Whether you’re operating a supermarket or a restaurant, the last thing you want on your watch is a foodborne outbreak. Not only do outbreaks of foodborne illnesses make consumers sick, they can also seriously damage your brand’s reputation. This is true whether you run a single, independently owned family restaurant or a supermarket chain with nationwide reach.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 48 million people get sick due to foodborne disease every year. Foodborne disease can include everything from salmonella and listeria, to E. coli and Hepatitis A. A single instance can quickly become an outbreak when two or more people become sick from the same source. This makes having clean and reliable commercial refrigerators vital to maintaining food safety.
Here are some top food safety concerns and a few ways commercial refrigerators can help reduce the occurrence of foodborne illnesses.
Keeping Food in Commercial Refrigerators Stored at Safe Temperatures
Cold temperatures are crucial to slowing the growth of bacteria. But what happens if the power in your supermarket or restaurant goes out or some other malfunction causes the temperature to rise? It only takes a short time for warm temperatures to make food products unsafe for consumption.
This is where a commercial refrigerator with an automatic electronic locking system can make a big difference. This technology prevents consumers from accessing food products from a commercial refrigerator if the temperature rises above 41.9 degrees Fahrenheit. If there is a loss of power, the commercial refrigerator will lock within two minutes.
Preventing Cross-Contamination in Your Commercial Refrigerator
Many restaurants keep raw food in commercial refrigerators for easy access during meal preparation. However, bacteria can survive in cool, moist environments like a commercial refrigerator. Listeria can grow at temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes cross-contamination a top food safety concern. Keeping raw meats and eggs apart from fruits and vegetables is one way to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.
Vegetables like lettuce, cilantro, cucumbers, and peppers – all staples in restaurant kitchens – are more vulnerable to contamination because they are consumed raw. This makes regularly sanitizing the interior cabinet and shelving of your commercial refrigerator essential to preventing cross-contamination. Keep in mind that the outside of a commercial refrigerator can also host bacteria. Stainless steel commercial refrigerators are a good option for restaurants because they are resistant to bacteria and easier to sanitize.
Research shows that grocery stores and restaurants are less likely than institutional facilities like nursing homes to be the source of a foodborne illness. Still, safety precautions must remain a top priority for foodservice professionals. Imbera Foodservice’s commercial refrigerators help restaurants and supermarkets keep food safe for their customers with innovative features like the Performax 30 automatic electronic locking system. For more information on the Performax30, contact Imbera Foodservice at 678-504-6835.