PRODUCE HANDLING

& STORAGE

 

KEY RECEIVING TIPS:
           
• Check the quality of the produce when it is delivered.
                • Move the produce to the correct storage area as quickly as possible.
                • Use FIFO (first in, first out) and rotate produce.

KEY STORAGE TIPS - ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY:
Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas. Ethylene gas can cause premature ripening of some items and will ruin others. It is best to store ethylene-producing produce away from ethylene sensitive produce.

Produce that produces ethylene includes:
          • Apples
                • Bananas (ripening)
                • Cantaloupe and honeydew melons
                • Pears
                • Tomatoes

Produce that is sensitive to ethylene includes:
       
• Bananas (unripe)
                • Broccoli
                • Cabbage
                • Carrots
                • Cucumbers
                • Lettuce
                • Peppers
                • Squash
                • Watermelon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HOW TO CORRECTLY CRISPEN PRODUCE:
There are 3 steps for keeping vegetables fresh, moist and high quality.

Step #1
                • Remove all yellow, heavily wilted and discoloured parts.
                • Do NOT trim the roots on radishes, carrots, green onions or spinach.
                • Do NOT remove leaves or stalks from the base of the celery or lettuce or cabbage.

Step #2
                • Soak the vegetable in tepid water (70-90°F) for 2-4 minutes.
                • Iceberg lettuce should be placed core down in a tray or sink with about 2” of warm water.             Do not soak the lettuce.

Step #3

           
• Shake off or drain all water and place in clean plastic bags or containers with small holes for        drainage.
                • Pack vegetables loosely.
                • Place in the cooler for a minimum of 6 hours.

USING PRE-CUT PROCESSED PRODUCE:
Pre-cut produce can save time and storage space, and provide a consistent product at all times.
To improve shelf life, use the following guidelines:
                • Move products directly to the cooler.
                • Maintain FIFO (“first in, first out”) rotation.
                • Maintain a temperature of 34-36°F.
                • After opening, remove air and reseal remaining product in the original bag. Refrigerate   immediately.
                • Avoid damaging the bags. Any pinhole or cut will result in too much oxygen and             discoloration will occur.

To crispen processed product:
       
• Open bag.
                • Run tepid (70-90°F) water into bag to cover product. Close bag.
                • Let set approximately 2-4 minutes.
                • Cut bottom of bag and drain water.
                • Return product to cooler to chill.

 

MEATS: COOKING & SERVING

INTRODUCTION TO COOKING METHODS:
There are many ways to cook meat, fish and poultry.
It is very important to use the correct cooking method for different cuts of meat.
Cooking methods use either dry or moist heat

 

PURCHASING BEEF
           
• Fresh beef (not vacuum-packed) is bright cherry red and will be firm and elastic to the touch.
                • Vacuum-packaged beef will be dark red, even slightly purplish.
                • Make sure the beef arrives sealed, if the seal is broken, reject the meat
                • Vacuum-packaged beef may have an unusual odour because of no oxygen. The odor will            disappear in 15-30 minutes after opening.

STORING BEEF
           
• Beef should be stored between 28-32°F.
                • Beef will absorb odours.
                • Unopened vacuum-packaged meat has a 21-day storage life in the refrigerator, once open the     storage life is 2-3 days.
                • Frozen beef may be stored for 6 months at 0°F.
                • Thaw beef in the refrigerator for 15-24 hours before using

TIPS FOR HANDLING GROUND BEEF:
           
Use ground beef within 2 days of receipt or freeze for up to 4 months.
                • Do not over mix ground beef - the texture will become firm and compact.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A COOKING METHOD:
           
• Fat/moisture
                • Connective tissue
                • Texture
                • Cut of meat
                • What type of meat
                • The relationship between time and temperature

AFTER COOKING
           
• Allow the meat to rest for 20-30 minutes.
                • If serving immediately, slice the meat, hold at or above 140°F.

FOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR PROPERLY HANDLING MEAT, FISH & POULTRY:
           
• Eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.
                • Store raw meat, fish and poultry below ready-to-eat and cooked foods.
                • Store poultry on the lowest shelf.
                • Use separate cutting boards for meat, fish, poultry and cooked products.
                • Wash, rinse and sanitize cutting boards, knives and other utensils between use.
                • Practice good personal hygiene, especially hand washing at all times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOD STORAGE & TIME GUIDELINES

FOOD IS STORED IN A VARIETY OF LOCATIONS
Cleaning and chemical storage
               
• Cleaning supplies and chemicals should be stored away from food.
                • Keep supplies and chemicals in their original containers.
                • If supplies and chemicals are not in their original containers, clearly label.

Dry storage
           
• Storerooms should be cool, dry, clean, well lighted and well ventilated.
                • Food items must be kept off the floor.
                • Food items should be kept in containers that cannot be damaged by water or a possible pest        infestation.

Frozen storage
           
• Freezers keep food at 0°F or below.
                • Freezers are never intended to cool food.
                • Freezers should not be overloaded.

Refrigerated storage
           
• Refrigerators are used for short-term holding at 41°F or below.
                • Food must be stored correctly to minimize the possibility of food borne illness and cross-               contamination.
                • Refrigerated storage temperatures vary from product to product.

Blast chill refrigeration
           
• Blast chillers are used to quickly cool foods to below 41°F.

Deep chill refrigeration
           
• Deep chill refrigeration keeps food at a colder temperature. This may extend the shelf life of        the food items.

 

ALWAYS FOLLOW THESE GENERAL STORAGE GUIDELINES:
           
• Store food and supplies in their specific designated areas.
                • Keep storage areas clean and dry.
                • Keep potentially hazardous foods (PHF) out of the Temperature Danger Zone (41°F to 140°F).
                • Use first in, first out (FIFO) when storing food.
                • Food should be dated when it is received and prepared.
                • Label food with its expiration date.
                • If there is any question about a product’s storage or expiration, discard it.

REFRIGERATION STORAGE GUIDELINES:
           
• Use open shelving - this improves air circulation.
                • Monitor food temperatures and the temperature of the refrigerator.
                • To hold food at 41°F or less, the refrigerator temperature must be 38°F.
                • Do not overload the refrigerator.
                • Store raw products (meat, poultry and fish) separately from (or below) cooked or ready-to-           eat foods.
                • Monitor the temperature of the refrigerator. Create a temperature chart and post by each              refrigerator. Temperatures should be recorded each morning and evening.

FREEZER STORAGE GUIDELINES:
           
• Place frozen food in the freezer as soon as received and inspected.
                • Use FIFO.
                • Store food in the original container or tightly wrap to prevent freezer damage.
                • Keep the freezer at 0°F or below.
                • Monitor the temperature of the freezer.

DRY STORAGE GUIDELINES:
           
• Store food at least 6 inches off the floor and away from walls.
                • Store food in the original packages or in containers that prevent product damage.
                • Keep the storeroom clean.

SUMMARY:
           
• Food and supplies must be stored correctly.
                • Food must be rotated, using FIFO.
                • Monitoring of refrigerator and freezer temperatures (and products) is an important part of            correct storage.
                • Foods should be labelled with their preparation and expiration dates.
                • Cleaning supplies must be clearly labelled.
                • Keep cleaning supplies and food separated.

          

KEY STORAGE TIPS - ODOR SENSITIVITY:
Some fruits and vegetables produce odour while some will absorb odour. You should always store these separately.

Odor produced by:

Will be absorbed by:

Apples

Cabbage, carrots, celery, meat, eggs, dairy products

Carrots

Celery

Onions (dry)

Apples, celery, pears

Onions (green)

Grapes, mushrooms

Pears

Cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes

Potatoes

Apples, pears

Green peppers

Pineapples

Citrus

Meat, eggs, dairy products

PROPER STORAGE:

Produce Storage

Storage Temperature

Recommendation

Apples

32°F

Store away from greens.

Bananas

56-62°F

Never refrigerate.

Broccoli

32°F

Will last 10 - 14 days. Sprinkle with water or with crushed ice to avoid dehydration.

