Meat display coolers are some of the most common types of machinery among butchers, supermarkets, and delis. Their care and maintenance can make or break your business, and this is by no means an exaggeration. Any business owner should aspire to maximize their profits and try their best to get the most out of their commercial equipment, and meat display coolers are no exception.
Conservation of meat is a delicate business, and you will need good coolers to help you with it. Considering the fact that you will be spending a considerable amount of time and energy on this, you should choose the right meat display coolers and know the details to get the most out of your meet display coolers. In 9 short and easy steps that we prepared, you can achieve drastic results in the performance of your meet display coolers, extend the shelf life of your products, save energy and money, and even apply some of the methods in your other refrigeration equipment.
9 Simple Tips for Meat Display Coolers
1. Storage Temperatures
Storage temperatures are usually dictated by the state and included in the operation manual of the meat display cases. Even though you can set the cooler to various degrees, the best temperature to store meat, an easily perishable and possibly hazardous product, is agreed upon to be 40 °F or below. Be careful not to go over 40 F, for it will leave the meat vulnerable to contamination, spoilage, and the growth of dangerous microorganisms. While changes up to a few degrees might appear inconsequential, you will shortly realize that your meet display cooler is doing a better job of protecting and storing your products when used in the right temperature range.
2. Cleaning The Meat Display Cooler
Cleaning the meat display cases and any other commercial equipment you own is vital to their proper functioning. There are two layers to the cleaning of a meat display cooler. Firstly, you should clean the surfaces of the cooler every day and the glass of the cooler multiple times a day if possible. Since display cases are aimed to “display,” the glass should be free of smudges or stains that might obstruct the displaying of the products and repel the customers.
Secondly, the meat display case should be cleaned, in detail, periodically. Meat is a juicy product, and the sold items might leave some liquid behind. Leftover spills can contaminate the new products and lead to the spoilage of your fresh meat. You can use a fridge pressure washer to clear your case off any remaining spills without harming the machinery. Make sure that the cleaning products you buy are safe for use in cleaning food storage equipment to avoid any possible health hazards, and of course, unplug the meat display case before you undertake the job of cleaning it.
3. Professional Service Check-ups
Whether running a deli or a supermarket, you largely depend on your refrigerated display cases to protect your products. Everything needs to go without a hitch, and the best way to make sure of that is to get a professional’s help. Many brands and local services offer service check-ups by professionals, and planning a periodic maintenance program for your meat display coolers will ensure the longevity of your equipment.
Maintenance service visits can be once every month or three, depending on your business model. A professional will be able to detect issues that might have escaped your attention and take precautions before a problem presents itself. Also, a detailed cleaning every now and then will be beneficial. You will definitely get your money’s worth out of the meat display cases if you take this extra step towards longevity.
4. Placement Of The Meat Display Cooler
Placement is another crucial aspect that you should take into account to get the most out of your meat display cooler. Interior design is sadly not the only factor you should have in mind. The placement can directly affect the longevity and the day-to-day operations of your butcher display cases. Here are 3 key points to consider before choosing a location for your meat display cooler (Keep in mind that these are extra important if you own an “open” display case since they lack the glass layer of protection);
- Meat display coolers should be placed away from any overheating equipment or cooking appliances such as ovens and stoves. The heat given off by these pieces of equipment will prove an extra challenge for your meat display cooler and lead it to spend excessive energy on maintaining the temperature. This situation will definitely reflect on your energy bills and the life span of your refrigerated meat cases.
- Heating and cooling vents can also influence the temperature of your meat display cooler and cause your products to suffer from heat instabilities. You should place the meat display coolers, especially if they are open models, away from the vents and at a point where it wouldn’t be affected by the air circulation of your shop.
- If you own a meat display case with a self-contained compressor, you should pay attention to the condition of the compressor. The compressor serves to keep your deli display case cool and removes the excess heat from the equipment, and does so through an air exhaust vent. Make sure that the vent is not obstructed in any way and is free to release the excess heat from the meat display cabinet.
Most coolers will have their vents at the back side of the equipment so try not to block that side with the wall or any other equipment’s vent. Unless this aspect is taken into consideration, the compressor’s ability to cool down the meat display case can be compromised and lead to a considerable loss in terms of your products and bills.
5. Packing Or The Organization Of The Products
Organizing the food within the meat display cooler can help you in two distinct ways; they will maximize the energy use of your cooler and make the products visible to your customers in the best way possible. Three steps can help you achieve a system that works for you:
- First: The meat display cooler’s back and bottom parts will be less vulnerable to external heat, so placing the relatively more perishable products at these locations would be wise.
- Second: Also, try not to store different types of meat such as chicken and red meat together to avoid cross-contamination. Chicken is known to be more susceptible to spoilage and eventually leading to food poisoning, so it would be wise to store it separately. Fish and such products will need to be stored separately anyway since their smell can be pretty unpleasant when mixed with other types of meat.
- Third: Either way, make sure to wrap all the products tightly since contact with air can lead to quite a lot of waste. Most products come pre-packaged, but if you are doing the packing yourself, ensure that the packaging process is air-tight, figuratively and literally.
6. Energy-Efficient Models
Energy efficiency is pretty popular among food business owners – and it must already be -, and getting an energy-efficient meat display cooler is a wise choice on so many levels. It’ll reduce your electricity bills significantly. Meat display coolers aren’t items you can turn on and off to save energy. They have to be constantly working. So, investing in an energy-efficient model from the start will save you a lot of money. Not to mention the environmental benefits and the reduced carbon footprint!
Brands guarantee quality more than anything, and investing in a good, prestigious brand means you will get a well-made meat display cooler and have trustworthy service at your disposal. While this might not exactly sound like a tip, buying a machine from a trusted brand will create more opportunities for you and prove more profitable in the long run. Following brands are known for their high-quality engineering, good customer service, and affordable prices, and you can count on them to provide you with an excellent meat display cooler;
- Turbo Air
- True Commercial Refrigeration
- Federal Industries
- Omcan USA
- Structural Concepts
8. Handling Of Meat
Handling of meat is not directly related to the working of your meat display cooler, but it is an important point to pay attention to since spoilage can make you question the integrity of your deli display case. Whether it is pre-packaged food or meat you have prepared in your own kitchen, it is important to handle it carefully. Meat shouldn’t come to contact with air, and the customer’s contact with open products should be minimized as much as possible.
9. Appeal To The Customers
It’s the last but perhaps the most crucial point you should pay attention to since all your efforts would be in vain if the customers don’t come to fetch their meat from you. Make sure that the meat display cooler is well-lit and neatly organized for the convenience of the browsers. Customers should be able to see and easily reach in the case to grab what they wish to buy. Don’t place different items on top of each other since that would make it difficult to see things and lead people to feel rightfully frustrated in their search.
Meat display cases are the primary choice of any meat seller to store and showcase their products. Brands are producing new models every year to meet their increasing demand, but what matters the most is a meat display cooler’s longevity. While the initial investment plays a huge role in this, there are specific measures you can take to ensure your machinery lasts longer.
By following the easy steps explained in this article, you can use your meat display cooler safe in the knowledge that it won’t disappoint you in the middle of a busy working day. A well taken care of commercial equipment is a piece of equipment you can count on for years and years to come.
(You may also check out our detailed article about 15 must-have butcher shop equipment you should have in your shop.)