Foodservice professionals are acutely aware that a large amount of food goes to waste in a commercial kitchen. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are approximately 133 billion pounds of food waste every year. In the restaurant industry, an estimated half-pound of food per meal is wasted.
Many companies in the restaurant and foodservice industries are tackling the problem of food waste by finding creative solutions such as utilizing food banks and composting facilities or techniques. However, there are other ways to reduce food waste that commercial kitchens can use.
Hot Food Storage
When people hear the word “refrigerator,” the automatic assumption is a storage unit for keeping food cold and safe. However, a hot fridge is another type of food storage unit.
In the restaurant industry, keeping food warm and ready to serve is important. Maintaining a constant heat temperature helps to avoid keeping food in what is known as "the danger zone," a temperature range between 40F and 140F in which bacteria can flourish and make food dangerous to consume. Multiple orders can roll in at one time, and it may take a while for the food to be served to patrons. But by using a hot fridge, such as Evereo UNOX, restaurants can prepare larger portions of food and keep it at a steady temperature to make sure meals stay fresh. It also allows quicker turnaround for serving customers because prepared food doesn't have to go to waste with proper hot food storage.
Vacuum Sealing Systems
Vacuum Packaging is a quick and easy way to extend the shelf life of your food product, seal in the freshness and reduce or even eliminate food waste. Using a professional commercial grade vacuum packaging machine like Henkelman, you achieve a maximum vacuum by extracting up to 99.8% air from your product, bag, and chamber. Once the vacuum cycle is finished, the bag is professionally sealed, giving you tamper-proof packaging.
The Henkelman Boxer CombiVac is a sensor controlled unit that allows you to set the vacuum by percentage versus time, this means you achieve the vacuum you require every time. The CombiVac also has an array of other features for example, liquid control sensor to safely package liquids, soft air function to package fragile or sharp products, label printing for HACCP compliance, rapid marinating & tenderizing cycles to name a few.
Another way for food operators to abate food waste is by investing in a blast chiller & shock freezer, such as the IRINOX MultiFresh and EasyFresh models. With proper cooling of hot foods continuing to be one of the biggest pressure points in kitchens across the country, time/temperature abuse remains one of the biggest reasons for food waste and foodborne illnesses. Blast Chillers and Shock Freezers enable you to rapidly chill food products through the temperature danger zone, with the most prolific of them being able to begin the chilling process directly from the heat source without any prior tempering necessary.
IRINOX Blast Chilling and Shock Freezing Technology allows for rapid chilling of food items directly from the heat source, minimizing the time spent within the temperature danger zone – and hence the bacterial load on food product, thus increasing the shelf life of food products by up to 2-3 times. The IRINOX Shock Freezing Technology, specifically, completely changes the perception of freezing, allowing for micro-crystallization throughout the product, minimizing cell damage and ensuring true long-term storage capabilities. Being able to buy food product on market price valleys - and shock freeze them for later use – allows for more control over your food cost
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