How to store food in a cold room safely

Useful tips for storing food in cold storage

Monday 06 November 2023

Within the food industry, the freshness and quality of products always have the highest priority. Proper food storage is essential to ensure high production standards and maximum safety for consumers. The use of refrigerators and cold rooms is indispensable in various food sectors, and their usefulness goes far beyond simply refrigerating food. Cold rooms, specially designed to ensure a constant and adequate temperature, play a fundamental role in safeguarding the quality, freshness and safety of products. 

From production to distribution, processing and storage, controlled refrigeration ensures that food retains its organoleptic, nutritional and microbiological properties. In addition, the correct management of cold rooms, through careful regulation of temperature and humidity, can significantly reduce food waste, allowing companies in the sector to operate more sustainably and efficiently. 

Let’s see together some tips to store food in a cold room safely and useful equipment to ensure a perfect storage and storage of products. 

What is a cold room? Its use in the food industry

A cold room is a thermally insulated space, equipped with a refrigeration system, designed to store and store food and beverages at controlled temperatures below room temperature. In the food industry the use of cold storage is of crucial importance. These structures ensure that foods retain their freshness, taste, quality and safety, slowing down the microbiological and chemical processes that cause deterioration. 


Cold rooms are used in various segments of the industry, from storage of raw materials in the production phase to storage of finished products awaiting distribution. They are essential for storing highly perishable foods such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. In the food industry, proper temperature and humidity management within the cell is essential to ensure product quality and prevent economic losses due to deterioration or damage. 

In addition to storage, cold stores play a key role in the controlled maturation of certain foods, such as cheeses and cured meats, where specific temperatures and humidity are necessary to achieve the desired organoleptic characteristics.

How to freeze food

As we have seen, in the food industry, food freezing is an effective solution for maintaining both the quality and the safety of products. However, to ensure optimal results, it is essential to follow some essential guidelines, in particular by ensuring: 

  • initial quality of food: before freezing, it is essential to ensure that food is fresh and in good condition. The quality at the time of freezing will directly affect the quality at the time of consumption; 
  • adequate temperature: cold rooms must be able to quickly reach very low temperatures, ideally below -18 ºC, and to maintain them uniformly throughout the room; 
  • hygiene and HACCP system: hygiene plays a fundamental role in freezing food. The presence of micro-organisms or contaminants can seriously compromise the quality and safety of food, even under low temperature conditions. If a food is contaminated before freezing, bacteria can reactivate and multiply once the food is thawed. To ensure high hygiene standards, it is important to adopt the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. This method, focused on prevention, identifies and analyzes the potential dangers associated with each step of the food production process, from the storage of raw materials to the distribution of the finished product. Once critical control points (CCPs) have been identified, critical limits, monitoring procedures and corrective actions are established to ensure constant hygiene in the cold room; 
  • appropriate packaging and use of suitable plastic equipment: in some cases the use of hermetic packaging and, where possible, the vacuum technique, are essential to protect food from oxidation, avoid dehydration and limit the formation of frost, preserving flavor and quality. Also the use of certified plastic equipment for food, safe and specially designed for contact with food, is essential to ensure a good preservation of products, especially fresh products; 
  • labeling and traceability: each frozen product should be clearly labelled with information such as date of freezing, type of food, recommended shelf life and production batches, ensuring proper traceability; 
  • space optimization: the internal organization of the cold room is fundamental. Food should be stored so that air can circulate freely around each product, avoiding overload and ensuring uniform cooling; 
  • monitoring and maintenance: regular maintenance of equipment and constant monitoring of temperature and humidity are essential to prevent breakdowns and ensure effective freezing over time. 

Plastic equipment essential for freezing food

In the food industry, plastic equipment is essential for the proper storage of food in refrigerators and cold stores. Thanks to their resistance, lightness and ease of cleaning, they offer efficient and hygienic solutions. Here are some of the most used plastic equipment:

  • stackable plastic crates, ideal for storing fresh, semi-finished or ready-to-eat food, such as meat, salami or fish or other products that need to be left in the cooling or freezing cell. IFT plastic crates are designed to ensure the storage of products in a safe and hygienic way, without changing the quality of food and enhancing its characteristics; 
  • food crates, perfect to optimize the space in the cold room because they allow easy organization and management of stocks, while ensuring good air circulation; 
  • plastic food trays and boards, useful for separating and storing different types of food, especially those sensitive to pressure or that release liquids, such as meat or fish.

All these equipment, in addition to being functional, are designed to withstand the low temperatures of cold rooms and to ensure maximum hygiene, thanks to the ease with which they can be cleaned and sanitized. The equipment proposed by IFT is made of certified materials suitable for contact with food, free of potentially harmful substances and able to maintain their characteristics even at very low temperatures. 


For more information about IFT’s plastic food equipment, please contact us