The following information is provided
courtesy of The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.
comes to enough space to work in, most chefs will say the person
who designed the kitchen was never going to have to work in it,
or the kitchen was designed when food sales were not as busy as
the present. That means the maximum use of available space is
important which means efficient shelving and storage.
must there be efficient use of space with shelving, but it has
also to conform to good food safety practice and increasingly,
to employee health and safety requirements. Lifting from high
shelves involving stretching or standing on a raised surface
could be viewed as an employee safety risk.
coldrooms and freezer rooms it is important to maximise the
storage areas through good racking and shelving, since the
running costs over a year will be very similar for a coldroom
under-stocked and one that has shelving which utilises as much
space as possible.
Shelving fixed to the walls of
the kitchen or the dry store area is still widespread, but it is
impractical to move it, cleaning is more difficult and since all
kitchens evolve in layout it does not make for sensible
use of the storage area.
effective shelving is a modular system. This usually comes as a
flatpack or semi-fitted. As part of a new kitchen or
refurbishment, the installer will put the shelving together, but
it is literally snap and click, often without any nuts or bolts
to fix. Self-assembly is very straightforward.
of modular shelving systems include mobility, versatility and
the ability to remove shelving for washing, either through a
dishwasher or in a sink. The uprights on modular shelving have
anchor points for shelf support brackets, so many or just two or
three shelves can be fitted according to the goods in store and
shelf height is very simple and additional shelves and support
brackets can be bought. A good system will allow for shelving to
be fitted around a corner, often without the obstruction of a
support post on the leading edge of the corner, further
increasing the versatility of the unit. Where transporting of
shelving is a feature needed in a kitchen, modular racking
systems mounted on castors are available.
There are a
wide range of materials used in shelving, each with their
advantages, but the one material which has a food safety
question mark against it is wood. In theory, wood is cheap and
for dry goods storage such as tins presents no food safety
risks. But things other than tins get stored on wooden shelving
and it can become soiled and be a breeding ground for bacteria.
A regular and thorough cleaning routine using a sanitiser will
keep the wood clean, but in practice this is unlikely to happen.
Usually the cheapest material for shelving, useful where cost is
very important to the buyer. It performs well for ambient dry
goods storage, but if used in the damp environment of a coldroom
over a period of time it can produce a type of white rust which
needs to be cleaned off.
This is metal, usually as a mesh or parallel bars, which is
given a plastic coating, similar to the racking used in a
domestic fridge. This is a versatile material which can be used
in both coldrooms and for ambient racking. Care has to be taken
that in a coldroom rust does not begin to break through at
bends and joints. In a coldroom environment, cracking can occur
in the plastic coating, which as well as allowing corrosion to
break through, gives a cleaning problem.
– This is one of the less expensive materials and has strength,
stain resistance and the anodised coating makes it easy to keep
clean. Can be used in both dry goods storage and in coldrooms
and freezer rooms.
The most durable of construction materials, good to keep clean
and corrosion problems are very rare. The choice of kitchens
where there is a desire for high performance and the willingness
to pay for it.
several construction forms for the actual shelf, but they fit
within two types – solid shelves and slatted shelves. A solid
shelf is useful if small items are being stored, such as cooking
utensils or small jars which would topple over on a slatted
shelves are the more popular. These allow air to circulate
freely around food, important in storing fresh food at ambient
temperature and for coldroom storage. The slats allow for a good
circulation of the cold air around the food. For use in wine
storage, then round slats are useful as they allow bottles to be
racked horizontally and put on top of each other.
Dunnage is a
technical word that describes a low-sited ambient racking system
that keep heavy items just off the ground to prevent moisture,
heat and cold from rising up through the ground and spoiling
product. Having foodstuffs raised off the ground also helps to
be a barrier to walking and crawling pests. Typical products
stored on dunnage shelving are sacks of potatoes and other bulky
vegetables such as onions and carrots. Dunnage shelving needs to
be very robust, able to withstand heavy and prolonged weights
being stored on it.
shelving, the slatted shelves can be lifted out and in most
cases put through a dishwasher. For parts of modular shelving
which cannot be put into a dishwasher such as the upright frame,
a medium bristle brush with hot soapy water will clean off
spillages and a sanitising spray will help remove residual
bacteria. A hot power wash spray gun normally used for cleaning
solid floors is another way of cleaning shelving, but check with
the manufacturer’s instructions.
cleaning should be done when there is a spillage of cooked food
or leaching of fluid from meat and fish.