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RefrigerationRefrigeration is such an important component to good quality, pleasant tasting, safe food. If you happen to own or run a food service business, you know that it is imperative to keep perishable food at the proper temperature at all times. This means you need to invest in top quality refrigeration to ensure safe food consumption. Whether you are in the ice cream business and need a display freezer or want to offer perishable food in an appetizing refrigerated showcase, we have exactly the equipment you need to keep food fresh, safe and delicious.
Omcan offers the highest quality food service equipment in North America today. Do you need to keep frozen foods solid at the ideal temperature with no fluctuations? Our Omcan novelty ice cream freezer displays ice cream or other frozen foods and steadily keeps them at the optimal temperature with steel interior walls for durability, casters for ease of mobility, two sliding doors for easy access and clear display of foodstuffs, built-in lock for security, and a defrost drain conveniently located in the back of the freezer. You can be sure that Omcan freezers will offer you many years of reliable use and fresh tasting frozen food. We carry varying models of freezers to fit your unique requirements and budget. If a refrigerated showcase is what you happen to be in the market for, check out our beautiful Omcan black coated steel refrigerated showcase that ensures each item looks appetizing and appealing on the heavy-duty, adjustable PVC coated shelves. Do not be fooled by its looks alone, this beauty has the brawns to back it up. This lighted top quality refrigerator has an aluminum liner with a stainless steel floor coated in black steel. The attractive curved glass with rear sliding glass doors may look nice but the design also ensures that the rounded corner inside of the cabinet makes storage room easy to clean, too. The gravity coil refrigeration system helps to avoid drying up and ensures the preservation of food products while the steady temperature of 32 to 43 degrees Fahrenheit guarantees safety as well as deliciously tasting food.
Why is refrigeration so important?The most significant reason that refrigeration is so important is that it slows down bacterial growth so food stays fresher longer. A refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in the kitchen to ensure food safety limiting food poisoning from microorganism growth causing serious illnesses such as E. Coli, Botulism, and Salmonella.
Will refrigeration kill bacteria?Unfortunately, no it will not. Freezing foods will simply make bacteria inactive to multiple but it will not actually kill anything. If it had bacteria on it before freezing it, once it is thawed, it will still contain the same bacteria. The only way to ensure your food is uncontaminated and safe to ingest is to thoroughly cook it to the recommended temperature.
What are the FDA Guidelines for safe food storage?According to FDA.gov the following are Storage Basics:
- Refrigerate or freeze perishables right away. Stick to the "two-hour rule" never allowing meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, produce or other foods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Also, don't crowd the refrigerator or freezer so tightly that air can't circulate.
- Keep your appliances at the proper temperatures. Keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 40° F (4° C). The freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C).
- Check storage directions on labels. Many items other than meats, vegetables, and dairy products need to be kept cold. If you've neglected to properly refrigerate something, it's usually best to throw it out.
- Use ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible. Refrigerated ready-to-eat foods such as luncheon meats should be used as soon as possible. The longer they're stored in the refrigerator, the more chance Listeria, a bacterium that causes foodborne illness, can grow, especially if the refrigerator temperature is above 40° F (4° C).
- Be alert for spoiled food. Anything that looks or smells suspicious should be thrown out. Mold is a sign of spoilage. It can grow even under refrigeration so discard moldy food.
- Be aware that food can make you very sick even when it doesn't look, smell, or taste spoiled. That's because foodborne illnesses are caused by pathogenic bacteria, which are different from the spoilage bacteria that make foods "go bad." Many pathogenic organisms are present in raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs; unclean water; and on fruits and vegetables. Keeping these foods properly chilled will slow the growth of bacteria.
- Following the other recommended food handling practices (clean your hands, surfaces and produce, separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods, and cook to safe temperatures) will further reduce your risk of getting sick.
- Marinate food in the refrigerator. Bacteria can multiply rapidly in foods left to marinate at room temperature. Also, never reuse marinating liquid as a sauce unless you bring it to a rapid boil first.
- Clean the refrigerator regularly and wipe spills immediately. This helps reduce the growth of Listeria bacteria and prevents drips from thawing meat that can allow bacteria from one food to spread to another. Clean the fridge out frequently.
- Keep foods covered. Store refrigerated foods in covered containers or sealed storage bags, and check leftovers daily for spoilage. Store eggs in their carton in the refrigerator itself rather than on the door, where the temperature is warmer.
- Check expiration dates. A "use by" date means that the manufacturer recommends using the product by this date for the best flavor or quality. The date is not a food safety date. At some point after the use-by date, a product may change in taste, color, texture, or nutrient content, but, the product may be wholesome and safe long after that date. If you're not sure or if the food looks questionable, throw it out. The exception to this is infant formula. Infant formula and some baby foods are unique in that they must be used by the use-by date that appears on the package.
- Food that is properly frozen and cooked is safe. Food that is properly handled and stored in the freezer at 0° F (-18° C) will remain safe. While freezing does not kill most bacteria, it does stop bacteria from growing. Though food will be safe indefinitely at 0° F, quality will decrease the longer the food is in the freezer. Tenderness, flavor, aroma, juiciness, and color can all be affected. Leftovers should be stored in tight containers. With commercially frozen foods, it's important to follow the cooking instructions on the package to assure safety.
- Freezing does not reduce nutrients. There is little change in a food's protein value during freezing. Freezer burn does not mean food is unsafe. Freezer burn is a food-quality issue, not a food safety issue. It appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on frozen food. It can occur when food is not securely wrapped in air-tight packaging, and causes dry spots in foods.
- Refrigerator/freezer thermometers should be monitored. Refrigerator/freezer thermometers may be purchased in the housewares section of department, appliance, culinary, and grocery stores. Place one in your refrigerator and one in your freezer, in the front in an easy-to-read location. Check the temperature regularly— at least once a week.