Prioritize Safe Food Storage with Cambro Camwear
Food safety should always be the focus of your kitchen operations. When you serve food to the public, there’s a lot to take into account, from sourcing your ingredients from trusted vendors all the way to serving food on clean plates. Cambro aims to make it a little easier to keep your operations safe with their Camwear food pans and food storage containers. They provide food storage solutions 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 you receive it. Food should never be stored in the same container it was shipped in. Cardboard and plastic packages can contribute to premature deterioration of food quality and provide an in 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. There’s a red one for raw beef and a yellow one for raw poultry. 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 covered, safe, and contained.
For dry ingredients that can be kept outside of the cooler, 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 slide 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, the range between 41 and 140 degrees F where foodborne pathogens tend to develop. To avoid the danger zone, food must either be cooled to below 40 degrees F or heated above 140 degrees F. Cambro has wares that enable both.
Their round storage containers are great for holding prepared refrigerated foods because their round design allows air to flow freely around them, ensuring they stay uniformly cooled. These also 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. These can be used in temperatures down to -40 degrees F, so they’re safe for the freezer as well. Rounds are available in eight sizes, but there are only four different lids, so they’re easier to match up.
Using plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover food pans isn't just messy - it's downright dangerous. Wrap and foil leaves containers open to contamination. Odors from foods can travel freely, meaning you’ll run the risk of transferring flavor between foods stored nearby. Instead, consider investing in GripLids. These lids are made of polycarbonate just like the CamWear pans that they're designed to fit. They're made with molded-in polyurethane gaskets that seal in contents, so they won’t leak, even during transport.
Food's last stop on the way to the customer, whether it’s on a prep table, in a holding cabinet, or in a steam table, is often the weakest point in the defense against foodborne illness. To make sure food makes it safely to the plate, Cambro offers a number of approaches depending on the type of service you’re running.
If you’re assembling dishes from a prep table, Cambro food pans are a good choice because they're engineered with a uniform 1/2 inch flange to keep a tight seal against the table, keeping cold air from leaking out and compromising the temperature of your food. Polycarbonate pans can keep foods as cold as stainless steel, plus they’re much more durable, easier to clean, and easier to maintain. The food pans are designed so they won't stick together, too.
For serving hot food out of a steam table, check out amber H-pans, which can tolerate temperatures as hot as 300 degrees F*. Equip them with a notched flip lid to accommodate serving utensils and use them on your buffet table. They’re microwave-safe, too. Use them in Cambro’s heated or insulated transporters to take them on the road.
*This rating was reduced from 375 to 300 degrees F in mid-2015. Pans shipped after that time will be rated to 300 degrees.