Improve food safety standards in your foodservice establishment by properly organizing your storage room. Consider the following vital details when planning how to effectively arrange your kitchen’s food storage area.

Practice the FIFO Rule
Protect food quality while improving safety procedures by incorporating the first-in-first-out plan. When receiving a new shipment of produce, meats or other dry goods, have these placed behind ingredients you currently have so the existing food is used first. Develop an organizational chart to account for all foods and ingredients.

Add Proper Shelving
Invest in quality wire , wall mounted or polymer shelving to keep your food storage room organized. Create a menu schematic for placement of food items to maximize space and emphasize frequent cleaning to your kitchen staff.

Use Labels
Labeling all food items with the date it was received helps your staff keep track of the freshness of your ingredients. Give each item its own designated shelf or area to improve the organization of your storage room even further.

Refrigeration & Temperature Control
Prevent overfill by providing plenty of space between foods, containers, bags and bins in refrigerators and freezers. Packing food tightly causes equipment to work extra hard or may stop cooling altogether.

Tip: Have thermometers on hand to ensure your restaurant’s food is stored properly, and is consistently served at the correct temperature.

Meats, Produce and Dry Goods
Meats should be stored on the lowest shelf to reduce the chance of dripping juices and contamination of other ingredients. Keep meats in food pans with lids to prevent spillage in your storage room.

For produce, place items away from fans since fruits and vegetables are more susceptible to damage. Refrigerate at the same temperature as your meat and dairy products. Store these items in the front of your storage room and away from foods with strong odors.

Dry goods should stay in cool and dry areas with good ventilation and refrigerated between 50 to70 degrees Fahrenheit. To reduce bacterial growth, humidity should be held at 60% or lower. Make sure that dry goods are stored away from any type of heating equipment.

For more tips on how to properly store food and better organize your storage room, visit the foodsafety.gov website.

Visit our Food Storage Guide for additional information on proper food safety and organization.