Commercial freezers come in all shapes and sizes. There are small undercounter models, large walk-in freezers, and everything in between. But no matter what the size of your commercial freezer, one thing is always important: the temperature must be kept within certain limits to ensure food safety.
So, How cold should a commercial freezer be? In this blog post, we will discuss the proper temperatures for commercial refrigeration and how to keep your commercial freezer within those parameters.
Understanding Bacteria To Reduce Food Waste
The first step in ensuring food safety is to understand the different types of bacteria that can grow in food. Bacteria are classified into two groups: pathogenic and spoilage. Pathogenic bacteria are those that can cause foodborne illness, while spoilage bacteria do not make people sick but can cause food to become unappetizing or even dangerous to eat.
There are four main types of bacteria that can grow in food:
- Bacillus: This is a type of rod-shaped bacterium that can cause food spoilage.
- Clostridium: This is a type of spore-forming bacterium that can cause foodborne illness.
- Listeria: This is a type of bacterium that can cause foodborne illness.
- Salmonella: This is a type of bacterium that can cause foodborne illness.
Bacteria need four things to grow:
- Moisture: Bacteria need water to grow.
- Temperature: Bacteria grow best in warm temperatures, but some can survive in cold temperatures.
- Food: Bacteria need food to grow.
- Time: Bacteria need time to multiply.
The ideal temperature for bacteria to grow is between 40°F / 4°C and 140°F / 60°C, which is why it is so important to keep food out of the “danger zone.”
There are four main ways to prevent bacteria from growing in food:
- Cooking: Bacteria are killed by heat.
- Freezing: Freezing food prevents bacteria from growing.
- Refrigeration: Bacteria grow more slowly at cool temperatures.
- Drying: Bacteria need moisture to grow.
A commercial freezer should be set to 0°F / -17°C to store food. Just a few degrees can make a huge difference in storing food and the risk of food spoilage.
Commercial Refrigerator vs Commercial Freezer
Commercial refrigerators and commercial freezers have different purposes. A commercial refrigerator is used to keep products cold, while a commercial freezer is used for freezing products and keeping them frozen.
Commercial refrigerators are typically set to a temperature of around 41°F / 5°C, while commercial freezers are typically set to a temperature of 0°F / -18°C. This is because bacteria grow more slowly at cool temperatures, making a refrigerator ideal for preventing the growth of bacteria.
Freezers, on the other hand, are designed to keep food frozen and stop the growth of bacteria. This is why it is important to make sure your freezer is set to the correct temperature of 0°F / -18°C.
The Ideal Temperature For Commercial Freezers
- Reach-in freezers: Between -10°F / -23°C and 5°F / -15°C
- Walk-in freezers: Between -10°F / -23°C and 0°F / -18°C
- Ice cream freezers: Between -20°F / -29°Cand -10°F / -23°C
Avoiding Freezer Burn
One of the most important things you can do to keep your food from freezer burning is to keep the temperature of your freezer consistent. The ideal temperature for a commercial freezer is between 0°F / -18°C and -20°F / -29°C.
If the temperature in your freezer fluctuates, it will cause ice crystals to form on your food. These ice crystals will dry out your food and cause freezer burn.
To achieve maximum food quality you should also be sure to wrap your food properly before putting it in the freezer. This will help to keep the moisture in and prevent it from drying out. How you store food plays a large part on how the freezer burn can form.
If you find that your food has already started to freezer burn, you can still salvage it by trimming off the affected areas. The rest of the food will be safe to eat but the taste will have been affected. This leads to food waste but of course this can be avoided with proper food storage.
Refrigerator And Freezer Doors
One of the important factors in preventing food spoilage is having efficient doors on your refrigerator and freezer. If your doors are not properly sealing, then cold air can escape and warm air can enter. This can cause your perishable foods to spoil more quickly. In order to keep your food fresh for as long as possible, it is important to make sure that your doors are sealing properly.
You can do this by regularly checking the seals and replacing them if they are damaged. By making sure your commercial freezer door is keeping temperatures consistent, you will lower food spoilage and help your bottom line.
Why HABCO Commercial Freezers
Every HABCO commercial freezer or refrigerator is designed and manufactured with the same core principles in mind: value, innovation, quality, and sustainability.
Our commercial appliances, whether a commercial freezer, merchandiser, or a pharmacy refrigerator, is an investment in your business, as you can achieve a major reduction in the total cost of ownership of your commercial appliances through improved energy consumption and reduced temperature fluctuations.