The investment in the right commercial fridge for your business will allow you to keep food fresher for longer. Several factors need to be considered when choosing the best fridge for your requirements, most noticeably price but also the warranty period, availability of spare parts and technical support. Because all of these things need to be thought about, we strongly recommend you seek advice from the experienced team at Thermo Tech regarding equipment choice, application, maintenance and business fit.
Once you have purchased your commercial fridge, you can extend the life of the products you put in it and greatly reduce food waste by giving serious thought to storage. When we go out to perform maintenance on commercial fridges, be they walk-in cool rooms or free standing cabinets, we are amazed at how little thought goes into food storage – and this is from supposed food professionals! So to help your fridge do an even better job, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Don’t overfill your walk-in fridge. Ensure there is sufficient cold air circulation to inhibit the growth of mould and other bacteria. Allow at least five centimetres space between each container so that fresh, cool air can easily flow between each one. Overstuffing the unit also means higher power bills as the fridge has to work harder to cool more items. Work with us before you buy a commercial fridge to ensure you select one that can comfortably fit everything you need to put into it.
- Be more strategic with your storage. For example, foods that are more temperature-sensitive, including raw meat and fish, are best placed in the coldest areas of your unit. In a walk-in cooler, for example, the lower bottom shelves at the back of the unit tend to be coolest. More stable items can be placed in warmer areas, such as near the door where warm air can infiltrate the cooler, and on higher shelves.
- Check the temperature. An obvious one at first glance but we see a lot of commercial fridges operating at the wrong temperature. Know the optimum storage temperatures of your food products and ensure that the unit is set to the correct range.
- Keep bottom shelves well clear of the ground. If you have a walk-in cooler, bottom shelves should be about 15 centimetres off the floor to allow for proper circulation as well as making the area easier to clean. Avoid stacking items right up to the ceiling or it will block air movement.
- Follow your FIFO rules. In this case, FIFO means first in, first out. Whatever item has been in the unit the longest should be used first. In addition, pay closer attention to labelling so you know what is what and how long it has been there for. Labelling is often ignored when things get busy but it’s a good idea to spend some time making sure everything is clearly marked.
Regular maintenance is also an important consideration. Even the best commercial fridges require regular attention, even when operating satisfactorily, as this will maximise reliability and extend the service life of the unit. It’s often the case that annual maintenance costs less than a single repair so contact us and we’ll put a programme in place.