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Food storage in your restaurant

Fouad Al Antaki

By following four simple steps, we can all reduce the risk of food poisoning:

  • Maintaining hygiene
  • Separating raw and cooked foods
  • Cooking food thoroughly
  • Storing food at safe temperatures

As food safety is essential, kitchen staff must fully train on food storage protocols, including:

  • Rotating food stocks by establishing “First, In First Out” (FIFO) rules to help prevent food wastage.
  • Labeling food to ensure everyone in the kitchen knows what foods need to be used first, and that you are following correct food safety procedures for quality and freshness.
  • Keeping food in airtight containers to prevent spoilage and increase its shelf life by avoiding contact with bacteria and contaminants.
  • Storing meats at the bottom of the fridge to safeguard against any contamination from meat juices dripping onto other items.
  • Controlling temperatures, with refrigerators kept below 4°C and freezers below -18°C. Avoid storing food in “Danger Zone” temperatures between 4°C to 60°C, which allow bacteria to multiply rapidly. Your cooling equipment must have internal thermometers that must be checked regularly.
  • Not overloading storage spaces, which may raise temperatures and cause a bout of food poisoning.
  • Ensuring cleanliness in all areas, including shelves, storage units, and equipment, all of which must be spic and span! Keep all your items at least 6-12 inches off the floor to prevent potential contamination from water, dust, and dirt.