In a restaurant, the respect of the cold chain is crucial to the quality of food products. To plan a vital production, installing a cold room must be considered to ensure good conservation of all products.
What Is the Cold Chain of a Food Product?
Many hygiene rules must be respected for restaurant owners, notably the HACCP standard. This standard requires all food production establishments to control the risks that can cause a product to become unhealthy. In this context, the respect of the cold chain is an essential criterion to prevent the development of microbes, which can be toxic.
Depending on the food in question and the duration of storage, conservation can be done either at positive or negative temperature. Note that a break in the cold chain impacts the product’s qualities, knowing that microbes can multiply again.
What Criteria Should Be Taken Into Account for the Installation of a Cold Room?
The installation of a cold room is based on many criteria.
– The Dimension
A cold room is a storage room designed to hold a large quantity of food, with enough space for staff to access it. You must therefore know the approximate volume of the products to size the cold room correctly.
– The Nature of the Products To Be Stored
There are 2 types of cold rooms, the positive cold room, and the negative cold room. The positive cold room allows keeping the products cool. It has a temperature identical to a refrigerator, i.e., between 0 and 8°C. Thus, foods such as marine products (shellfish, fish, etc.), dairy products, eggs, fruits, and vegetables, etc., must be kept in this room. For long-term preservation, products should be stored in a negative cold room, where the temperature is between -12 and -18°C. This is particularly the case for frozen products, ice cream, and sorbets.
– The Model
There are 3 types of cold rooms you can get: the modular cold room, the compact cold room, and the built cold room. The choice depends on your needs and your budget. But in general, most restaurant owners opt for the modular model because it can be custom ordered. Moreover, it can evolve according to the needs of your restaurant. On the other hand, the compact cold room is generally small, which means that it only has one positive cold compartment.
– The Location
The entire production process must follow the forward motion to comply with hygiene measures. The aim is to ensure that clean and dirty elements do not cross paths. According to this principle, the cold store should be located upstream of your production process. However, it must be installed in a room with sufficient ventilation and at room temperature. To avoid humidity problems, install it on waterproof support.
What Are the Types of Equipment of a Cold Room?
To comply with hygiene standards, a cold room must be properly insulated. As for a simple refrigerator, an insulating material is placed between the aluminum sheets that cover the walls. It must also have sufficient shelves to accommodate all the products. Indeed, you should know that putting food products directly on the floor is forbidden.
Your cold room must also meet the safety standards; for this, additional devices must be installed, namely:
– a lighting system,
– a temperature recorder, to be able to control it
– safety equipment: an opening system from the inside, an alarm system, etc.