STORING POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOODS
a. Storage Requirements. Contamination is the most critical problem in the
storage of potentially hazardous foods. Storage requirements to prevent contamination
of these foods include suitable temperature, humidity, air circulation, and sanitation.
These requirements can be met by properly refrigerating or freezing potentially
hazardous food. The refrigerators and freezers must be sanitized and cleaned on a
regular basis. They should be free of odors, insects, and rodents. Air circulation must
be complete, and the coldest sections of the refrigerator should be used for items that
require low storage temperatures, such as fish, poultry, and meats. Only the amount of
foods needed for immediate use should be removed from refrigerators and freezers.
Personnel should carry out the following four procedures to maintain adequate storage
temperatures for potentially hazardous foods.
(1) The refrigerator and freezer should not be overloaded.
(2) Air circulation in refrigerators and freezers should not be blocked by
(3) The refrigerator and freezer should be opened only when necessary so
that adequate cooling or freezing temperatures are maintained.
(4) A thermometer should be used to maintain correct temperature in
refrigerators and freezers. The thermometer should be checked regularly.
b. Types of Refrigeration. For proper storage of potentially hazardous foods,
full-service food facilities are provided with frozen food cabinets, reach-in refrigerators,
and walk-in refrigerators. The number and type of refrigerators depend upon the size of
the unit and the number of persons being served.
FROZEN FOOD CABINET
Frozen foods should be stored in a frozen food cabinet. Personnel should group
packages of frozen foods according to size and type and stack them so that all
packages of the same size and type are together. Items placed in the freezer should be
wrapped, either in the original wrapper or in suitable wrapping supplied by the food
service facility. When new items are received, personnel should move older items
already in the cabinet to the top for ready use and follow the "first-in, first-out" rule. The
temperature in the frozen food cabinet should be kept between -10 F and 0 F.
The reach-in refrigerator is to be kept sanitary. Personnel must arrange
potentially hazardous items so that they get proper air circulation. Personnel must also
separate food items that impart or absorb odors from other items. The temperature in
the reach-in refrigerator should be kept between 32 F and 40 F.