How to safely store food in coldrooms

search 25 Feb 2022

safely store food in misa coldrooms

When it comes to food products, freshness and quality are always top priorities. You know this very well, out of experience. Whether you own a restaurant or you are planning an outdoor picnic or you are serving meals in a service area during a trip, you definitely want to offer your guests delicious dishes with fresh ingredients. This is why the coldroom is essential. However, purchase is only the first step: in order to perfectly process and store the products, the coldroom needs a bit of care.


Hygiene: the top priority

If you want to keep your food fresh for as long as possible to prepare it and then sell it, there are a few rules to follow. For this purpose, the European Union Regulation on the hygiene of food products is binding, in particular Regulations (EC) N. 852/2004, 853/2004 and 854/2004. This regulation defines, at European level, the health standards to be met and also lists the basic criteria. It also defines what you should know in order to avoid sanctions, as the user of the coldroom.


No chance for bacteria

Just like your kitchen, your coldroom must be clean and sanitized. To do so, it is not enough to carry out a daily visual check, or regular cleanings and inspections: an HACCP system is also required. The Hazard-Analysis-Critical-Control-Points-System involves a continuous process based on HACCP principles. Its purpose is to nip bacteria in the bud, ensuring constant hygiene in the coldroom.


The right temperature: a key factor

The prerequisite for reliable refrigeration is the right temperature. It varies according to the type of product and the type of preservation desired. Frozen products – with the exception of ice cream – should be stored at -18 °C, frozen products such as meat, poultry or eggs at -12 °C. The same applies to packaged ice cream. Chilled fresh fish, minced meat and minced meat products must be stored at +2 °C, poultry and egg products at +4 °C. Fresh meat, ready meals and food containing raw eggs should be stored at +7 °C. Milk, cheese, cream cheese, butter and other dairy products can be stored at +10 °C. When cooking and handling food products, it is essential to adhere to these specific temperatures and to document them in writing. If there is not a constant temperature in the coldroom, the food inside will spoil more quickly.


Storage works in the same way

However, choosing the right temperature is not enough for a perfect storage. How do you store your food? What kind of packaging do you use, and how do you handle the food you produce? All these questions are essential to get the most out of your coldroom: fresh, high-quality food. This is why you should divide your food into product groups: meat, fish, salad, dairy products, cheese and eggs. This prevents the transfer of bacteria from one product to the other. Especially with meat and eggs, the transfer of bacteria is dangerous and can lead to food poisoning. Using the right packaging is just as important; and never use wood! It cannot go inside a coldroom. However, you can vacuum-pack food that has already been processed. This does not affect the taste and helps extend the storage period.


Let the air flow!

Storing food in large or stacked containers is not only impractical, but also not recommended for coldrooms, because cold air must be able to circulate freely to reach all the products. Needless to say, the prescribed storage times and the expiry date of the food must be observed. For your documentation, it is also necessary to prove that the cold chain has not been interrupted.