Every food services business needs to preserve raw food items to ensure long shelf-life, and serve healthy food to customers. Generally, food preservation involves introducing certain chemical changes in the food with an aim to limit the growth of microorganisms. Although this is one part of the food preservation process; other processes, such as transportation, containers, and refrigeration, also play a key role in preserving food items. Continuing the discussion, this blog covers some of the measures that businesses in the food services industry can take to preserve raw food.
It is the responsibility of the procurement officer to ensure that the transportation of foods meant for use in their hotel or restaurant meets the quality parameters set by government and other regulatory bodies. They are expected to check that bulk food transported is packed and covered properly to avoid unwanted contamination. It is also important to see that raw food materials and non-food items are separated and don’t get mixed up during transit.
Every chef and helper in the kitchen as well as waiter serving the customers must ensure that their hands and clothes are clean all the time. Particularly those handling food items should ideally wear mask, gloves, shoe covers, and everything else that can help maintain public health and safety. In-house food safety education and training should also form a part of the process.
Whether you store food including sauces and raw pastes in refrigerators/freezers, cold rooms, or storerooms, make sure the containers you use for the food are made from food grade plastics. Otherwise, long-term contact with food may not be safe for users as sometimes chemicals tend to leak out. Single-use, takeaway containers are a complete no-no for long-term preservation of edible raw materials.
The material of racks and pallets that F&B establishments rely on to store food items also matter a lot. As per food safety regulations, non-absorbent structures made of plastic are preferable to wooden frameworks. Plastic racks and pallets are not only lighter and more durable than their wooden counterparts, but are also safer with lesser chances of mold growth and microbial contaminations.
Food products such as milk powder, baking soda, grains, and flour are best preserved in airtight containers and poly-liner bags as they keep food materials from absorbing moisture. There are many quality plastic and glass airtight containers available on the market nowadays that keep food items fresh, while preventing odors and growth of microorganisms.
Foods that are acidic in nature such as tomatoes and citrus fruits need special canning. They need to be aseptically canned to prevent harmful reactions with the containers and microbial growth. Electrolytic chromium coated steel (ECCS) is a common packaging material for cans that food industry consultants including HPG recommend to clients.
Raw food materials are irradiated by exposing to a controlled radiant energy to increase their shelf life. Radiations such as x-rays and electron beams are usually used to delay fruit and vegetable ripening, disinfect pulses and grains, and destroy microbes that are responsible for food spoilage. Radiation treatment improves food safety and extends product shelf life, which add commercial value to F&B companies.
Refrigeration and cold storage play a vital role in the commercial safety and shelf life of foods such as fruits, meat, and vegetables. In fact, they are the most common form of food preservation that the food service industry, particularly the supply chain, has been using for ages. Perishable foods need this type of preservation to slow down the growth of microorganisms and extend their shelf-life.
Food services management, without food preservation, is unthinkable. If you are a growing business in the F&B industry looking to refine operations, HPG Consulting can help. With nearly 20 years of consulting experience in food service planning and design, we have helped countless clients in the facility planning and management segment maximize their operational efficiency and profitability. To learn more, simply call +91-9311-202-627 or fill out our contact form.