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10 Tips for Safe Food Storage in Your Restaurant

November 29, 2021
6 min read

K Garden

Blogger

10 Food Storage Guidelines to Follow in Your Bistro, Café or Restaurant

If you own, run or manage a bistro, café, restaurant or any other type of eatery, you already know how important it is to follow food storage guidelines.

Proper food storage affects the reputation of your establishment, the happiness and health of your customers and the quality of the items stored on site. Of course, you also don't want to run afoul of public health inspectors or Food Safety and Inspection Service .

As a restaurant owner you are most likely already aware of best practices when it comes to food storage. As a service provider, BuyDirect from Mission wanted to share the top 10 food storage tips.

Food Storage Guidelines: 10 Tips for Your Restaurant

1. Pay Attention to Stock Rotation

The “first in, first out” — or FIFO rule — is the standard restaurant system employed for ensuring that food closest to its use by date is used before it goes bad. By paying attention to your stock rotation, you won't waste food, forget about food stored out of sight or accidentally serve food past its expiration date.

2. Monitor Food Labelling

Kitchen staff should label deliveries and stock — especially if the packaging is not clearly labeled already — as soon as it arrives. This adds to proper food storage by ensuring that FIFO is used, and it helps staff keep items that need to be stored separately apart at all times.

3. Keep Storage Spaces Clean and Dry

Your bistro, café or restaurant storage space(s) need to be kept clean, dry and as hygienic as possible to discourage mold growth, unsanitary storage conditions or an invasion by hungry pests (rats, roaches, etc.).

4. Remember to Store Food Off the Floor

Food needs to be stored, at a bare minimum, six inches (15 centimeters) off the floor by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law. State and county health codes may even require a higher off-the-ground minimum to keep water and floor grime away from food packaging.

5. Store Food in Airtight Containers

Moisture and oxygen cause food to go bad and spoil. Airtight containers with lids will help food last longer when it’s in dry or cold storage.

6. Keep an Eye on Refrigerator Temperature Control

When reviewing food safety fridge storage, make sure you and your staff keep an eye on refrigerator temperature control, ensuring that internal temperatures don’t fluctuate too much or go off, letting food inside the fridge spoil.

7. Place Meat as Low as Possible

Meat in containers, wrapped up or stored some other way should be placed as low as possible, while still respecting the six inches above the floor minimum. Whenever storing meat, a low position will help keep meat drippings — and gravity — from contaminating other stored food in the same location.

8. Store Toxic Chemicals Separately from Food

Ensure that those potent cleaning products and other toxic chemicals are stored separately and far away from all food items.

9. Monitor Delivery Item Temperatures

The temperature of fresh produce, fish and other fresh delivered goods should be measured to ensure that the correct temperatures were maintained during delivery.

10. Share Safe Food Storage Information and Conduct Staff Training

Post safe food storage information, laws and general food safety guidelines in multiple locations where kitchen staff and other employees can easily find these notices. Also, periodically conduct staff training on proper food storage rules and techniques for new hires, as well as refreshers for your current staff.