As a business owner who sells edible goods, you know the importance of quality when it comes to taste. Maintaining proper cold storage is just as essential, as it dictates whether food is safe to consume. When food is incorrectly stored, your customers face a greater risk of foodborne illness. Your business is also at risk since foodborne illnesses will damage your reputation and result in legal trouble. This guide explains how to safely store food for the best possible results.
How Is Proper Cold Storage Defined?
Owners of restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores must know which temperatures are ideal for their goods. Food is most likely to develop harmful bacteria if left unrefrigerated in the temperature range of 40° F to 140° F, as bacteria growth accelerates within this range.
The longer food is left out, the greater the risk of bacterial growth. Food should never be left unrefrigerated for longer than two hours or one hour if the temperature is greater than 90° F.
You must also make sure the thermostat on the refrigeration equipment is appropriately set. The device should be at or below 40° F, while the freezer thermostat should be set to 0° F.
What Are the Health Risks of Eating Improperly Stored Food?
E. coli is one type of bacteria that can lead to serious bouts of illness after eating improperly stored food. Symptoms include serious gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, a person can become dehydrated and require hospitalization.
Salmonella poisoning can also have a significant impact on a person's health. Like E. coli, it's associated with gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but it can also cause fever and chills. Proper storage of raw meat and poultry is needed to reduce the risk of salmonella infection. Uncooked meats must be kept separate from ready-to-eat foods when refrigerated.
If you want to entrust an experienced professional to handle your cold storage needs, turn to Unicold Corporation in Honolulu, HI. These professionals operate a large warehouse that features industrial refrigeration equipment to hold your inventory. They'll protect your goods by performing regular inspections and maintenance to prevent equipment malfunctions. To learn more about their services, visit them online or call (808) 836-2931.