Cabbage

32-35°F

Wash and store in plastic bags.

Carrots

32-35°F

Wash and store in plastic bags.

 

32-35°F

Store only briefly, 5 days maximum.

 

32-40°F

Allow 2-3 days at room temperature before serving.

Celery

32-35°F

Wash, trim and store in plastic bags.

Cucumbers

45-50°F

Store only briefly.

Grapes

32-35°F

Highly perishable. Store only briefly.

Lemons

50°F

 

Lettuce

 

Avoid storing by or under the blower or by ethylene-producing fruits.

 

32°F

Keep dry, have a very short shelf life.


Onions

45-55°F

Store out of the refrigerator.

Oranges

32-35°F

 

Potatoes

50-60°

Store out of the refrigerator, away from light.

Tomatoes

60-65°F

Never refrigerate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type

Cooking Method

Description

Used for

Dry Heat

Roasting

Use an oven Cook uncovered

Top round Bottom round Rib roasts Whole chicken

Grill

Cook over direct heat

Hamburgers Chicken breasts

Broil

Cook by radiant heat (food is placed either below or between the heat source)
Tender cuts of meat

Fish
Poultry
Meat

Moist Heat

Braising

Brown meat and then cook slowly in a liquid in a covered pan

Top round
Bottom round
Chuck roast
Chicken

Poaching

Poaching Immerse food in a hot liquid maintained at a simmering temperature

Fish
Eggs out of the shell
Fruit

Stewing

Cook in a small amount of liquid that may be either boiling or simmering

Meat
Poultry

INCREASING MEAT FLAVOR

 

What it does

Use with

Marinades
• Combine oil with an acid-based liquid (wine, vinegar, citrus juice).
• Add herbs and garlic for extra flavour

• Increases flavour and tenderness
• Breaks down connective tissue

Leaner cuts

Seasonings/Rubs
• Combine dry spices and seasonings with crushed garlic & herbs
• Add mustard or liquid seasoning to create a seasoned paste

• Increases flavour

Tender cuts

Chutneys, Salsas and Relishes

• Used as an accompaniment after cooking

All cuts

 

 

Other food safety guidelines

 

Meat

Fish

Poultry

Receiving

At or below 41°F

At or below 41°F

At or below 41°F

Storing

At or below 41°F

At or below 41°F

At or below 41°F

Cooking

Roasts and steaks should be cooked to a minimum of 145°F

Ground meats should be cooked to a minimum of 155°F

Cook to a minimum of 145°F

Cook to a minimum of 165°F

Serving

Hold at or above 140°F

Hold at or above 140°F

Hold at or above 140°F

Cooling

Store uncovered until at or below 41°F

Store no more than 2” thick

Divide large roasts into pieces no more than 4” thick

Store uncovered until at or below 41°F

Store no more than 2” thick

Store uncovered until at or below 41°F

Store no more than 2” thick

Divide poultry into pieces no more than 4” thick

 

TO MAINTAIN FOOD QUALITY AND PREVENT FOODBORNE ILLNESS, FOOD SHOULD BE STORED FOR A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME

Food

Recommended Temperature

Recommended Maximum Storage Time

Our Operation’s Maximum Storage Time

Meat

Roast

35-41°F

2 - 5 days

 

Ground meat

35-41°F

1-2 days

 

Sliced ham

35-41°F

3-5 days

 

Lunch meats

35-41°F

3-5 days

 

Frozen roasts

0-10°F

6-9 months

 

Frozen ground meat

0-10°F

3-4 months

 

Frozen bacon, ham

0-10°F

2 weeks

 

Poultry

Chicken, turkey

32-36°F

1-2 days

 

Cooked poultry

32-36°F

1-2 days

 

Frozen chicken

0-10°F

12 months

 

Fish

Fresh fish

32-36°F

1-2 days

 

Frozen fish

0-10°F

2-3 months

 

Eggs

Shell eggs

45°F

4-5 weeks

 

Dairy Products

Milk

35-41°F

5-7 days after container date

 

Hard cheese (cheddar)

35-41°F

1 month

 

Dry Goods

Flour

 

6-8 months

 

Canned fruit

 

1 year

 

Tea bags

 

18 months

 

Canned fruit juice

 

9 months

 

Oatmeal

 

6 months

 

Rice

 

2 years

 

Dried beans

 

1-2 years

 

Potato chips

 

1 month

 

 

Cold Storage Chart*

Note: These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated foods from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat.

