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Food Safety Tips for Storing and Rotating Product

Maintaining temperature control and watching expiration dates help ensure safety and freshness.

Storing and rotating food properly ensures that you are always serving food in the freshest and safest way. After you inspect your food delivery, be sure to store frozen foods in the freezer first, then refrigerated foods, and dry storage items last.

Maintain Proper Temperatures

Keep these temperatures in mind when storing food:

  • Frozen foods must maintain a maximum internal temperature of 0ºF or less
  • Refrigerated foods must maintain a maximum internal temperature of 41ºF or less
  • Dry storage items should be stored between 50-70ºF

An easy way to remember this is to check the temperature of stored food and storage areas at the beginning of each shift.

How to Rotate Food Product

After you’ve stored the items, rotate your existing stock using the First-In First-Out (or FIFO) method. This ensures that you are serving items stocked first before items stocked more recently. The FIFO method applies to frozen, refrigerated, and dry storage items. Here are some steps to follow the FIFO method:

  • Identify the expiration date on the food
  • Store items with the earliest expiration date in front of items with later dates
  • Once on the shelf, use the items stored in front first

Check Expiration Dates and Storage Areas

Throwing away food that is past the expiration date is also important in preventing foodborne illness. In addition, storage areas need to be kept clean and dry. These areas of the kitchen where food can be stored or served should be kept clean on a regular basis:

  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Shelving (in coolers, freezers and dry storage)
  • Storage bins/containers
  • Carts/dollies
  • Trays

Gordon Food Service has Refrigerator/Freezer Temperature Logs as well as Sanitation Checklists to help you store and rotate food safely throughout your kitchen.

If you’re a customer, you can find these resources on GFS Experience. Not a customer? Learn more about our food safety tools and resources.