As a restaurant owner, you want to ensure your customers enjoy delicious meals with fresh ingredients. However, spoilage can happen if the cold storage unit isn't working, so recognizing the early signs of failure will help you avoid expired food. Here are a few signs to watch for.

How to Tell If Food Is Spoiling

1. Slime

Bacteria collect on spoiled meat and create a smelly, slimy film on the surface. Toss spoiled meat and wash your hands after touching it to avoid spreading the decay.

cold storage

Bacteria, like salmonella and E. coli, cause illness when ingested, and they can transfer to other foods nearby. To help your proteins last longer, freeze anything you don’t intend to use in the coming week.

2. Mold

Mold is small fungi that grow in green, white, black, and gray colonies on expiring food. It’s most common on perishables, like vegetables, bread, and fruit, and can cause allergic reactions when ingested. These microscopic spores spread easily and can quickly contaminate other items in cold storage, so toss moldy foods immediately and clean the fridge's walls and shelves monthly.

3. Rancid Odors

If a piece of fruit, dairy, or meat looks slick or discolored, sniff it to check its freshness. Mold, yeast, and bacteria release foul-smelling chemicals when they decompose food. These chemical changes are a clear sign of spoilage, and the ingredients shouldn't be used.


If your restaurant needs more cold storage space to prevent food spoilage, turn to the team at Unicold Corporation in Honolulu, HI. These professionals have protected their customers’ perishables since 1962. They offer clean, chilled warehouse space to minimize bacteria and regulate temperatures, and they keep their refrigerators well-maintained to avoid unforeseen malfunctions. To get more information about their services, visit the website or call (808) 836-2931.