Fast facts about Perishables:-
- All Perishables has a limited shelf life
- The length of shelf life depends on the type of Perishables, package conditions and how carefully it is stored
- By taking a few simple precautions you can maintain the quality of perishable for as long as possible
Guidelines to Store these Perishables:-
Perishables include Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy Produce, Fish & Meat, Medicine & Reagents etc… etc. It is usually stored in the Cooler / Chiller Or Freezer Rooms / Cabinets.
Refrigeration can substantially reduce the rate at which the Perishable will deteriorate. If stored in desired Temperatures, It will slow down the growth of micro-organisms and the rate of chemical (including enzymic) changes affecting the quality of Perishables. These are two of the main causes of Perishable / Food spoilage.
There are simple things you can do to maximise your refrigerator’s shelf life. They include:
At equal intervals check the Temperatures of the Refrigerated Cabinet. This will ensure that the system is operating correctly. To do this you should use Temperature Indicators, Controllers and If the Perishable is highly temperature sensitive, then go for a Data-logger. The Temperature Indicator should be calibrated.
- Avoid dumping of perishables inside the Cold Room, in-order to ensure good air circulation around each item. Proper storage keeps your food in healthy condition and keeps it safe from the growth of food poisoning bacteria
- Avoid frequent opening of the Doors. In-case of Walk in Freezers, opt for an Ante-Room, to avoid direct ingress of Ambient Air into the Freezer Room.
Follow these tips to help prolong the shelf life of your food:-
Locate your Refrigeration Cabinet / Walk in Cold Room in an area with adequate air space to allow it to operate effectively. Avoid locating the refrigerated Room / Cabinet, in very hot places such as next to an oven etc.
- Use Temperature Indicators and keep the door of the Cold Room / Cabinet open for the shortest possible time.
- Defrost the refrigeration system regularly. Ice build up reduces the operation efficiency. This does not apply to automatic defrost models. Door seals should also be checked regularly.
- Dispose of any spoiled perishable / food. Putting it in a colder part of the refrigerator will not stop it deteriorating further.
- In Restaurants, Cover all cooked foods and when practical, store them on a shelf above uncooked foods. This minimises the risk of food poisoning organisms being transferred from uncooked to cooked food through drip.
- Foods with strong odours, such as sea-foods and some cheeses, should be wrapped, and you should avoid storing them for long periods near food such as milk and cream which are susceptible to tainting.
- Some flexible films are effective barriers to the transmission of odours but they are not readily available to consumers. The common cling wrap polyethylene and PVC films are not very effective barriers but they are useful in the short term and stop spillages. Closed glass or plastic containers are preferable.