5 Tricks for Making Fresh Produce a Treat

For fruit and veggie lovers, fresh produce is both a treat and a blessing. In foodservice, keeping it fresh can feel like a curse.

Oxygen and water are life-sustaining essentials, but they wreak havoc when it comes to storing perishable foods. Not only do they support human life, but they also help molds, yeasts, and other microorganisms grow and thrive. Once they come into contact with fresh foods, moisture and oxygen, along with enzymes, cause foods to degrade more quickly. After produce has been cut, the process can happen even faster.

In a nutshell, the secret to keeping produce fresh and flavorful to maximize shelf life is to control the food’s environment as much as possible. The following storage and inventory management tricks will help you protect nature’s treats from destructive forces like moisture, air, and time.

Trick #1: Seal in Freshness

Disposable covers like plastic wrap and foil are convenient , but their disposable nature leads to only temporary protection. Once they’ve been pulled back to access food, they’re never the same. This leaves food open to gaps and tears that allow easy entrance to air, moisture, and potential contamination from other foods.

A Cambro Translucent Seal Cover placed on a coordinating food pan creates a tight seal that keeps freshness in and destructive and dangerous elements out. 

Clear and translucent materials make it easy to see what’s inside, how much is left, and what condition it’s in—all without opening the container.

The seal cover also creates a stable platform for safe stacking without the risk of cross-contamination that can happen with loose plastic film or torn aluminum foil. 

This simple storage system saves spaces and improves organization while extending shelf life.

In fact, third party laboratory and field testing has confirmed that the Cambro Seal Cover on a Cambro Food Pan extends the shelf life of produce by 2–3 days, on average, compared to the same foods stored with disposable foils, wraps, or no cover at all.

Trick #2: Give it a Lift

Hold high moisture-content foods such as sliced tomatoes up and out of their own juices. This worthwhile practice keeps them from breaking down and getting mushy, while reducing handling.

Cambro Colander Pans drain liquids down and away from the food and into the pan below for clean and easy disposal. Pop on a flat cover for safe, stable storage in your walk-in cooler.

Trick #3: Rotate Inventory

Rotating food inventory is easier said than done, especially when multiple employees are involved. We now have two ways to help teams stay in sync when it comes to managing valuable inventory.

Dissolvable StoreSafe Labels by Cambro make it easier to consistently serve the freshest food while reducing waste.

StoreSafe labels help ensure that food that goes in first gets used first, and that lot numbers are properly recorded.

These temporary labels dissolve completely in the dishwasher or after 30 seconds under running water, leaving no residue behind.

For a longer term labeling system, StoreSafe Endure Food Identification Labels by Cambro adhere to any polycarbonate food pan or container and stay securely affixed through 300 commercial dishwasher cycles. 

If you plan to re-use labeled containers for different contents in the future, use with a wax marker or grease pencil. That way, markings can be scrubbed off, leaving the label ready for use for different contents after washing.

Trick #4: Give Food Nowhere to Hide

Smaller and randomly sized containers are notorious for hiding at the back of the shelf, dodging use and going bad before their contents can be prepared for serving.

The Camshelving Universal Storage Rack is a new Camshelving accessory and a groundbreaking organizational tool. Create your own system by customizing your PremiumElements, or Basics Plus Camshelving by adding up to 4 panels per shelf (2 starter kits). Each panel is designed with 7 rails spaced 2” apart. 

Panels maximize your storage by providing easy access to food pans, sheet pans, dough boxes, and food boxes without having to disrupt and handle other containers on the shelf. This ingenious setup also leaves no room for other containers to hide!

Each 2-panel set is able to hold four 2″ or 4″ deep full-size food pans with flat lids, two 3″ or 6″ deep half-size food boxes with lids, four 3″ deep half-size food boxes without lids, seven 18″ x 26″ sheet pans or trays, or four 3″ deep pizza dough boxes. Panels easily adjust to fit your menu’s changing needs.

Learn more and customize your own Camshelving Universal Storage Rack with the Camshelving Universal Storage Rack System Planning and Buying Guide.

Trick #5: Seal it to Save it

Whether you simply want to prepare and preserve food for use at a later time or desperately need to save it from the trash or compost bin, vacuum sealing and refrigerating or freezing is an excellent solution. 

The Sammic Vacuum Sealer preserves and protects valuable foods and maintains quality for serving at a later date.

That way, you can take advantage of volume discounts, manage unexpected service disruptions, or handle periods of slower demand without wasting valuable inventory.

For help with food storage or any other operational challenge, contact us. We’ve got lots of valuable tricks up our sleeves!