Here are some tips you can use to help keep the food and ingredients in your walk-in unit fresh longer as well as reduce the waste for your business.
ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO BE STRATEGIC
The coldest areas of your walk-in fridge should have items that are temperature sensitive such as fish or raw meats. The coldest areas of your walk-in unit are generally the lower bottom shelves at the back of your cooler. Since warm air can infiltrate the cooler at the door and heat rises it is wise to store more stable food items/ingredients near the door or on top shelves.
TEMPERATURE OF THE COOLER IS IMPORTANT
Inventory varies inside of your walk-in coolers, so it is key to know the specifics of your inventory. This will allow you to have the knowledge necessary to ensure you are setting your unit to the correct temperature range. This will help you keep your inventory fresh longer which in theory translates into saving money because you are possibly wasting less.
FOOD SHOULD BE LABLED & HAVE DATES / MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW FIFO GUIDELINES
Labeling contributes to having an organized cooler which also greatly assists in reducing food waste. One way to achieve this is making sure the labels include the contents of the items as well as the date they entered the freezer and/or a produced-on date. Having labels as such will also help you follow the FIFO Guidelines. The FIFO means “first in, first out”. This means whatever item has been in the cooler the longest should be the first to be used or removed.
CIRCULATION/AIR MOVEMENT IN THE COOLER IS IMPORTANT
To help with proper circulation make sure shelves are at least six inches off the floor and do not stack items all the way to the ceiling which would block the air movement. Keeping the shelves at least six inches off the floor would also make for easy cleaning if something were to spill or the cooler just needed to be cleaned.
DON’T OVER PACK YOUR WALK-IN COOLER/REFRIGERATOR
Like mentioned above air circulation is key to your cooler operating at optimal performance. Having the cold air circulate properly prevents bacteria and mold from having a chance to grow and flourish. Each side of each container in the cooler needs access to fresh flowing air so there needs to be at least three inches of space between each side. Not only will over packing lead to lack of circulation it will also lead to higher utility bills since your walk-in cooler has to work harder to cool more items.