How to Clean and Organize a Commercial Refrigerator

Release time:2023-11-06 Number of views: 137

Clutter, mess and dirty refrigerators can be a major problem in food service organizations that rely on cleanliness. Not only does a dirty refrigerator lead to bacterial growth, it also causes the refrigerator to consume more power and shortens its lifespan.


Restaurants that only offer takeout and delivery services or those that are completely closed due to New Crown Pneumonia (COVID-19) can take advantage of this opportunity to deep clean and organize their walk-in coolers and freezers. In this blog post, we'll go through a step-by-step guide on how to clean and organize your commercial refrigerator, walk-in refrigerator or freezer!

7 Steps to Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Before re-organizing your refrigerator, you should first clean it out, remove any expired food items, and sanitize everything. Here's how to clean your refrigerator step-by-step:

1. Unplug the refrigeration unit

The first thing you should do to eliminate the possibility of electrocution is to unplug your refrigerator or freezer. This is a quick and easy step, but it's also crucial for preventing workplace injuries.

2. Empty all items from each shelf

The second step should be to remove all products from the refrigerator or freezer. Make sure to actually remove the containers, don't just move them to the other side of the refrigerator.

3. Throw out any expired or moldy foods

Perishable items can easily get lost in the mix by being pushed to the back or hidden behind other items in a large refrigerator. Don't keep anything you suspect has gone bad - it's not worth the risk of making customers sick.


Already-opened cans and jars are also offenders to consider tossing in the trash (unless they've been properly labeled with the date and time they were opened). Follow the mantra: "If in doubt, throw it out." Any other food or ingredients you haven't used in months (or that you don't plan to use in the next few weeks) should also be thrown in the trash or recycling bin.

4. thoroughly wipe down the inside of your refrigerator or freezer

Thoroughly clean your commercial refrigerator or freezer with a bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge of your choice. Highly absorbent microfiber cloths and gloves are perfect for scrubbing every inch of your refrigerator's interior and removing any dirt that has accumulated since your last cleaning.


If you're having a hard time removing dirt or stuck-on stains from the corners, try using a simple toothbrush as the bristles are pliable and strong, helping to get into small spots and then scrub away the dirt. After thoroughly scrubbing the inside of your refrigerator and freezer, rinse with water.

5. Sanitize with disinfectant

Bacteria and mold can build up in your refrigerator over time, so it's important to sanitize surfaces with a disinfectant. Be sure to use a food-safe sanitizer because you will eventually be putting items back into the freezer unit. There is no need to over sanitize since you have already cleaned the inside. A little goes a long way.

6. Vacuum the condenser and coilsr generated by the refrigeration unit's condenser and refrigeration coils. Over time, dust and debris can build up on your refrigerator and eventually block the air intake. As a result, your condenser and refrigerator coils will need to use more energy to draw in air and keep your refrigerator cool, leading to lower refrigerator efficiency and higher utility bills.

You can solve this problem by regularly removing dust from your refrigerator coils. Start by removing the protective grill located on the top or bottom of the unit. Brush the coils and fan unit to remove dirt and dust. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the debris and then reinstall the grill.

7. Clean the bottom and top of the refrigerator or freezer

Keeping the area around your refrigeration unit clean is just as important as cleaning the unit itself. Thoroughly wipe down the floor under and around the refrigerator or freezer. If your unit has casters, be sure to pull them away from the wall to reach the walls and floor behind and under the unit. Don't forget to remove any dust from the top of the unit as well.

How to load your refrigerator or freezer

Once your refrigeration unit is completely clean, it's time to plug it back in and place food on the shelves. When putting food back in your commercial refrigerator, make sure you use the correct food placement procedure.


Here's how you should store items in your refrigerator:


Top shelf: ready-to-eat foods, produce, butter, condiments, precooked foods

Second shelf: seafood

Third shelf: whole raw pork and beef

Fourth shelf: ground meat and fish

Bottom shelf: poultry


By placing raw meat and poultry on a lower shelf, you can help prevent any juices and bacteria from dripping and contaminating the food below.

Organize your refrigerator

There are also some useful steps you can take to organize your fridge and freezer and find what you want more easily:


Add labels to any open products. Adding labels will help you keep track of the freshness of your food so you can discard it when it expires.

Use color-coded garbage cans. Using color-coded garbage cans for different products makes it easy to differentiate between them and helps your employees find what they're looking for quickly.

Implement a "first in, first out" approach. First-in, first-out, also known as FIFO, is an inventory management method that ensures you use the freshest food first and prevents it from sitting in your refrigerator for too long.


Now that your fridge and freezer are clean and tidy, you can start to see the benefits of keeping your equipment tidy by limiting waste and saving money. Tidying and cleaning your fridge will reduce food costs, ensure more efficient use of food, reduce food waste and prevent the growth and spread of bacteria.

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