Because freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only.

Product

Refrigerator 
(40 °F)

Freezer
(0 °F)

Eggs

Fresh, in shell

3 to 5 weeks

Don't freeze

Raw yolks, whites

2 to 4 days

1 year

Hardcooked  

1 week

Don't freeze well

Liquid pasteurized eggs, egg substitutes,

  1. opened  
  2. unopened  
  1. 3 days
  2. 10 days
  1. Don't freeze well
  2. 1 year

Mayonnaise

Commercial
refrigerate after opening

2 months

Doesn't freeze

Deli & Vacuum-Packed Products

Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, ham, tuna, macaroni salads  

3 to 5 days

Don't freeze well

Hot dogs & Luncheon Meats

Hot dogs,

  1. opened package 
  2. unopened package 

 

  1. 1 week
  2. 2 weeks

 

  1. 1 to 2 months
  2. 1 to 2 months

Luncheon meats,

  1. opened package  
  2. unopened package  

 

  1. 3 to 5 days
  2. 2 weeks

 

  1. 1 to 2 months
  2. 1 to 2 months

Bacon & Sausage

 Bacon 

7 days 

1 month

Sausage, raw from chicken, turkey, pork, beef 

1 to 2 days 

1 to 2 months

Smoked breakfast links, patties

 7 days 

1 to 2 months

Hard sausage-pepperoni

 2 to 3 weeks 

1 to 2 months

Summer sausage-labeled "Keep Refrigerated"

  1. opened 
  2. unopened 

 

  1. 3 weeks 
  2. 3 months 

 

  1. 1 to 2 months
  2. 1 to 2 months

Ham, Corned Beef

Corned beef, in pouch with pickling juices

5 to 7 days

Drained, 1 month

Ham, canned-labeled "Keep Refrigerated"

  1. opened 
  2. unopened 

 

  1. 3 to 5 days
  2. 6 to 9 months

 

  1. 1 to 2 months
  2. Doesn't freeze

Ham, fully cooked
vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened

2 weeks

  1 to 2 months

Ham, fully cooked
vacuum sealed at plant, dated, unopened 

"use by" date on package

1 to 2 months

Ham, fully cooked
whole 

7 days

1 to 2 months

Ham, fully cooked
half 

3 to 5 days

1 to 2 months

Ham, fully cooked
slices

3 to 4 days

1 to 2 months

Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat

Hamburger & stew meat 

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb & mixtures of them

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork

Steaks 

3 to 5 days

6 to 12 months

Chops 

3 to 5 days

4 to 6 months

Roasts 

3 to 5 days

4 to 12 months

Variety meats-tongue, liver, heart, kidneys, chitterlings

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Pre-stuffed, uncooked pork chops, lamb chops, or chicken breast stuffed with dressing

1 day

Don't freeze well

Soups & Stews

Vegetable or meat added

3 to 4 days

2 to 3 months

Meat Leftovers

Cooked meat and meat casseroles  

3 to 4 days

2 to 3 months

Gravy and meat broth 

1 to 2 days 

2 to 3 months

Fresh Poultry

Chicken or turkey, whole  

1 to 2 days

1 year

Chicken or turkey, pieces

1 to 2 days 

9 months

Giblets 

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Cooked Poultry

Fried chicken  

3 to 4 days

4 months

Cooked poultry casseroles  

3 to 4 days

4 to 6 months

Pieces, plain  

3 to 4 days

4 months

Pieces covered with broth, gravy 

1 to 2 days

6 months

Chicken nuggets, patties

1 to 2 days

1 to 3 months

Pizza

Pizza  

3 to 4 days

1 to 2 months

Stuffing

Stuffing-cooked

3 to 4 days

1 month

Tofu

Tofu

1 week, opened

5 months

Soy or Rice Beverage

Soy or Rice Beverage

7 to 10 days

Don't freeze

Pasta, fresh

Pasta, fresh

“use by” date unopened,
1 to 2 days opened

2 months

 

