FreezerFreezers have their limitations. They are not substitutes for good advance planning of menus and food purchases. If you make an error and buy too much food for your needs, it is not enough merely to store the surplus in a backup chest freezer until some distant date when it can be used up. Lengthy freezer storage means increased opportunities for contamination, spoilage and lower profits.
Freezing may stop the bacterial action and chemical aging, but it does not improve the culinary quality of foods; with some products, the reverse may be true. Among items that may deteriorate from freezer burn in freezer storage are hamburger. Maybe this one of the reason many smaller fast food restaurants like to brag that they use fresh and not frozen ground beef. Other items that lose there quality from freezer burn are fatty fish, turkey, pork, creamed foods, custards, gravies, sauces, and puddings. All of the limitations of freezers impose a responsibility on the manager to make certain that both freezer and frozen food are handled with care.
Used FreezerBuying used restaurant equipment like a used freezer or a cheap Walmart, Lower, Costco or Home Depot freezer compared to a new upright freezer can be somewhat a risky. There always seems to be a glut of used restaurant equipment and cheap for sale online, and for the budget minded restaurateur, the lure of almost new looking stainless steel freezer can be tempting. Usually the used equipment is sold "as is," with no warranty or possibility of a refund if it breaks down or needs repairs days after your purchase. You never know when an older model or True Freezer is due for a major overhaul or has been removed from NSF approval status of the National Sanitation Foundation.
New FreezerStainless steel freezers, easy access undercounter fridge-freezer and ice makers operate in a commercial kitchen atmosphere laden with grease and smoke. Most work top or bottom mount and top mount commercial refrigerators, commercial freezers, and coolers are placed near a deep fat fryer or griddles, char broilers and other restaurant equipment that exudes a high volume of grease that can exact a beating on the breathing system of commercial refrigerators and freezers. A new GE chest freezer or Frigidaire bought at Costco or Home Depot chest freezer is great appliances for home use, but the compressor will not keep with up with the constant opening in a commercial kitchen.
Chest FreezerFor food protection purposes, operating procedures should be followed in storing products in a chest freezer. Foods earmarked for frozen food chest freezer storage should be wrapped or packaged in moisture proof material or containers.. This practice prevents loss of flavor, discoloration, dehydration, or odor absorption. Your chest freezer is to be used to only hold frozen food. It is not designed to freeze unfrozen foods. The specialty freezer blast chiller is designed to process unfrozen foods at below -20°.
Stainless Steel Cold Freezer
The following recommended guidelines should be put into practice: A cold freezers must be maintained at an cold air temperature of 0°F (-17.7°C) or lower. Many experts recommend that the freezer temperature be kept between -10° and 0°F (-23.3° and -17.7°C) Even slight variations above the 0°F mark can be destructive, especially for meat. It has been found, for example, that food deteriorates several times faster at 15°F (about -9°C) than at zero. Defrost damage is cumulative. Each incident of thawing adds to the by damage, and cannot be corrected refreezing. Note that partial thawing of food may occur in a self-defrosting a cold freezer that goes through a warm-up phase one or more times a day.
Products should be put in the coldest place in storage facilities of approved design promptly after delivery and removed from storage only in quantities that can be used immediately. The rule on immediate storage of frozen foods does not strictly apply if the delivered items are going to be used soon. The amount of time meant by soon will depend on the type of food. but in every case the products should be kept refrigerated and not held at room temperature under any circumstances. For frozen vegetables and pre-portioned meats, Soon means right away; for average-sized roasts, it is the next day: and for turkeys, two days.
Frozen food inventories and backup should be rotated on a First In, First Out basis. Labeling each product with its description and date of entry can make this process easy. Reach-in freezers should be defrosted as frequently as necessary to maintain efficiency. The operator's manual for the cold freezer should give some indication of the proper frequency. To maintain food safety and quality, frozen food items should be moved to another freezer during defrosting or used up first. Foods should not be allowed to thaw. Frost free freezers may go through higher temperature cycles during defrosting, and temperatures must be checked periodically.
Upright FreezersTrue Refrigeration Freezers and Atosa Upright Freezers upright and stainless steel undercounter freezers feature a easily visible digital thermometer to record temperature should be present in each cold freezer unit. It may be useful to have more than one thermometer in order to check for hot spots and temperature variations in your commercial freezer. Foods should be placed in a upright freezer in a way that will allow circulation of cold air among them. Foods that are packed in too tightly may begin to defrost.
Freezer should be purchased with some of the same factors in mind as when buying a refrigerator. The units must be designed for cleanability and protection of food-contact surfaces. They should have the capacity to meet the needs of the operation. Sufficient temperatures must be maintained to keep foods from thawing.
The equipment should be constructed of easily cleanable materials, and the unit should be properly sealed. Interior corners of the freezer cabinet should be rounded and smooth. Exterior and interior materials should be rust and corrosion resistant. The unit should be adequately insulated to prevent development of undue surface condensation. Doors should be well-constructed, fitted with proper gaskets, and easily opened. Hinges should be easily cleanable. Lighting should be adequate. Shelves should be easy to adjust and clean. The compressor should have sufficient horsepower. Remember a upright GE fridge-freezer, GE Chest Freezer or Frigidaire are not NSF rated for foodservice.