the products by their expiry date in visible letters to locate them without any difficulty. Schedule inventory checks at regular intervals to ensure that foods move in a FIFO manner.
- Store Meat Products on Lower Shelves
The juices from meat packets can spill and contaminate other products if there is a tear or breakage. Hence, you should always store meat products on lower shelves of the refrigerator. If you have a large size refrigerator, you use open wire shelving to store meat at different levels. The fast-moving and ready-to-eat items can go on the top shelf.
- Leave Sufficient Space
It is tempting to stock as much as possible food in the refrigerator for commercial purposes to use the space efficiently and avoid buying another unit. However, an overstocked freezer will reduce the cooling ability and slow down the air circulation. Moreover, you will have to move several items here and there to find the right item.
Leave enough space between the shelves and in-between the products. Keep at least a 3-6 inches gap between the refrigerator wall and products. You can even vacuum press some foods in freezer-safe bags to make space for other items.
- Avoid Storing Food on Floor
Ensure that you don’t keep any food directly on the floor of the commercial refrigerator. It is vulnerable to contamination, dirt, and pest infestation. Store the food at least 3-6 inches above the floor. Most refrigerators have in-built shelves or else you can buy them from the dealer or supplier.
- Label Everything
Labeling standardizes the entire process of the organization. It helps you to find things easily and put them where they belong. Put color-coded labels on every shelf, drawer, or compartment of the refrigerator indicating what item should go there.
- Keep Fresh Produce Away From Fans
Some foods like greens and berries can spoil quickly if you keep them near the internal fans of the refrigerator. While these fans are necessary for the circulation of air, they can damage the food. Hence, store the food in sealed containers and at some distance from the fans.
The organization is crucial to maintaining the quality of food and improving the lifespan of your commercial refrigerator. It will also enable you to meet food and health safety standards. The organization should be a daily or weekly activity, depending on the size of your refrigerator and the number of items you store in it.