Food Safety

Food service companies in hospitals say the move toward incorporating healthier food options into hospital menus and cafeterias is increasing the fresh options that are now available through hospital dining.

Not only do hospitals serve almost around the clock, but they also serve multiple communities that include the very ill, immune compromised, under prolonged treatment or in surgical recovery, and range in age from the very young to the very old.

Hospital patients can be very diverse and require organic, non-GMO and highly nutritious diets. The costs of organic, fresh fruits and vegetables can be double the price of non-organic/GMO foods, so the need to keep cold storage temperatures within HACCP range is crucial to reduce waste and prevent food borne illness.

Cold Temperature Problems

Despite hospitals working to keep cold storage temperatures in range – the FDA 10-year Longitudinal study indicated that 36.2% (185 out of 483 observing ) were Out of Compliance in the risk factor of Improper Holding / Time and Temperature category (includes both hot and cold temperatures).

Following are the top 3 areas that hospitals need to focus on improving, in regards to cold storage temperatures:

Out of the 175 observations, 59.4% (19 out of 32) were Out of Compliance in the risk factor of PHF/TCS Food cooled to 70ºF in 2 hours/41ºF (5ºC) in total of 6 hours.

55.6%  (50 out of 90) were Out of Compliance in the risk factor of PHF/TCS Food held cold at 41ºF (5ºC) or below; and,

44%  (11 out of 25) were Out of Compliance in the risk factor of PHF/TCS Food (prepared from ingredients at ambient temperature) cooled to 41ºF or below within 4 hours.

Premier All Natural Humidity and Ethylene Control and Filters for Cold Storage are a vital component to bringing down temperatures in the cold storage walk-ins, reach-ins and freezers in hospital kitchens.

They are easy to hang right on the racks and last for 90 days.

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