If you own or manage a restaurant, you already know how important it is to comply with health codes. One crucial aspect of a health code that can impact the health and safety of your customers is the cleanliness and safety of the cooling units. Another is the temperature that food is stored at. Therefore, it is crucial to be sure that the commercial refrigeration that your facility uses is always functioning properly and in accordance with state and federal guidelines.
Know What The Maximum And Minimum Temperature Is For Cold And Frozen Foods
A common set-up in many eating establishments is the use of both a walk-in cooler and a nearby freezer. To stay on top of appropriate cooling, you should verify that the each cooling unit complies with current standards for safe temperatures.
The U.S. Department of Energy has stated that, if the total area being cooled does not exceed 3,000 square feet, the refrigerated unit must always be between 32 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A freezer must always be below 32 degrees.
Keep The Unit Clean And Easy To Use
A refrigerator or freezer unit used in a commercial setting that has spoiled food, messes that have not been cleaned up or mold in it is considered to be unsafe. If the health department were to see any of these issues, you could be fined and repeated infractions could cause your food permit to be removed.
Fortunately, by checking all of the areas daily that store food and cleaning up a mess, you can prevent that burden. Mold is more likely if the temperature is not kept at the necessary levels but could also occur if there is a leak somewhere that permits water or another wet substance to stagnate for a period of time.
In addition, everything should be easy to clean, so be sure your commercial refrigeration does not have any imperfections on its walls, ceiling or floor that could encourage bacteria or mold to develop. One aspect of that is effective organizing and dating of all food items to limit the possibility of expired food being stored or sold. Another issue to consider is the lighting within the refrigerator, so make sure that after labeling the foods, the lighting does not interfere with being able to see its information.
In conclusion, complying with existing health codes is necessary for your restaurant to receive a permit and to be allowed to renew it. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of and comply with current standards for your walk in cooler and freezers.
Talk to commercial refrigeration companies, such as Sparks Refrigeration, for more information about your specific coolers and how you can keep them in compliance with heath codes.