The Importance of Cold Storage for Food Safety - Cenza

The Importance of Cold Storage for Food Safety

According to the CDC, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated beverages or food, and 3,000 people die from such illnesses every year.

Disease outbreaks can be the cause of many of these illnesses. However, some entirely preventable sicknesses can come from improper cold storage in your very own kitchen.

So how do we fix these issues? What is the importance of maintaining cold storage tools? This article contains all the information you should know.

Cold Storage Slows Bacterial Growth

The main reason to keep perishable foods in a fridge or freezer is to slow bacterial growth. The cold keeps the food from growing spoilage bacteria. This bacteria is what makes food taste or smell bad.

You can often see this bacteria on your food right away. Moldy food with the different color fuzzies is always an indicator that you should not eat it.

Be aware that foods cannot stay in the fridge forever, as cold storage merely slows bacterial growth. The freezer does not kill bacteria, either; it merely halts growth and makes existing germs and bacteria hibernate.

Contaminated food that goes into the freezer will be contaminated when it comes out.

What Foods Should be in Cold Storage?

Different foods have different times they are able to stay in a fridge. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, and meat storage should be in your fridge or freezer. The USDA has a handy table to show how long certain foods are able to stay in the fridge.

In addition, these perishable foods should not stay at room temperature for more than 4 hours. This means any meat that needs to be prepped should not be out of the fridge longer than four hours.

Seafood in the fridge, however, should stay in cold storage up until the moment it needs to be cooked. Seafood has many special properties that require specific classes to be properly handled such as Seafood HACCP.

You should also note that near the door of the fridge and freezer has a more fluctuating temperature. Therefore, perishables like eggs, fish and poultry are best stored in order of their cooking temperatures on the shelving from top to bottom.

Maintain the Right Temperature

It is important to keep your fridge and freezer at the correct temperature. The refrigerator should stay at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, while the freezer should stay at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

You should check these temperatures periodically to ensure your appliance is not malfunctioning. Appliance hanging or standing thermometers are inexpensive, easy to use, and accurate for these purposes.

Part of the reason your appliance may not stay at these temperatures is that your food is packed too tightly inside. The cold air should be able to circulate throughout the fridge or freezer unhindered. This is open a problem so remember keep food six inches off the floor and six inches away from the walls.

Keep Your Customers Safe

Cold storage is a simple and effective way to keep people safe when handling food. By staying up to date on proper practices and verifying your temperatures are maintained, you are doing your part to prevent foodborne illnesses in your operation.

Click here to learn more about food safety and schedule training and consultations from a world-class company that wants to keep you safe.

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