What is the best walk-in freezer temperature to prevent inventory loss?
In the QSR industry, keeping frozen inventory stored correctly can be the difference between declining sales and repeat customers. Read on to learn the best walk-in freezer temperature for your inventory.
As any hospitality worker would know, maintaining the correct walk-in freezer temperature can be a challenging task. Not only are employees frequently opening its door and letting warm air in, but there’s also the risk of equipment failures and power outages that can prevent your freezer from maintaining optimal conditions.
If a walk-in freezer is too warm – or too cold – the results could be detrimental to your inventory, customer health, and ultimately, your business.
Whether you’re an industry veteran or a newly promoted manager, it’s beneficial to review best practices for keeping your frozen inventory at optimal quality. Read on to learn how remote temperature monitoring makes it easier to do just that.
The ideal walk-in freezer temperature
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) states that if food is handled correctly and stored in the freezer at 0° F (-18° C), it will remain safe. Foods will stay protected indefinitely in the freezer at this temperature, but just keep in mind that the quality and taste of the food may be affected after lengthy periods.
Remote temperature monitoring
Here’s the thing: just because your commercial walk-in freezer is set to the optimal temperature of 0° F doesn’t mean it will remain that way. Several everyday scenarios can affect the static balance of conditions within your freezer, including:
- Staff members frequently opening the freezer door and letting warm air in
- Equipment faults
- Power outages
This is why operators need to ensure they have an efficient method of remote temperature monitoring for their walk-in freezer, which will track and alert them of a rise or fall in temperature as soon as it occurs.
Traditionally, hospitality businesses place staff members in charge of monitoring the walk-in freezer temperature. Checking the temperature in this manual fashion isn’t just an expensive use of labor hours. Temperature logs are inconsistent, and the freezer’s conditions can’t be tracked outside of business hours. Just imagine the loss of inventory that could occur if a malfunctioning freezer were left overnight.
When considering remote temperature monitoring for your walk-in freezer, ensure it offers the following:
- Wireless technology
- A dashboard to access all of your data in one place
- Full coverage throughout any environment
- Customizable SMS, email, or phone alerts
- Long battery life
- Fast setup time
- Extreme data security
The importance of maintaining optimal walk-in freezer conditions
So, why is it essential to maintain a walk-in freezer temperature of 0° F? Maintaining your walk-in freezer at this optimal temperature provides multiple benefits to your inventory, customers, employees, and business’ bottom-line. Let’s take a look at each one below.
Prevents food waste
In the United States, 40% of all food goes to waste. Sadly, the hospitality sector contributes significantly to this statistic, with each restaurant sending about 50,000 pounds of food to landfills each year, on average.
A staggering 85% of restaurant product loss issues are attributable to poor food storage conditions, highlighting just how vital optimal temperature maintenance is. As the FDA explains, food adequately handled and stored in the freezer at 0° F will remain safe. Freezing food does not reduce its nutrients, and additionally, the ultra-cold environment prevents harmful bacteria from growing.
Maintains food quality
Temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Fahrenheit can spoil sensitive items such as greens or meats in less than 2 hours. As you can see, it doesn’t take long for an ill-monitored freezer to make the quality of its contents deteriorate. Even if you can’t visually notice a decline in an ingredient’s quality, your patrons might just be able to taste it.
Trust us – it’s not worth the risk. Maintaining an optimal temperature within your walk-in freezer using a trustworthy remote temperature monitoring system will prevent this threat entirely.
Compliance with food health and safety regulations
If your walk-in freezer were to malfunction and cause a rapid rise in temperature to over 40° F, it would create an environment that allows bacteria to thrive and multiply every 20 minutes.
There’s a reason why the FDA recommends 0° F as the ideal temperature for frozen goods to be stored at. Anything higher, and you run the risk of it spoiling or attracting bacteria growth. Both of these issues contribute significantly to the chance of a patron or food handler falling prey to food poisoning – something which could affect your business in the eyes of the local health department.
Considering the average restaurant spends up to 33% of its revenue on ingredients, they’re certainly something you want to protect. Of course, the best way to do this is by maintaining the optimal walk-in freezer temperature, as this will allow your inventory to remain in the best condition possible.
Furthermore, allowing your freezer’s temperature to rise above its recommended 0° F could have repercussions on the longevity of your system, leading to expensive maintenance costs or having to purchase an entirely new system altogether.
How can Therma° help you maintain your walk-in freezer temperature?
Therma° provides 24/7 wireless temperature and humidity monitoring sensors built to perform inside coolers, freezers, and other harsh environments. We take the guesswork out of maintaining the temperature of your food storage, offering you unparalleled peace of mind when it comes to protecting your inventory.
Unlike other remote temperature monitoring products, our sensors automatically connect to a 4G hub using LoRaWAN®, so no WiFi or configuration is required. Plus, with a fast and easy setup, you can start saving money in minutes!