Having a spacious and reliable cool room is vital to the success of your food business. Even a minor technical hiccup can compromise the quality and freshness of your chilled goods. When this happens it can force you to throw away stock, resulting in lost profit and an inability to meet customer demand.
For these reasons, your cool room must be able to maintain a consistently cold temperature 24 hours a day, all year round.
One way to achieve this is to keep your cool room at the correct storage capacity. In this article you will learn about the risks of overfilling a cold room, what you can do about it, and when you should consider a new installation.
Risks of Overfilling a Cool Room
When you overfill a commercial cool room it can negatively impact the performance in many ways.
For starters, when all of the shelving and floor space is full of chilled stock, it can reduce the cool room’s ability to regulate airflow. When this happens, the cool room and all of the associated components (i.e. the cooling unit and compressor) must work harder to regulate the temperature and this places extra stress on the cool room. As a result, the chance of a malfunction or total equipment failure is greater and the running costs can rise too.
Secondly, when a cool room is over-capacity, this makes it harder for staff and customers to find and grab the products they need. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it can also pose a safety risk and reduce productivity, as people have to navigate their way through a cramped and crowded space to find what they need.
Lastly, an overfilled cool room can increase the risk of cross-contamination. As the flow of cold air is compromised, the temperature will gradually rise and the chilled stock is likely to grow bacteria and deteriorate. According to the Food Safety Information Council, any chilled food left at a temperature of 5 °C to 60 °C for longer than 4 hours must be thrown out.[i]
How to Avoid Overfilling a Commercial Cool Room
Below is a few ways to keep your cool room at optimum storage capacity:
- Evenly distribute your chilled goods
If you have a large group of products stored in one section of the cool room, try to reorganise the space so that you better utilise the entire room. Just be sure to store products away from the refrigerator fans in order to maintain the flow of cold air.
- Make maximum use of vertical height
If your cool room has a tall enough ceiling, make use of the wall shelving and stack products on pallets to free up the horizontal space. Keep in mind there are strict safety requirements as to how high you can stack products. Make sure you keep products stacked at a safe height so that the load is stable and easy to access.
- Order a cool room big enough to accommodate for future growth
Invest in a cool room that is big enough to accommodate for your current and future chilled storage needs. If you’re unsure how big your cool room fitout should be, seek expert advice from a refrigeration specialist.
When to Consult the Experts
Whether you are purchasing your first cool room, or you’d like to upgrade your current cool room, talking to a refrigeration specialist is a great first step to achieving your business goals.
On a suitable day and time, they can visit you onsite and discuss your chilled storage requirements. They will assess the layout of your business, learn about the kind of products you stock, and the level of customer demand you have to meet. By doing so, you will receive a tailored refrigeration solution that works for you.
Frankii Commercial Refrigeration is your trusted local expert in cool room installation and maintenance. For advice on choosing the right cool room for your business, contact us today.