Food should be stored as soon as possible after receiving. Keep stored foods covered, as uncovered food may dry out or absorb odors. It is also possible for debris or other objects to fall into uncovered food from storage shelves above.
Store frozen foods in their original containers because these containers are usually moisture-and vapor-proof.
Store staples such as flour, cornmeal, and rice in rust-proof and corrosion-resistant containers with tight-fitting lids. Do not use metal containers; they are hard to clean, sanitize, and maintain.
Keep stored food away from walls and dripping pipes.
Place food on slotted shelves that are at least two inches away from the wall and six inches off the floor.
Recommended Refrigerated Storage Practices
All cooked food or other products removed from original container must be enclosed in clean, sanitized, covered containers and identified. Do not store packaged food in contact with water or undrained ice.
Check refrigerator thermometers regularly. Recommended temperatures are as follows:
Produce 45°F (7°C) or below
Dairy and Meat 40°F (4°C) or below
Seafood 30°F (-1°C) or below
Store large pieces of meat and all foods in a way that permits free circulation of cool air on all surfaces.
Do not store food directly on floor or base.
Schedule cleaning of equipment and refrigerated storage rooms at regular intervals.
Date all merchandise upon receipt and rotate inventory on a "first-in, first-out" basis.
Check fruits and vegetables daily for spoilage.
Store dairy products separately from foods with a strong odor.
Store fish apart from other food products.
Establish a preventive maintenance program for equipment.
Double Check These Practices
Facilitate air circulation and floor cleaning.
Don’t line shelves with paper or other materials because this will block airflow. All shelves must be clean.
Food that cannot be stored on shelves because of size or bulk should be stored on easily-movable dollies or skids, not on the floor. Even if it is in containers, food should never be stored on the floor because these containers may be placed on kitchen counters to be opened and emptied; this would allow soil on the bottom of the containers to contaminate the counter.
Recommended temperatures in refrigerated storage areas vary with the type of food being stored. Freezer temperatures should be 0°F (-18°C) or below. Food products not requiring refrigeration or freezing should be stored in clean, cool, and moisture-free areas that are well-ventilated and free from rodents and insects. Temperatures for dry food products should be between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (21 °C); relative humidity should range from 50% to 60%.
Products that seem spoiled or unusable should be thrown away, but be sure that employees notify you first!
Issue food to preparation or service areas on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis. In other words, products that are in storage the longest should be used first. Before storing a product, mark the date it was received on the package or container it came in. This will help with stock rotation.
Inspect storage areas often. Do not keep poisons, toxic substances, or cleaning materials in food storage areas