27 August, 2014
Tips for storing food in the hotel and catering trade over the summer months
Summer comes, bringing with it a rise in temperatures. This is why the correct use of refrigerated chambers by businesses in the hotel and catering trade is essential for correctly storing products including meat, fish, fruit… and preventing the spread of bacteria.
Refrigerated chambers in the hotel and catering industry
Industrial refrigerated chambers are used in the hotel and catering and commercial sectors for preserving food. The purpose of these chambers is to cool, store and even display the business’ food and drink, functions which become more important in the summer months given the high temperatures recorded.
A huge variety of refrigerated chambers is currently available in the market, ranging from very small to very spacious, and with all types of applications, features and finishes.
Temperature, time, organisation and cleanliness: key factors for the correct storage of food
To prevent the appearance of pathogens in the refrigerated chambers, four key factors must be considered: temperature, time, organisation and cleanliness.
As regards temperature, the cold temperature should be kept between 2 and 5 degrees in commercial refrigeration systems all year round and in particular during the hottest months (above a temperature of 8 ºC the microbes start to multiply and the quantity of bacteria will increase). In this season, try not to open the fridge too often and make sure that the door closes correctly; measures that help to prevent potential problems with stored food.
The organisation of the fridge is another point to consider during the summer months. The lower shelves are the coldest, so products that go off more quickly, such as fruit and fish, should be kept on these shelves.
With regard to storage times, each caterer should keep a strict control on the exact time for each product, as longer storage times encourage damp and the growth of moulds and bacteria. In the summer months, some products will last for shorter times (for example fruit), therefore we recommend keeping an exhaustive analysis and organisation of the products stored in the refrigerated chambers, in order to be able to assess their condition at any moment.
Lastly, another of the main factors to be considered when storing food is the disinfection of the refrigerated chamber. To maintain a ‘favourable climate’ inside the chamber, it should be disinfected and cleaned preferably at least once before each season, to prevent the reproduction of microbes inside the chamber at all times.
We invite you to share any additional measures you take in your business to store your products correctly.