Food storage

When storing foods take the following precautions:

Refrigeration

  • Store all perishable foods at temperatures that will prevent spoilage:
    • 4 degrees C (40 degrees F) or lower for the refrigerator
    • -18 degrees C (0 degrees F) or lower for the freezer
  • Place thermometers in the warmest part of the refrigerator and freezer (near the door) and check them daily.
  • Set up refrigerators to allow for air circulation around shelves and walls. This helps maintain proper food temperatures.

Unrefrigerated Foods

  • Always examine food before using it to make sure it is not spoiled, dirty, moldy, or infested with insects.
  • Store unrefrigerated foods in clean, rodent- and insect-proof, covered metal, glass, or hard plastic containers. (Check local bakeries for containers that they consider disposable or get them from restaurant equipment suppliers.)
  • Store food containers about 15 centimeters (6 inches) above the floor on racks or other clean slotted surfaces that permit air circulation.
  • Keep storerooms dry and free from leaky plumbing or drainage problems. Repair all holes and cracks to prevent insect and rodent infestation.
  • Keep storerooms cool — about 16 degrees C (60 degrees F) — to increase the food’s shelf life.
  • Store all food items separately from non-food items.

Keeping Track of Stored Foods

  • Use an inventory system: The first food stored is the first food used. This ensures proper rotation.
  • Inspect food daily for spoilage.