Food Storage & Warehousing
Compared with producing and packaging, warehousing is an unglamorous stage in the food production process and yet proper storage is absolutely vital to the food supply.
Failure to follow the best practices for food manufacturing storage would leave ingredients vulnerable to contamination or tampering. Either could affect the quality and shelf life of the finished product and prompt a recall, or in a worst-case scenario endanger the health and lives of consumers.
Epicurean 21 has clearly defined storage areas and specific procedures for the following food supplies:
The storeroom for dry foods is usually located near the receiving area and close to the main kitchen. The area is dry and cool to prevent spoilage and the swelling of canned goods. The ideal temperature range is 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F).
Cold storage is an important component in planning the storage of food items. Most fresh foods must be stored in cold storage to delay their deterioration and decomposition at a temperature of 4°C (39°F) or colder, the safe temperature for refrigerated storage.
Dairy products are stored in the refrigerator at temperatures of 2°C to 4°C (36° to 39°F).
The fat in dairy products has a tendency to absorb strong odors from the storage surroundings. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, we store dairy products in their own area in protective coverings.
Most produce is stored in cold storage at 2° to 4°C (36° to 39°F) to ensure freshness and to prevent rapid deterioration. There are, however, a number of exceptions, such as potatoes and bananas, which are stored at higher temperatures.
The length of time produce can be stored varies widely. For example, hardy vegetables such as carrots and cabbage will last for weeks, while delicate vegetables such as lettuce should be bought as fresh as possible as they do not keep for long.
Fresh Meats, Poultry, and Seafood
These items are the most difficult to store and often the most expensive food items. When storing meats, poultry, and seafood items it is critical to keep foods at 4°C (39°F) or colder, the safe temperature for refrigerated storage.
Frozen foods are stored at –18°C (0°F) or lower to maintain its quality. If the temperature rises above –18°C, food can become discolored and lose vitamin content.
Fruit and vegetables that are received frozen will keep for months if they are properly wrapped. Fish and meat properly wrapped also have a relatively long freezer shelf life. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be properly prepared for freezing or it will not store well. All freezer products not properly wrapped will develop freezer burn, which is a loss of moisture that affects both the texture and the flavor of the food. Meat is particularly susceptible to freezer burn.
Storage areas for the above items often have design requirements that must be built into the space in order to efficiently handle the specific types of supplies. Our storage rooms are designed so it is easy to arrange and rearrange supplies to facilitate stock rotation. This guarantees that first items received will be the first items used, or the “first in, first out” (FIFO) concept in stock rotation.
At Epicurean 21, we offer food storage solutions that not only protect your products, but also provide flexibility. We can work with your delivery schedules and manage supplier lead times if other ingredients are being used in order to confirm everything needed is on hand for production. Our goal is to ensure your finished products arrive to you on time and on spec.
Whether we’re providing turnkey services or toll processing, our convenient storage options can help you save on costs and improve the efficiency and timeliness of your production.
Warehousing - Packaged Foods
The food manufacturing value chain is long and complex. Warehousing is one of the most important steps in ensuring the end product is safe and ready for distribution. Epicurean 21 is a turnkey processing company that also supports you with contract food warehousing solutions, packaging, and distribution of raw food materials and finished products.
Food warehousing is a crucial link between food processing and distribution to the consumer. Regulations alone require a level of detail that can only be met by professional food warehousing companies. Here are just a few issues Epicurean 21 monitors very closely when it comes to your products:
– Pest control. From ants and insects to rodents and birds, everything wants to eat your food products. We are on guard to prevent all pest access to your products and diligently monitor the premises.
– Sanitation. Outside contaminants can spoil your product, which is why we have standard-setting measures in place to ensure that our warehousing areas are clean, organized and sanitized.
– Personnel. Our employees are well trained in safe food handling. First and foremost, employees pay close attention to personal hygiene and safe food handling practices to protect your products.