To run an efficient and safe commercial kitchen, you should have a proper storage system for food and ingredients. Labels help make this possible. More importantly, food safety labeling and dating aren’t just an organization technique – they’re legally required by the FDA.
Here’s everything that you need to know about how to label food in a commercial kitchen.
What Labels to Use
While you can always stick to good old masking tape and marker, they’re not uniform and safe. More importantly, tape leaves behind a sticky residue that can become the breeding ground of bacteria.
The safest way for how to label food in a commercial kitchen is to use labels that are made specifically for this purpose. When choosing materials, consider the following tips:
- Use several types of labels that will correspond to the kind of food being stored. For example, there are dissolving labels that will disappear within a few seconds upon contact with water. There are also cold temperature labels that can withstand freezing temperatures.
- You can purchase pre-made labels that can just be filled out with the necessary information. In this way, you’ll spend less time figuring out what information is needed. Pre-made labels may be more costly than DIY ones, but they’ll save your business a lot of money by making it easier for you to comply with food safety standards.
- Food rotation labels are also highly recommended for restaurants. These labels include information about the type of food, date of addition to the storage container, and the expiration date.
What Information to Include
One of the most important things to remember when learning how to label food in a commercial kitchen is to know what details to include in the label. Generally, every label should include the name of the food, acquisition or prep date, and the expiration date. However, for certain types of food, more information should be added.
Here’s what you need to know when dating and labeling certain types of food:
Labeling for Food Storage
Include the following information for items that require temperature or time control:
- Type of food (Remember to use common names that your staff can easily understand.)
- Date the food was prepared
- Use-by date
Knowing how to label food in a commercial kitchen is one of the building blocks of a successful business. To make sure that all your food is safe for consumption, create a labeling system that you and your staff can easily learn and follow. Find out more about kitchen organizing.