Despite what you may think, cold storage for food items has many factors to consider when designing your storage space. QTS’ storage solutions have many customisable attributes that create a great solution for the cold storage of perishable items. This blog will cover some key factors to consider when designing your warehouse space.
Why is cold storage of food so important?
The cold storage of food is one of the most highly regulated sectors of the warehousing industry. In the UK, such warehouses are subject to checks from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The incorrect storage of organic matter accelerates the reproduction of any bacteria that may be present as they have a source of energy to reproduce. This bacterium (a common example is e coli) can cause severe illness so any spoiled product is essentially wasted money and no business wants that.
Mesh deck design:
When storing food, it is important your racking system is properly suited to its job. Commonly, mesh decks are supplied with support bars that are either flared or c-channel. These bars have an open groove which means that food or dust could gather in these gaps which poses a potential hygiene risk. The QTS solution, the easySHELF™, to this is to invert the support bar. This massively reduces areas for food and dust to become trapped making them extra easy to keep clean.
The second element that can be changed on the QTS decks is the finish. The standard stock deck finish is pre-galvanised which is perfectly suitable for the cold environment. However, QTS also offer a hot-dipped galvanised option which is much longer lasting in cold and damp environments. You will need to consider the cost trade-off in this situation. Pre-galvanised will be cheaper initially but the hot-dipped option may work out cheaper in the long run.
When you are storing food products, the racking system needs to be cleaned down much more regularly than if you were storing non-perishable goods. Wire mesh decking is far easier to clean than using their wooden alternative. It is very easy to hose down the wire and it dries much quicker. Too much moisture on timber decks may compromise its structural integrity.
Customising decks for even more effective storage.
Food items are often stored in boxes or smaller packages which all look very similar and could cause confusion for warehouse operatives. Firstly, it is imperative that everything is labelled correctly. This will make it easy to identify boxes and ensure food is not stored in the wrong place. For example, it is standard practise to store meat on the lower levels of the racking system so not to contaminate other foods. Another way QTS can help keep your warehouse organised is by adding dividers (easyDIVIDERS™) to your mesh decks. These will compartmentalise the bay creating a form of picking location that will stop accidental cross contamination of foods.
Standard mesh decks come in a 55mmx100mm mesh aperture, but this can be changed to 55mmx50mm. This will reduce the possibility of items that fall out of their storage containers ending up on the floor and becoming waste.
For more information or to get a quote for cold storage and food friendly decks, contact one of our sales team today.