Food Safety- Store, Hold, and Prep with Confidence

Food safety is one of the many responsibilities that foodservice operations take when they open their doors every day. As professionals in the industry, we work hard to ensure our patrons' safety and work hard to ensure that they enjoy their experience. In this webinar, Metro's storage experts will take you through our solutions for improving your storage to help enhance your food safety efforts.

First, let's look at some storage mistakes that can cause safety issues in your kitchen.

1.Wet nesting – This occurs when dishes are stacked before drying, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. 

For more information on wet nesting, check out our in-depth article here.

2.Time causing temperature fluctuations- Even if food reaches a safe temperature during the cooking process, it will eventually reach the temperature danger zone and be unsafe to serve if it is left out.

3.Cross contamination- Sometimes, things can get crazy in the kitchen, but a lack of organization and precaution during these moments can cause cross contamination. Cross contamination is dangerous and cannot be taken lightly.

4.Non-effective Cleaning processes- If you do not have a proper cleaning process in place, you need one. This is especially true in storage areas.

Now let's break down the individual fixes Metro offers for each of these areas and how your operation can benefit.

To combat wet-nesting, use a drying rack with plenty of airflow and dividers to keep dishes from piling up. The airflow will speed up the drying process, and the open design will allow the water to drip down as it condenses, leaving you with perfectly dried supplies. For additional safety for your staff, some drying racks also include a drip pan for the water that runs off as dishes dry. This prevents puddles from accumulating in the dish area that might make the floor slippery as staff work.

For further protection from mold, fungi, and bacteria, look for a drying rack with an antimicrobial additive. In Metro products, Microban antimicrobials are added during the production process to help keep your shelf cleaner, longer and is perfect for the dish area's warm, humid environment. The average dish area is the ideal breeding ground for mold and fungi, but with Microban, your shelf has an additional layer of protection.

Shop Metro's line of dish drying racks here.

Next, we have temperature retention. Retaining the temperature of food for long periods without affecting the quality of the product is a challenge. Thankfully, Metro has many solutions for the safe holding of food.

For large venues that often have many people to feed, we would generally suggest a heated cabinet. Heated cabinets are a great way to maintain the temperature and quality of large amounts of food. One of the many benefits of a heated cabinet is that it can be customized based on the necessary humidity for proper holding. This is a large component of maintaining quality. The added humidity is excellent for keeping foods moist even if they are held for an extended period.

Refer to our cabinet page for more information on how our heated holding cabinets can help make your holding routine safer.

If you are on-the-go or work with smaller crowds, an ideal solution for your operation would be our Mightylite pan carriers. Mightylite can keep foods hot or cold for 5+ hours. An added benefit of the Mightylite carrier is that it is one of the lightest on the market. So, not only is your food being held safely, your team will have an easier time moving each individual carrier compared to the competition.

For information on Mightylite, refer to its product page.

The next safety issue that we see all too often is cross contamination. Cross contamination is the accidental transfer of bacteria and other microorganisms from one object to another.

To help work against cross contamination, make your prep system organized and efficient. This can be done with the use of Prepmate prep tables. Prepmate is an ideal solution to ensure that cutting boards and tools aren't being reused. The reuse of tools and the improper storage of goods post prep is a common area where cross contamination occurs. The Prepmate allows you to have all the tools you need on hand with individual cutting boards for each food category. This prevents any mix-ups that could cause contamination of the product.

Finally, to maintain a safe environment, it is essential to keep it clean! To do this, simply invest in solutions that are easy to clean. These would include shelves with mats that can be added to the dishwasher for efficient cleaning.