Organizing and Storing Food in a Restaurant Refrigerator: Servsafe Guidelines

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Written By Gabriela
Gabriela is a science journalist and writer. She has a PhD in biochemistry and a master's degree in science communication. Gabriela has published articles in magazines and newspapers in Mexico and USA, and has also given talks on science subjects.






Food safety is an important aspect of running a successful restaurant. Properly storing food can help reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses, and kitchen organization can help keep your staff efficient. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to organize and store food in a restaurant refrigerator according to Servsafe guidelines.

How to store food in a restaurant fridge

You may have heard of keeping food fresh by maintaining the temperatures in your refrigerator and freezer. But did you know that there are specific temperatures to keep at each appliance? If you’re a restaurateur, then correct temperature management of your food storage appliances is essential to keeping your customers safe and healthy. Let’s take a look at how you should store food in a restaurant fridge.

Dry Storage Temperatures

When it comes to your dry storage area, it should be kept at a temperature of between 50° F and 70° F. This is because any higher or lower could cause foods such as cereals and flour to spoil quickly.


The freezer should have one goal – to keep food frozen solid at 0° F. Keeping to this temperature will ensure that any frozen ingredients remain fresh for longer.


Your refrigerator should be set at temperatures between 32° F and 40° F. This is important as it helps discourage growth of bacteria on the food stored within.

Hot Food Storage Temperatures

For hot food storage, make sure that you’re keeping it at a minimum temperature of 140°F. This prevents listeria and other harmful bacteria that can cause serious health problems.

Now you know the basics of how to store food in your restaurant fridge safely! By following these tips, you’ll keep contaminations out, making for even safer and tastier meals for all.

The A-Z of Storing Food Safely in a Commercial Refrigerator

When it comes to storing food in a commercial refrigerator, there are some important guidelines to follow. It is essential to follow these rules to ensure the safe handling and storage of food, as well as preserve its quality and prevent the growth of bacteria.

Here are 6 essential tips:

  • Store Meats on the Lowest Shelves. Always store meat on the lowest shelves of your refrigerator. This will reduce the risk of cross-contamination and minimize the risk of raw meat juices dripping onto other foods.
  • Leave Space Between Items. Items that are too close together can also cause cross-contamination, so make sure to organize items with adequate spacing in between.
  • Keep Food Off the Fridge Floor. Storing food on the floor of a commercial refrigerator increases the risk of contamination, so keep all food stored on designated shelves or drawers.
  • Store Delicate Produce Away From Fans. If your commercial fridge has fans that circulate air, make sure to store delicate items such as fruits and vegetables away from them in order not to damage them.
  • FIFO or First In, First Out Principle. When stocking or removing items from your commercial refrigerator, always abide by this principle; use items that were stocked first and replace them first when restocking.
  • Label Everything. Proper labeling is essential for all items stored in your commercial fridge. Create labels for each product with its name, expiration dates and any other relevant info.

By following these guidelines for storing food properly in your commercial refrigerator, you can ensure that all food remains safe and fresh for customers.

how to store food in a restaurant fridge

Arranging Your Restaurant Refrigerator: An Easy Guide

Organizing the food inside your restaurant’s refrigerator is key to keeping the temperature stable, preserving the safety and quality of different ingredients, and managing inventory.

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The proper storage order for keeping food in a commercial refrigeration unit is as follows:

  • Top Shelf: Ready-to-Eat.
  • Second Shelf: 135°F (57°C)
  • Third Shelf: 145°F (63°C)
  • Fourth Shelf: 155°F (68°C)
  • Bottom Shelf: 165°F (74°C)

This order helps ensure that all food items being stored in the refrigerator are at their appropriate temperatures in order to maintain their safety and freshness. Having predetermined levels for each shelf also makes it simple to check and make sure that no item has been misplaced or stored incorrectly.

Following this temperature chart is also important, as it helps inform employees how long certain foods can be kept in the refrigerator before they should be disposed of. By educating staff on proper food management and setting up clear guidelines it is easier to keep fridge shelves organized.

Organizing a restaurant’s refrigerator in the right way ensures that it runs efficiently and remains compliant with health code regulations.

Rules to Keep Your Restaurant Food Cold and Safe

When it comes to storing food safely and preventing contamination, there are several guidelines that restaurants must follow. At cold temperatures, bacteria can quickly spread and cause food poisoning if not handled correctly, which is why safe storage of food is so important.

Food should be kept cold at temperatures below 40°F according to restaurant food storage guidelines. It’s also important to store hot foods above 140°F. Any food placed in between these temperatures should not be held for more than two hours. Food left in temperatures between 90°F and 140°F shouldn’t be stored for more than an hour.

The following tips can help ensure that food is stored correctly and safely:

  • Check all fridges and freezers regularly to ensure the temperature is below 40°F.
  • Install thermometers in both types of appliance so you can check the temperature easily.
  • For hot food, heat it up as close to serving time as possible and keep it above 140°F.
  • If you’re using a hot cabinet or other warming device, make sure the internal temperature stays at 140°F or above.

By following these simple steps, you can make sure that the food you serve in your restaurant is stored properly and kept at the right temperature. Doing this will reduce the risk of any bacterial growth that could potentially lead to food poisoning or illness.

Servsafe 101: Effective Practices for Storing Food in the Fridge

ServSafe® is an important program that helps restaurants and other food service providers in the United States maintain quality and safety standards when it comes to storing food. Keeping food stored in a safe manner is essential for avoiding cross contamination and food-borne illnesses.

Storing food in the refrigerator properly can help ensure both quality and safety for customers. Here are some tips for easily storing food in the fridge the ServSafe way:

  • Store ready-to-eat foods on top shelves, above raw ingredients.
  • Seafood should be placed directly below ready-to-eat items, or on its own shelf.
  • Whole cuts of beef and pork should be stored on a shelf below seafood
  • Ground meat and seafood should be stored below whole cuts
  • Poultry, both ground and whole, should always be stored on the bottom shelf, farthest away from other items.

Always remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!

Make sure to store all cooked foods above any uncooked items. This will prevent unnecessary cross contamination and reduce the chances of food poisoning. Be sure to separate all raw meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, and produce into their own containers before putting them in the refrigerator.

Ensuring products are stored properly can help extend shelf life and maintain freshness.

Keep all refrigerated items off of the floor or out of standing water so that they don’t come into contact with any bacteria or contaminants. Be sure to rotate stock so that the oldest foods are used first, as this will keep your inventory fresh.