Beverages, Fruit

Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch 

3 weeks unopened 
7 to 10 days opened

8 to 12 months

Dairy

Butter 

1 to 3 months

 6 to 9 months

Buttermilk

1 to 2 weeks

3 months

Cheese, Hard (such as Cheddar, Swiss) 

6 months, unopened
3 to 4 weeks, opened

6 months

Cheese Soft (such as Brie, Bel Paese)  

1 week

6 months

Product

Refrigerator 
(40 °F)

Freezer
(0 °F)

Cottage Cheese, Ricotta 

1 week

Doesn't freeze well

Cream Cheese

2 weeks

Doesn't freeze well

Cream-Whipped, ultrapasteurized

1 month

Doesn't freeze

Cream-Whipped, Sweetened

1 day

1 to 2 months

Cream-Aerosol can, real whipped cream 

3 to 4 weeks

Doesn't freeze

Cream-Aerosol can, non dairy topping 

3 months

Doesn't freeze

Cream, Half and Half

3 to 4 days

4 months

Eggnog, commercial

3 to 5 days

6 months

Margarine

6 months

12 months

Milk

7 days

3 months

Sour cream

7 to 21 days

Doesn't freeze

Yogurt

7 to 14 days

1 to 2 months

Dough  

Tube cans of rolls, biscuits, pizza dough, etc.  

Use-by date

Don't freeze

Ready-to-bake pie crust 

Use-by date 

2 months

Cookie dough 

Use-by date
unopened or opened

2 months

Fish

Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, sole etc.)  

1 to 2 days

6  to 8 months

Lean fish (Pollock, ocean perch, rockfish, sea trout)  

1 to 2 days

4 months

Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, mullet, salmon, tuna, etc.) 

 

1 to 2 days 

2 to 3 months

Product

Refrigerator 
(40 °F)

Freezer
(0 °F)

Cooked fish 

3 to 4 days 

1 to 2 months

Smoked Fish

Herring

3 to 4 days

2 months

Salmon, whitefish—Cold-smoked

5 to 8 days

2 months

Salmon, whitefish—Hot-smoked

14 days or date on vacuum package

6 months in vacuum package

Shellfish

Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid

1 to 2 days

3 to 6 months

Shucked clams, mussels and oysters  

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Crab meat—Fresh

1 to 2 days

4 months

Crab meat—Pasteurized

6 months unopened
3 to 5 days opened

4 months

Live clams, mussels, crab, lobster and oysters 

1 to 2 days 

2 to 3 months

Live lobster

1 to 2 days

2 to 3 months

Lobster tails

1 to 2 days

6 months

Cooked shellfish 

3 to 4 days 

3 months

 Note: Storage times are from date of purchase unless specified on chart. It is not important if a date expires after food is frozen.

 

Shelf Stable Food Chart*

Shelf-Stable Foods 

Unopened in Pantry 

In Refrigerator after Opening

Canned Goods, Low Acid

such as meat, poultry, fish, gravy, stew, soups, beans, carrots, corn, pasta, peas, potatoes, spinach

2 to 5 years

3 to 4 days

Canned Goods, High Acid

such as juices, fruit, pickles, sauerkraut, tomato soup, and foods in vinegar-based sauce 

12 to 18 months 

5 to 7 days

 

 

 

 

 

About us

Hospitality One Stop Agency (HOSA) is a company backed up by many years of experience in this sector.

Latest posts

Product handling
Monday, 20 June 2016
Premises Fire Safety
Monday, 20 June 2016
Food Poisoning Bacteria
Monday, 20 June 2016

contact info

James Briffa

Mobile: +356 9997 7327 / + 356 9749 3561

 

Head Office

47, Triq L-Adrijatiku

The Village

San Gwann