The fridge in your restaurant kitchen is your biggest line of defense against unsafe food conditions. Everyone knows how difficult it is to keep your home fridge clean and that's only used by your family! Your whole kitchen staff uses your restaurant fridge - it's bound to get disorganized. We made a simple guide to keeping your restaurant fridge clean.
1. Label Everything
One quintessential part of restaurant organization is labeling. For the best organization, you should label the shelves on your fridge and all the items in it. Keep permanent markers and stickers near your fridge so any chef can label their food.
Another benefit of labeling your fridge and food items is the ease of use. Anyone coming into your kitchen knows where things go in your fridge and how long they've been there. Labeling your fridge and the items inside it is the most convenient way to keep your fridge organized and clean.
2. Keep Meat on the Bottom
Meat belongs on the lowest shelves of your fridge. This will make clean-up easier if it drips. Alongside that, this lowers the risk of cross-contamination. Make sure to label your meat shelf so everyone in your kitchen knows where the meat goes.
3. Leave Room for Circulation
Refrigerators cool your food through air circulation. To best allow your food to cool, leave some room between containers and items. This will promote better air circulation to cool your food more efficiently.
4. Keep Delicate Produce Away from Fans
Because fridges are cooled by air movement, there are fans constantly blowing into the fridge. This doesn't have any adverse effects on most food. Delicate produce, like cilantro, parsley, and kale, doesn't do well with fans. The constant movement and dry air tends to wilt this produce. Make sure to keep it covered and away from constantly moving air.
5. Keep Everything in Eco Friendly Containers
Most food does best when not exposed to open air; it tends to dry out or wilt. Keeping your food in covered eco friendly cups and containers provides an extra layer of protection. Alongside that, containers allow you to keep your food organized and stackable.
Try these eco friendly cups with lids.
6. Practice FIFO
You may recognize this term from accounting, it means "first in, first out" or FIFO. It's a helpful philosophy espoused by many restaurants. It basically means The first food that's in your restaurant is the first food that comes out. This will help reduce waste and rotten food.
7. Disinfect Weekly
Organized fridges naturally stay cleaner than disorganized fridges. That doesn't mean they don't need to be disinfected though! Each week, you should remove all the items in your fridge and wipe down the inside with disinfectant. This keeps your fridge clean and safe to use, while also giving you a chance to reorganize and make sure everything is in the right place.
Keeping your restaurant fridge clean is a simple process that just involves a little bit of planning. A clean kitchen fridge is worth the work.