As HVACR experts many of our customers are butchers, abattoirs, hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, plus clients that operate in the food distribution, preparation, manufacturing and wholesaling sectors. We provide reliable commerical refrigeration systems and solutions, as well as efficient transport refrigeration services, offering emergency repairs to refrigeration fleets.
‘Back in the day’- prehistoric times to be more exact- men found that they could make the food stuffs they caught from hunting last longer by keeping it cool in a cave or burying it in snow. Glad to say we’ve come a long way since then in terms of refrigeration! Due to our experience on the subject, we thought we’d share our insight into our top 7 tips on how to do refrigeration the right way.
* Lifesaving: We’re not exaggerating as the USDA’s Food Inspection Service advices: ” By handling food safely, you will spare yourself and your family from a painful bout of illness.” You don’t need us to tell you that E.coli found in the intestines of cattle and occasionally other animals, Salmonella from raw eggs, chicken and green onions and Listeria, originating from, raw milk, soft cheeses and lunch meats are no fun for you or your customers.
The NHS recommends that you maintain a refrigerator temperature of below 5C to prevent food poisoning bacteria from multiplying, your customers getting ill and you getting into serious trouble with the law.
* Store Correctly: The NHS also strongly suggests placing uncooked meat at the bottom of your refrigeration system where their dangerous juices can’t drip onto and contaminate other foods. Likewise, store raw meat away from food that is ready for you to grab and eat, such as salad. This is important as uncooked meat can harbour harmful bacteria, which, if put in contact with ready-to-eat foods, won’t be killed as these foods don’t get cooked.
Be careful not to overstuff your refrigeration system; it can only handle so much and too much food can prevent air from flowing easily around the system- a process vital in slowing bacterial growth and chilling food.
* Clean for Success: We don’t know many people that enjoy cleaning, but it is worth it and when it comes to food storage, it’s essential. Mop up spillages straight away using piping hot, soapy water and always rinse down afterwards. It’s a good idea to avoid using any cleaning products or solvent cleaning agents that may tinge food with a chemical taste or damage the interior of the refrigeration system.
The outside of your fridge deserves to sparkle as much as the inside so carry out your cleaning of this section with a cloth, luke-warm washing up liquid and specialised polishes. To allow the free flow of air to the condenser, dust the front grill, whilst the condenser coil ought to be cleaned many times a year using a brush or vacuum to eliminate dirt, for guaranteed improved refrigerator efficiency.
* Get Rid!: For the safety of your clients and for the sake of your catering company’s reputation, it’s important to evaluate how long each of your food products has been stored in your refrigeration system and to get rid of any foods that are out of date. The USDA also supply a handy chart on the recommended safe times to store food for.
* Time is of the Essence: Foodsafety.gov state perishable foods such as eggs, meat, fish and cooked leftovers should be gotten into the fridge within 2 hours and, with summer approaching, this time should be halved in the warmer months. To allow for the quicker chilling of leftovers, separate them into lots of clean, shallow containers.
* Kick Odours to the Kerb: No one appreciates their nostrils (or their food!) being invaded by horrible odours. There are several ways to cleanse your fridge of undesirable stenches. Keeping your fridge clean is a good start (see above) but keeping a box of baking soda on a shelf can refresh your fridge, as can placing a vanilla soaked cotton swab in the refrigerator for 24 hours whilst keeping the door closed!
* Seal the Deal: Putting all the above steps into action are all good and well, but if you keep unnecessarily opening and closing your refrigerator’s door your refrigerator’s abilities will be less effective. Keep the door closed and avoid keeping perishable foods, for instance eggs, in the sections located on the fridge door as the temperature here fluctuates more often than the temperature in the rest of the refrigerator.
It’s always best to consult your refrigerator’s manufacturer’s guide when you experience issues with your system. Alternatively, if your business’ refrigeration system is faulty and not preforming at its best or needs replacing contact our team of qualified engineers.