Cleanliness and proper arrangement play a crucial role in food service organisations. It does not only keep the place neat and orderly, but it also helps you to find things quickly and easily. Here the word cleanliness is not specifically restricted to your restaurant’s kitchen, but it also includes the commercial fridge that is, of course, an important part of the pantry.
If you are running an eatery, here are some useful tips to help you clean and organise your commercial fridge effectively.
1. Unplug Your Refrigerator
The first thing to do to get a clutter-free fridge is to unplug it. We know it’s a walk in the park for you because you have to do it every other day but still, you need to be careful as large commercial refrigerators use high voltage which could be very dangerous if handled carelessly.
2. Take Out All The Stuff
Now that the refrigerator is unplugged take out all the items stored on the shelves and empty the refrigerator. The ideal time to take up cleaning of a commercial fridge is just before the new stock of food items arrive. The main reason for this being you’re likely to have very little storage left in the fridge from the previous stock and that can easily be stored in a cool place, a small fridge or perhaps a cold room.
3. Sorting Of Things
Take a good look at all the items you take out from the fridge and figure out which ones are going to get spoilt very soon. Separate such doubtful items from the good ones and throw them out without wasting a minute. Keep a simple thing in mind – ‘when in doubt, throw it out’. Also, check the expiry date of remaining food products. Remember expired and mouldy food does not deserve a place in your freshly cleaned fridge.
4. Wipe Down The Fridge Thoroughly
Once you’ve taken out the stored items from the refrigerator and thrown away the spoilt ones, you will be a step closer to clearing up the space and organising it. Just fill some soapy and warm water in a bucket, grab a sponge and give the shelves and compartment within a thorough wipe down. Ensure that you wash bread trays and wipe the door both from inside and out to clear the space properly. Once you are done, make sure that your fridge is free from the smell of soap.
5. Time To Use A Sanitizer
Bacteria and mould are not new to your fridge and can cost you dearly, so never take them for granted. After cleaning the inner surface, use a food-safe sanitizer to disinfect the entire space and to get rid of any lingering bacteria.
6. Treat The Coils And Condenser
If you are thinking that you are done with cleaning, then let us tell you that this thought is premature as some external components of the fridge are to be cleaned as well. Over time, coils and condenser could collect dust and debris resulting into clogging of air which might hinder the cooling and that will be catastrophic for the food items stored within, not to mention you will end up paying high electricity bills. So just clean the protective grill on the top and bottom section of the fridge, brush the coil and its fan, and free up the space of all dust.
7. Restore The Shelves In The Right Way
This means that the cleaning part is successfully done and the fridge is now ready to store food items once again. But make sure that you are putting the shelves back in their proper order.
Also, follow the right method to stock food, for example – on the top portion, place the frequently used items like butter, condiments, vegetables and fruits. On the next shelf, place seafood followed by raw meat. Place ground meat in proper trays and containers next. And at last, put poultry like turkey and chicken in the bottom shelf.
The right order of placing food items will help you prevent the growth of bacteria and it will also stop the juices from trickling down on the surface below and contaminating other food products
8. Colour-Coded Bins To Make The Search Easy
Colour coded tote boxes will help your staff members differentiate between food items easily. For instance, store a particular item in one coloured box and use the same trick for other food items as well. After a while you will find that retrieving things from the fridge becomes fairly easy and quick.
9. Follow FIFO Rule
FIFO or First-In-First-Out is a great way to avoid disarrangement of food items. Moreover, you will always find things in their right order and at the right place.
These tips are easy to apply and are really helpful if cleaning your commercial fridge is something that intimidates you. We hope that these tips will help you in keeping your fridge squeaky clean and super organised.