Organization of a Restaurant’s Food Storage Room

By TriMark R.W. Smith

Improve food safety standards in your foodservice establishment by properly organizing your storage room. Consider the following vital details when planning how to effectively arrange your kitchen’s food storage area.

Restaurant Food Storage Best PracticesPractice the FIFO Rule

Protect food quality while improving safety procedures by incorporating the first-in-first-out plan. When receiving a new shipment of produce, meats or other dry goods, have these placed behind ingredients you currently have so the existing food is used first. Develop an organizational chart to account for all foods and ingredients.

Add Proper Shelving

Invest in quality wire , wall mounted or polymer shelving to keep your food storage room organized. Create a menu schematic for placement of food items to maximize space and emphasize frequent cleaning to your kitchen staff.

Use Labels

Labeling all food items with the date it was received helps your staff keep track of the freshness of your ingredients. Give each item its own designated shelf or area to improve the organization of your storage room even further.

Refrigeration & Temperature Control

Prevent overfill by providing plenty of space between foods, containers, bags and bins in refrigerators and freezers. Packing food tightly causes equipment to work extra hard or may stop cooling altogether.

Tip: Have thermometers on hand to ensure your restaurant’s food is stored properly, and is consistently served at the correct temperature.

Meats, Produce and Dry Goods

Meats should be stored on the lowest shelf to reduce the chance of dripping juices and contamination of other ingredients. Keep meats in food pans with lids to prevent spillage in your storage room.

For produce, place items away from fans since fruits and vegetables are more susceptible to damage. Refrigerate at the same temperature as your meat and dairy products. Store these items in the front of your storage room and away from foods with strong odors.

Dry goods should stay in cool and dry areas with good ventilation and refrigerated between 50 to70 degrees Fahrenheit. To reduce bacterial growth, humidity should be held at 60% or lower. Make sure that dry goods are stored away from any type of heating equipment.

For more tips on how to properly store food and better organize your storage room, visit the foodsafety.gov website.

Visit our Food Storage & Safety Guide for additional information on proper food safety and organization.

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4 Comments on Organization of a Restaurant’s Food Storage Room

  1. Elaine
    July 10, 2015 3:08 am at 3:08 am (4 years ago)

    There are so many recipes for freezing and conserving the food that organizing it perfectly is absolutely necessary for me. Thanks for sharing those tips!

    Reply
  2. Jessie Harrison
    April 27, 2016 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm (3 years ago)

    For a restaurant, you can’t have just any refrigerator. I imagine the room has to be very large. In that case, the room would have to be kept at a certain temperature. If that’s the case how do you gauge the proper shelving with temperature control?

    Reply
    • Lauren Zeleniak
      April 28, 2016 7:40 am at 7:40 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you for your comment. For more specific information regarding the proper temperature of kitchen spaces and refrigeration units, please reach out to our commercial kitchen design and build division to go over the many driving factors which include number of refrigerated units, proximity to ovens and other heated equipment, structure of exhaust systems and more. Please email info@rwsmithdesign.com for further assistance. We appreciate your interest in our article and taking the time to contact us!

      R.W. Smith & Co.

      Reply
  3. Kit Hannigan
    October 1, 2018 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm (8 months ago)

    I really like your tip about labeling your ingredients so that the staff can keep track of your stock’s freshness. One would think that investing in the proper food containers will be just as important as being organized. Thanks for this really interesting piece about safe food storage!

    Reply

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