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Use the Proper Shelving

NSF-approved shelving has been tested by the National Sanitation Foundation and was found to be safe to use for storing things such as food and medicine. Be sure to pick the proper epoxy coating that will withstand frequent cleaning and cold and damp environments.


Lowest Shelves Should Be At Least 6 Inches Above the Ground

There are two very good reasons to keep your lowest shelves no less than 6 inches above the ground: it keeps food away from dirt and pests and it makes it easier to clean underneath the shelves.


Store Raw Meat Products on Lowest Shelves



When meat is thawed or marinating, there is the possibility for liquid to drip onto other things. Storing raw, thawed, or marinating meat on the lowest shelves can prevent that. All food should be covered while in the freezer or refrigerator, but you don’t want to take any risk for cross-contamination. And if your lowest shelves are at least 6 inches off the ground, you’ll have no problem cleaning up any potential messes. Cooked meat products can be stored on higher shelves.


Allow for Good Air Circulation

Wire Rack Shelving in Commercial Kitchen


To keep your freezer or refrigerator running efficiently, you’ll need to make sure you leave plenty of room for air to circulate around items. Keep at least 3 inches of space between items so they will be able to cool evenly.


Labels, Labels, Labels




There is no such thing as too many labels when it comes to food storage. Food is something you definitely don’t want to be making mistakes with. Sometimes, one kind of food looks very much like another kind of food. And on the surface, old milk looks the same as fresh milk. Make sure everything is clearly labeled with a name and date.


Keep Produce Away from Fans



Delicate foods such as fruit and produce can be damaged if they are stored too closely to a refrigerator’s fans. Make sure these are stored away from the ventilation.


First In, First Out



The rule of “First in, first out” is one that many restaurants and stores abide by, and for good reason. It makes more sense to place older items close to the front of a freezer or refrigerator, where they can be accessed more easily before expiring, and newer items in the back, since they don’t need to be used as soon.

10 Responses to “Tips for Organizing a Walk-In Freezer or Refrigerator”

  1. Scott says:

    I didn’t realize that it was a good idea to store delicate foods away from the ventilation. After reading this, I can see why this would help protect any food that might get damaged by blowing air. It seems like a good idea to keep things that can break easily closest to the floor. That way, if they fall, the impact is lessened and it may not break the container.

  2. Callum Palmer says:

    This is some really good advice; after all, a walk-in refrigerator or freezer can be a bit difficult to set up if you don’t know what you’re doing. In particular, I like your suggestions about using labels to keep things organized. Of course, it is also important to make sure that the fridge is operating properly in the first place, so you want to make sure that all your casings and parts are installed properly.

  3. Piyush Bansal says:

    Thanks for sharing such an detailed article. I especially liked the point to store low raw meat on lower floor I don’t have an idea about it.

  4. Jan Chapman says:

    Thank you so much for providing such nice information!

  5. Katie Wilson says:

    Thanks for the tip about labeling everything when you are organizing a refrigerator. It would make sense to know exactly where everything is as soon as you open it. You probably also want to make sure to get one that is big enough to fit everything that you will need without running out.

  6. What is the best walk-in freezer configuration for frozen meats. We need a 10′ x 14′ but aren’t sure about where to put the door and how to locate aisles. Thanks

    • Shelving, Inc. says:

      Hi there, we’d love to help and would recommend calling us at 1.800.637.9508 and speaking to one of our salespeople. They are well-versed in all the right questions and answers to help you find the best configuration and product to serve your specific needs. Thank you!

  7. Stephanie Tan says:

    Hi, We would like to buy some racks shelving for our cold room. Do you have service to come over to advice what type of shelving is suitable for us and also do the measuring to place order for the rack for the coldroom please?

    • Shelving, Inc. says:

      Hi there – as we are located in Michigan, we will not be able to visit in person. However if you’d like to give us a call at 1.800.637.9508, a team member would be happy to assist you in determining the best shelving for your needs. Thank you!

  8. Ellie Davis says:

    I didn’t know that in a walk-in freezer the lowest shelves should be at least 6 inches off of the ground. This seems like something that a store owner should keep in mind when the room is being built. Hopefully, anyone needing a freezer room looks into finding the best contractor to build it for them.

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