Prioritize Safe Food Storage with Cambro Camwear
For any business that serves food to the public, food safety should always be a priority. There are several factors to take into account, from sourcing ingredients from trusted vendors to serving food on clean and sanitary plates. Cambro provides Camwear food pans and Cambro food storage containers that can help you keep food safe from the moment it's brought through the door until it's put on your customers' plates.
Receiving and Storing
Your responsibility to keep food safe begins the moment it is received by your foodservice operation. Food should never be stored in the same container it was shipped in, since cardboard and plastic packages can contribute to premature deterioration of food quality and provide access for pests and bacteria. Instead, as soon as it is received and inspected for quality, food should be stored in a safe container.
Raw produce can be kept in a Cambro food box with a colander base. The tight-fitting lid will keep contents fresh, while the colander base will keep the produce from sitting in its own moisture, preserving its quality and extending its shelf life.
Raw meat can be kept in one of Cambro's color-coded food bins; a red one can be used for raw beef and a yellow one for raw poultry, for instance. These will help staff identify and handle the contents while preventing cross-contamination. For thawing frozen meats, a colander base in the color-coded bin will let water and juices drain away, preserving the quality of the food while keeping it contained, covered, and safe.
For dry ingredients that can be kept outside of cold storage, consider a Cambro ingredient bin. These are mounted on casters and designed to hold bulk dry ingredients, including flours and grains. These have clear sliding lids that make it easy to identify the contents of the bin. They roll easily under work counters to conserve space and remain easy to access.
Holding Prepped Foods
What about prepared food that needs to be held for a while? Food that has been cooked but will not be immediately served must be kept out of the food danger zone, which is the temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit where foodborne pathogens tend to develop. To avoid the danger zone, food must either be held below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Cambro offers wares that enable both.
Cambro food storage containers are either square or round and available with coordinating lids. These pieces are meant to hold prepared foods that need to be refrigerated, but they can be used in the freezer as well because they're safe for holding food at temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. They have gradation markings that help you know exactly how much of each item you have on hand, so you can make plans to replenish your supplies before you run out.
Using plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover food pans isn't just messy; it's downright dangerous. Such improvised covers leave containers open to contamination and allow odors from foods to travel freely, meaning you'll run the risk of transferring flavors between foods stored nearby. Instead, consider investing in GripLids, which are made of polycarbonate just like the CamWear pans they're designed to fit. They're also made with molded-in polyurethane gaskets that seal in contents to prevent leaking, even during transport.
Food's last stop on its way to the customer – whether it's in a prep table, holding cabinet, or steam table – is often the weakest point in the defense against foodborne illness. To ensure food makes it safely to the plate, Cambro offers a number of solutions.
If you're assembling dishes from a prep table, Cambro food pans are a good choice because they're engineered with uniform 1⁄2-inch flanges to keep a tight seal against the table, keeping cold air from leaking out so the temperature of your food isn't compromised. In this application, polycarbonate pans can keep foods as cold as stainless steel, and they're more durable because they won't dent. The food pans are also designed to not stick together.
For serving hot food out of a steam table, invest in Cambro high-heat X-Pans, which have replaced the company's line of H-Pans. These improved Cambro food containers can withstand temperatures as hot as 375 degrees Fahrenheit, making them safe for use in the microwave. The X-Pans are available in Sandstone or Onyx, rather than the translucent Amber of their predecessors; however, the pans' lids will continue to come in translucent Amber so the contents inside are always visible. These pans are available in 21⁄2-, 4-, and 6-inch deep versions, and are designed to resist bending and denting. They also provide a non-stick surface to lessen product waste.
These Cambro CamWear pans become more versatile when paired with Cambro accessories. For example, notched flip lids can accommodate serving utensils when the pans are used in buffet tables, and heated or insulated transporters allow them to be taken on the road.