Sticky Note

6 Tips For Proper Storage

Whether you’re in your cooler or in dry storage areas it’s important to remember a few key points when it comes to storage in your restaurant.

1. Always keep your storage a minimum of 6 inches off of the floor whether its shelves, dunnage racks, or any other storage component. Six inches is typically the minimum height accepted by most health departments and it’s also the height recommended by many nationally recognized food safety organizations. It’s a good idea to plan on 12 inches whenever possible. This usually wont effect your storage space and it may earn you some points with the health inspector, they’ll like that you went above and beyond the minimum.

2. Always use FIFO (first in first out) to ensure proper rotation practices.

3. Be sure to store foods in areas that are optimum for their shelf life and quality. You can usually find this information on the manufacturer’s web site. For example, don’t store bread in the cooler. Bread should be stored in dry storage or frozen until needed. Storing bread in the cooler will turn it stale faster, reducing its quality and shelf life, thereby costing you money.

4. Try to organize your storage areas in a way that’s easy to understand and follow. For example, keep dairy products with other dairy products, produce with other produce, and spices with other spices. This will help people remember where items are stored and where they should be put back after use, which will help speed things up and help to keep clean and organized storage areas.

5. Another suggestion is to keep your prep in mind when choosing where to store some items. For example, if you make cole slaw with cabbage and a pre-made dressing it would be a good idea to store your dressing in the cooler. This way, if you make a batch of cole slaw, it’s already at the proper temperature and ready to serve. This will also be helpful for those surprise health inspections because your food will temp properly and you won’t have to explain why you have food items in the temperature danger zone.

6. It’s a must to be aware of temperature and humidity levels in your dry storage areas. You don’t want to store food in an area that is overly hot or humid because this can cause items to ripen faster than expected or to mold/spoil.

If you follow these steps you’ll always be prepared for those surprise inspections.

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