What is the Temperature Range for Commercial Freezers?
When working with food in any capacity, it is a good idea to understand how best to keep it from going bad. A few degrees either way can turn food from profitable to waste. Knowing the temperature range of your commercial freezers is a must if you work with them.
While commercial freezer standards are an excellent guide, much depends on what you are storing and what type of freezer or fridge it is. Certain foods will keep longer than others, and some bacteria can lurk in your freezer without you knowing.
Understanding what to look for can go a long way to keeping your food fresh and profits high.
There will always be temperature fluctuation, especially in commercial freezers as they are being opened and closed regularly. While the correct temperature is at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, constant comings and goings to the freezer can make for inaccurate readings.
There is also a chance that with the changes in temperature, however slight, you will develop a build-up of frost quickly. Try and limit the number of times the doors are opened during the day to prevent temperature changes.
If your commercial freezer is too warm, you run the risk of food rotting and increase the chances of bacteria growth. If your freezer is too cold, any food that’s inside can start to develop freezer burn, especially items that have been sitting there a while.
Certain foods will keep in the freezer longer than others, but don’t push the boundaries as spoiled food not only loses its quality with time, it can also make you sick. According to the FDA, foods should only remain within the freezer for the following time frames:
- Sausages and bacon – freezer life of 1-2 months
- Steak and chops, uncooked – freezer life of 4-12 months
- Mince/ground meat, uncooked – freezer life of 3-4 months
- Poultry, uncooked – freezer life of 12 months
- Cooked meat – freezer life of 2-3 months
- Soups and stews – freezer life of 2-3 months
Try and rotate the older food items to the front of the freezer when you buy new, this way you can avoid food sitting in the back of the freezer. This will help minimize the amount of food you throw away and save you a bit of money at the same time.
False Readings and Solutions
Most thermostats are positioned near the entrance or the door of the freezer. Because of this, they can give a false reading if the door opens too many times.
If you are getting unusual readings from your commercial freezer, keep it closed for a while and then check again. If it is still too hot or too cold then you may have a problem, but it should settle itself.
If you are keeping especially temperature-sensitive items in your freezer, you can also look into a secondary thermometer placed deeper into your freezer. You can also install a temperature-sensitive alarm that will trigger if the temperature goes above or below a certain point.
Always be on the lookout for spoiled food. Anything that looks or smells strange should be thrown out. Anything mouldy, get rid of. Certain moulds can grow even in refrigeration, so use up foods sooner rather than later.
Also, remember that food can be spoiled without looking or smelling bad – food that is washed in contaminated water, or food that is now thawed properly can cause problems.
While freezing food does not always change its nutritional value, but the longer it remains frozen the less appetizing it becomes. Even at the perfect freezing temperatures, you can experience freezer burn and loss of colour and taste. These are all signs that food has been in the freezer for too long.
Different Types of Cooling
Commercial freezer regulations along with regulations in the food industry are incredibly strict when it comes to keeping foodstuff safe for consumption. There are various options when it comes to commercial freezers, and each option has its temperature requirements.
Some foods are more sensitive to cold temperatures, and some require colder temperatures to freeze. There are guidelines for each one based on their requirements.
Reach-in freezers come in all shapes and sizes and need to be kept at a regulated temperature of between 5 degrees and minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Reach in freezers include commercial chest freezers, commercial upright freezers, and commercial fridge-freezer combos. No matter which you have, they all need to comply with the temperature regulations.
Walk-in freezers should never need to have their temperature adjusted once it has been set. Due to their design, the insulation should keep them at a regulated temperature no matter how hot or cold it is outside, and they are big enough not to lose too much heat when the door is opened. The perfect temperature for a walk-in commercial freezer should be between 0 degrees and minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ice Cream Freezers
Ice cream is a specialty item that requires a freezer of its own if you want to store it properly. Only necessary if you are storing a large amount of it, ice cream freezers are kept between a chilly minus 10 and minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything warmer than about minus 18 and ice cream does not freeze properly and you risk losing it all.
The Cold Truth About Commercial Freezers
Ensuring that you meet the standard requirements for commercial freezers is important for your business. Make sure that all of your staff members have been trained and aware of the importance of the temperature requirements, and know what to look out for.
With properly monitored freezers keeping your food at the correct temperature. You will end up saving time and money that you would otherwise spend on disposing of and replacing spoiled foods. If you would like more information, or if you are looking for commercial freezers for sale, contact us today and one of our friendly and professional team will help you out.