Grocery stores refrigerate their products overnight
The great gastro cooling guide
The catering industry places high demands on the cooling of food. Certain maximum cooling and freezing temperatures are specified for perishable food. The storage of the food and the documentation of the cooling temperatures must also follow certain guidelines. In our cooling guide, we summarize what you need to pay attention to depending on the cooling device.
Temperatures in the refrigerator
Your storage refrigerator should ideally guarantee a temperature range of + 2 ° C to + 8 ° C. The temperature is normally increasing. This means that the temperatures in the lower compartments of the refrigerator are lower than those in the upper ones. The maximum temperatures for various foods are specified in DIN standard 10508. You should check daily whether these are adhered to in the refrigerator. It is important that you check the temperature in each area of your cooling device and, if necessary, supplement internal measurements with an external thermometer. In addition to measuring the ambient temperature, you should also check the temperature of the product surface in addition to the ambient temperature for foods for which maintaining the correct temperature (e.g. fish, raw meat) is particularly important. There is also a special rule for fish: it must be stored in melted ice at a maximum temperature of + 2 ° C.
It is best to set your freezer to a temperature of -18 ° C. It is especially important that a core temperature of -15 ° C is maintained. If this is exceeded, the best-before date can no longer be guaranteed. As with the refrigerator, the storage temperature should be checked daily. The same applies to refrigerated and ice cream showcases.
Temperatures in the refrigerated display case
When it comes to the refrigerated display case, what matters is which foods you present to your guests. It is also crucial that you pay attention to the separation of prepared and raw food. Fresh fruit should therefore not be left open next to cakes and other pastries. When setting the temperature, you should adhere to the maximum temperatures of the food on display. A temperature of +6 - 10 ° C is recommended in a café in which mainly cakes and sweet snacks are in the display case. If, on the other hand, it is a meat counter, the maximum temperature is much lower.
Temperatures in the ice cream case
Ice cream that is sold in scoops in an ice cream parlor, for example, should be stored in a conventional freezer at -18 ° C until the day of sale. The ideal sales temperature is -12 to -14 ° C. A temperature of -10 ° C should not be exceeded. At the end of the day of sale, opened ice containers must be stored tightly closed in the freezer and used as soon as possible.
What should I do if the temperature is exceeded?
If you notice an excess during the daily temperature check, you do not have to throw away the affected food directly. However, you should be sure that the excess temperature was only brief. That is why the daily checks are so essential. In addition, the temperature rise must not be too extreme. If, for example, their complete cooling fails overnight, frozen products and perishable products such as raw meat can no longer be saved. However, if the temperature rise is only a few degrees, it is your responsibility to assess whether the food is still usable. In any case, you should try to consume all affected foods as quickly as possible. In addition, you should immediately try to clarify and eliminate the cause of the increased temperature.
In addition to the correct cooling temperatures, other conditions are also decisive for the hygiene of your cooling device. Among other things, regular and thorough cleaning is crucial. In this article we have summarized what you have to pay attention to.
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