In response to the obesity crisis that’s affecting American children of all ages, school systems are rethinking their foodservice. The days of greasy pizza, white bread, and processed cheese products are over. Today, school lunch options strive for health with whole grains, proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Serving children healthy food options that they’ll actually want to eat calls for major upgrades in everything from the menus to cafeteria equipment, including commercial refrigerators. Here are four upgrades schools are implementing to fight the cafeteria food stigma.
Increased Serving Line Efficiency
Traditionally, school cafeterias had one serving line for hot food items, and a separate serving line for cold food choices. Design upgrades bring hot and cold options together, providing students with an easy path to more food choices. Hot foods are held at a safe temperature using steam tables, and cold food displays are further down the line.
New Display and Beverage Cases
Upgraded display and beverage cases improve food presentation. Covered fluorescent or LED lights helps food options look more enticing. Refrigerated display cases safely hold cold items like beverages, fruits, and salads, while steam tables and drainable hot wells showcase hot foods while at safe temperatures.
Healthy Grab-and-Go Options
Installing self-service refrigerated and hot food cases let students choose from an a la carte menu. This cuts down the time students spend waiting in line to pay, giving them more time to relax and enjoy their lunch. Some schools have invested in mobile food carts, enabling them to serve students across the school campus, reducing cafeteria congestion.
Cafeteria Equipment Overhaul
If schools lack the appropriate facilities to cook food, it limits their ability to serve fresh, healthy, and enticing options. Convection ovens, stoves, steamers, and refrigerators will allow these schools to cook food and not just serve pre-packaged meals. The back portion of the cafeteria also needs additional space for the preparation, storage, and serving of healthy foods.
Without adequate refrigeration, storage, and cooking equipment, schools will struggle to serve fresh food efficiently. While many school systems are limited by budget, adding even one new serving station or upgraded appliance benefits students and their meal programs. For example, blast chillers preserve freshness and reduce spoilage by quickly and safely cooling foods. Refrigerated display cases keep food safe while letting students see their options. Energy efficient storage accommodates an increase in food quantity while keeping energy costs down.
Imbera Foodservice has an array of commercial refrigerators that help cafeterias upgrade their foodservice process. Our equipment keeps food and beverages safe while promoting the sale of more products. Contact Imbera today at 678-504-6842, and we’ll help you identify the refrigeration equipment that meets your needs.