A work-frazzled kitchen chef works his magic. The ingredients of his creation centre on a juicy cut of prime rib roast. Surely the meal is destined to satisfy a hungry customer before he happily orders dessert, right? There’s a factor we’re forgetting, a point in the cooking process that comes between meat delivery day and the frying pan. Coolroom performance, a quality freezer arrangement, directly influences frozen meat freshness.
Coolroom Storage Conditions: The Freshness Question
Everyone knows that meat is preserved when it’s properly stored at a low temperature. The chilly environment stops cellular degradation, forces microbial organisms into a state of dormancy, and freezes the water in the meat’s soft tissues. Safely sustained at 0°C or below, the frozen meat defrosts as a tasty cut because freshness has been locked into this perishable commodity. That’s the ideal objective here, but the freshness factor is a fussy creature. For example, should the temperature drop too low, certain enzymes can be stripped from the meaty tissue. The food is still safe to consume, but now the meat has changed to the point that the intended flavour is lost.
Shutting Down Textural Alterations
The clue here is the watery liquid that freezes on top of the meat. That icy lining isn’t limited to the surface of the beef or lamb cut. It’s permeating every cell of the animal tissue and forcing those cells outwards. If those cell walls rupture, the food is going to arrive at the table as a mushy mess, a meal even the most creative cook won’t be able to save. If that unfortunate scenario is to be avoided, ceratin freezer variables require attention. The quantity of water in the freezer and the time taken to chill the meat are both manageable variables here, so use a top-notch walk-in appliance, not some generic model that lacks a quick-freeze feature. Incidentally, should this problem persist, an energy audit is recommended. Damaged door seals, poorly trained staff members, and ageing insulation panels all impact the cooling envelope, which is when superior appliances turn bad.
Even if the branded coolroom unit is working at peak efficiency, operator errors and poor management techniques compromise this freshness middleman every day. Open doors and those selfsame damaged components allow oxygen into what should be a fully sealed room or enclosure. Freezer burn sets in, coolroom performance goes out the window, and the meat is ruined. Counterintuitively, ice-damaged meats can even end up dried out, probably because the ruptured cells can no longer store fluids. Loss of enzymes, flavour and texture, quality frozen meats are unlikely if a freezer is underperforming.
Industrial plastic curtains have received their fair share of coverage in past articles. They reduce energy losses, prevent insects from entering food-safe areas, and generally act as a conventional room threshold, albeit one that’s made out of PVC strips. General benefits aside, though, just why are plastic strip doors ideal for commercial coolrooms? Could it be the fundamentally connected but necessarily segregated nature of this work environment?
A Workflow Facilitation Mechanism
All right, commercial coolrooms are every bit as enclosed as any other refrigerated zone, but a commerce-oriented operation requires a chain, a movement of merchandise. This is a bit of a dilemma, right? The cold air has to stay right where it is, but traffic must flow. By advocating a PVC strip curtain solution, one that installs across the access threshold, we reach a suitable compromise. Commerce flows, the cold environment is maintained, and business prospers. As we’ve said in past articles, there are many practical reasons for adopting this pliable barrier, including the preservation of a chilled food-safe zone, but this product transaction issue pairs practical concerns with an important logistics-based component.
Addressing Utilitarian Considerations
Speaking of ideals, the perfect commercial setting is clean and productive. Everything works flawlessly, and the kitchen personnel are all meticulous workers. In reality, this ideal is hard to sustain. Dirty shoes track dirt. Bacteria grows in standing water, then flies circle those damp patches. Industrial plastic curtains overlap their strip sections so that these flying pests can’t penetrate the coolroom threshold. Sure, a weekly delivery of meat or fish is taking place. Traffic is looping back and forth, the merchandise is creating a supply chain between the delivery quay and the refrigerated cooler, but only the brawny delivery employee and the temperature-sensitive products are pushing through those overlapping PVC strips.
Leveraging the Scalability Factor
Commercial operations vary dramatically, both in size and the length of that supply chain. Essentially, large business enterprises create a regulated processing tunnel. The industrial plastic strips act as a prominent threshold expeditor in that virtually sealed supply chain. Movements between narrow walk-in freezer doors and catering establishments rely on that plastic-sealed portal. On scaling pliable doorways upwards, their transparent strips also create a barrier between the outside world and frosty warehouses so that numerous product-loaded forklifts can safely zip through their high-visibility, abrasion-resistant panels with minimal effort.
It’s the supply and conveyance chain that acts as the lifeblood of the commercial cooling industry. The refrigerated commodities are properly stocked, but they’re also always on the move, carried by man, pallet jack, or forklift truck. Stopping tiny pests and energy losses, the flexible barriers keep the thread of productivity firmly intact.
C&M Coolrooms can create a custom solution for your specific needs. Talk to one of team members today.