Proper Temperature Guides for Safer Commercial Refrigeration

supermarket refrigeration

Individual temperatures are usually required with different types of commercial refrigerators in commercial kitchens and supermarkets. The temperature settings usually depend on the type of food you are selling. Meat as well as deli and dairy products require different temperatures for refrigeration for it to remain safe for public consumption. The temperature usually affects the appearance of the food as well as the taste, nutritional content and most especially its safety for consumption.
The primary purpose of a refrigerator is to keep food at a cool temperature that will slow down bacterial growth making them ideal for perishable goods. Freezers on the one hand are completely intended to stop bacterial growth. For commercial refrigeration units, the average temperature operating range are usually between 35F to 45F. If you store perishable goods in a temperature lower than 36F, you will eventually freeze the items which should not be. However, if you store foods higher than 45F, you are at risk at spoiling the food. The ideal temperature for commercial refrigeration then falls on 38F; freezers though have a much colder temperature range.

Temperature Guides for Different Refrigeration Types

You have to understand that some foods are a lot more sensitive when it comes to cold temperatures. Foods that require storage below 35F for instance needs a forced defrost cycle. Below are temperature ranges general guidelines based on your refrigeration unit for your supermarket or commercial kitchen business:

        • Walk-In Refrigerators: 35F to 38F
        • Reach-In Refrigerators: 35F to 38F
        • Reach-In Freezers: +5F to -10F
        • Ice Cream Freezers: -10F to -20F
        • Walk-In Freezers 0F to -10F

Take note that the bigger the unit, the longer it takes for it to stabilize its temperatures. When adjusting temperatures of your commercial refrigeration units, wait for one whole day and check again before storing any food products.

supermarket frozen foods


The real challenge is how will you maintain the temperature of the refrigeration system once it stabilizes? Temperatures for commercial refrigeration usually rises when the doors are open. Most equipment thermostats are placed near the doors and this usually cause false temperature reading. If the reading you get are above normal, it is advisable that you wait for another 5 to 10 minutes with doors closed then double check the temperature again.

It is essential to educate your restaurant or supermarket staff regarding the importance of keeping all freezer and refrigerator doors close at all times. As there may be inaccuracies when it comes to temperature readings, it is advisable that you place a secondary thermometer near or just under the evaporator coil. If you are primarily concerned about foods sensitive to temperature, you should also have special thermometers for them – you can place freezer alarms which can signal you once there is a danger of food thawing.

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