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The Proper Temperatures for Safe Commercial Refrigeration

Posted by JES Team on 7/24/2015
The Proper Temperatures for Safe Commercial Refrigeration

In the foodservice industry, maintaining safe commercial refrigeration temperatures is of utmost importance to ensure the preservation of perishable items, prevent foodborne illnesses, and comply with health and safety regulations. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other commercial establishments must adhere to specific temperature guidelines to guarantee the quality and safety of their products. In this blog, we will delve into the proper temperatures for safe commercial refrigeration and the significance of each range in preserving food integrity.


Refrigeration Basics

Before delving into specific temperature ranges, it's essential to understand the basics of refrigeration. Commercial refrigeration systems are designed to keep food items at lower temperatures to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and maintain freshness. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies have set guidelines to ensure that food remains safe for consumption from the moment it is prepared or received until it is served or sold to customers.


Refrigerator Temperature Guidelines

Refrigerator Section:

The ideal temperature range for a commercial refrigerator is between 32°F (0°C) and 40°F (4°C). This temperature range slows down bacterial growth and helps to preserve perishable food items like meat, dairy products, and vegetables. It is crucial to maintain the refrigerator at a steady temperature to prevent fluctuations that could lead to food spoilage.

Freezer Section:

The temperature in the commercial freezer should be set to 0°F (-18°C) or below. Freezing food items halts the growth of bacteria, ensuring the preservation of food quality for an extended period. When storing items in the freezer, make sure they are adequately wrapped or stored in airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.


Storage and Placement of Food Items

Proper storage and organization of food items within the commercial refrigerator are equally important to maintain a safe environment:

Avoid Overcrowding:

Ensure that the refrigerator is not overcrowded, as this can obstruct airflow and result in uneven temperature distribution.

Separation of Raw and Cooked Foods:

Always store raw meat, poultry, and seafood in sealed containers or bags to prevent cross-contamination. Position these items on the lower shelves to prevent any potential drips onto other foods.

Proper Shelving:

Use the refrigerator's shelving to your advantage. Place cooked or ready-to-eat foods above raw items to prevent any drips from contaminating prepared foods.


Monitoring and Maintenance

Consistent monitoring and maintenance of commercial refrigeration equipment are essential to ensure optimal performance:

Regular Temperature Checks:

Staff members should routinely check and record the refrigerator and freezer temperatures to ensure they are within the recommended ranges.

Calibration and Maintenance:

Schedule regular maintenance and calibration of refrigeration units by trained professionals to identify and rectify any issues promptly.

Door Seals and Gaskets:

Inspect and clean door seals and gaskets regularly to prevent air leaks that can compromise temperature consistency.


Maintaining proper temperatures for commercial refrigeration is critical to preserve food safety, quality, and customer satisfaction. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this blog, businesses in the foodservice industry can mitigate the risk of foodborne illnesses, reduce food waste, and comply with health and safety regulations. Regular monitoring, proper storage, and regular maintenance are the key elements to ensure commercial refrigeration functions efficiently and effectively, safeguarding the well-being of both consumers and the business itself.


Anna
Date 5/31/2017
Can you store meat, produce and beer in the same walkin box?
JES Restaurant Equipment ~
Date 6/1/2017
Anna - You can, as long as you're storing everything at the temperature of the item that requires the lowest temperature out of all three; the items are not stored together on the same shelf area, and they're each sealed appropriately.
Elaine
Date 6/7/2017
Do you know what the required restaurant temperature should be, specifically for customers during the summer?
JES Restaurant Equipment ~
Date 6/9/2017
Elaine, If you're referring to the environment temperature in the restaurant itself, refrigeration units start becoming affected by the outside temperature when it reaches 75 degrees and above. For cold foods, holding temp should be at 41°F or below. Keep in mind the danger zone: 41°F-135°F; potentially hazardous foods exposed to this temp range for a cumulative total of more than 4 hours are not safe to eat.
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