If you are a restaurant, caterer, or grocer in the Greater Toronto Area, you must be aware of the amount of food that gets thrown away every day. According to research conducted by Second Harvest, approximately half of all foods produced in Canada is wasted every year. These foods are wasted across the food supply chain by farmers, food manufacturers, food distributors, and restaurants and retailers. While it may be difficult to achieve zero food waste across the supply chain, there are steps that eco-conscious businesses can adopt to minimize food waste on a day-to-day basis.
To prolong the shelf life of produce, for instance, businesses can practice the following:
- Eliminate humidity on produce. Moisture on produce can create mold and turn produce into mush. If the produce in your walk-in cooler is moist from washing, please make sure they are dried off before you put them into the walk-in cooler.
- Place produce into storage bags. Produce can quickly dry out and become rotten when stored in the walk-in cooler without protection.
- Separate “gassy” produce. When stored in the same spot, the release of ethylene from fruits and vegetables can become very concentrated, leading to an accelerated rotting process for all the produce. It’s a good idea to keep “gassy” produce like potatoes, apples, pears, and bananas away from each other to protect other produce in the cooler.
- Keep track of your inventory. Soft greens that go onto salads (such as lettuce) tend to be one of the first produce to go bad. Same with cucumbers, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, peppers and cauliflower. Make sure you sell these types of produce first so they don’t go bad before they reach the customer.
- Freeze the fruit. Restaurants can reduce food waste by freezing fruits as soon as they become ripe. Once frozen, they will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months. This frozen fruit can also be used for dressings, drinks, desserts and jams!
- Don’t cram the walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer. Cramming too much food in the freezer or cooler can increase the risk of spoilage as the fridge can’t function properly with too much inventory. If you are in need of extra cold storage space, please consider renting a mobile cooler or freezer from Coolmate Rentals.
We know that restaurants, caterers, and grocers regularly invest a lot of money into fresh fruits and vegetables. To help you maintain a fresh supply of produce and reduce food waste, Coolmate Rentals can provide your business with rental mobile coolers, freezers, and combo cooler and freezer units in sizes ranging from 6’ to 16’. If you are in need of refrigeration rentals for your produce or other perishable food items, please reach out to Coolmate Rentals!