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Food Safety: Food Storage and Maintenance

These tips on food storage areas and practices can help you ensure safety.

Food safety needs to be at the forefront of your mind when unpacking and storing food deliveries. Keeping food safe begins with having enough storage space and a designated area for each item to be placed. It is essential to always check the temperature of the area in which food is stored and to be sure there is plenty of light and ventilation in the area.

Food should not be stored near chemicals, trash, leaky pipes, or in a mechanical room. By ensuring that the food storage areas are well maintained and are meeting safety standards, the risk of food safety issues will decrease significantly.

General Food Storage Area Maintenance Tips:

  • Keep all storage areas clean and dry
  • Clean floors, walls and shelving in coolers, freezers, and dry storage areas on a regular basis
  • Clean up spills and leaks right away to stop contamination to other foods
  • Clean dollies, carts, transporters and trays often
  • Do not line shelving – make sure shelving is open so air can flow between foods
  • All items should be 6” from walls and floors
  • All items should be 12” from the ceiling
  • Make sure each food item has a specific place for storing and is labeled
  • Repair cracks and crevices in storage areas – you don’t want pests!
  • Repair doors and windows that don’t close tightly

Dry Food Storage Tips:

  • Dry storage should stay cool and dry
  • Temperature of the dry storage area should be between 50 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit
  • There should be good ventilation to keep temperature and humidity consistent

All steps of a delivery are important and crucial for food safety. It is important to inspect foods when they are delivered, store them in the correct location, and ensure food storage areas are well maintained. Only accepting the best products for your facility is important.

The Nutrition Resource Center, a team of registered dietitians and certified food-safety professionals at Gordon Food Service, offers many food safety tools and resources for customers. If you are currently a customer, learn more about our food safety service offerings.