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Shelf Loading Theory

walk in cooler

Walk in Cooler Shelf Loading Theory

You have in your hand an insert of sliced pork chops, and carrry it to your walk in cooler to keep it cool until you need to cook it. There are several places where it could be placed. Do you place this insert in the most convenient place available, or do you reason where it is placed?

There is a reason for putting this insert in the proper place. It is known as Shelf Loading Theory for Walk in Coolers.

When an item is packaged, it does not matter how well it looks like it is packaged. You MUST assume that it is possible for something to poke a hole in it and for the juices of that product to drip on the product below it.

First, you place those whings which will not require cooking on the top, such as salads. Below that, top to bottom place the things in the order in accordance with their cooking temperature. If you have a pan of hamburger meat and a pan of chicken, the chicken would go below the hamburger meat because the proper cooking temperature for the hamburger meat is 155 degrees, and the proper cooking temperature for the chicken is 165 degrees. If the juiced of the hamburger meat drips on the chicken, any pathogens that are usually associated with hamburger meat, like e-coli, will be destroyed when the chicken is cooked. If the chicken was placed on top of the hamburger meat, and the chicken dripped on the hamburger meat, the usual pathogens of chicken, salmonela, would not be destroyed when the hamburger meat was cooked. You just risked a food borne disease outbreak.

So, keep the cooking temperatures in mind when storing things in your walk in cooler. And remember, health department officials are familiar with this theory also.

Here is an interresting question. If meat is in one piece, it only needs cooked to 145 degrees. If it is comminuted, or ground up, it must be cooked to 155. Why?

I don’t fully understand this, but I am told that if e-coli is present, it will be on the outside of a piece of meat, yah, go figure. So 145. If you grind it up, the e-coli, if present will be uniformly mixed throughout the meat, which requires a higher temperature to try to kill those little buggers.

Texas Food Establishment Documents

Article by Gene Cox, Texas Best Food Services Training.

Texas Food Manager

Kitchen Illumination Guidelines

Kitchen illumination guidelines


As long as you can see what you are doing, everything is ok. Right or wrong? Well, you are right and wrong.

While you can see what you are doing, there is still a guideline to follow when designing and implementing lighting in a kitchen

Illumination is measured in a quantity known as candles, or foot-candles.

Definition of foot-candle

“a unit of illuminance or illumination, equivalent to the illuminationproduced by a source of one candle at a distance of one foot and equalto one lumen incident per square foot.”


Required illumination of preperation surfaces in restaurant kitchens: 50 candles.

Food display areas: 20 candles.

Requred illumination of walk in coolers: 10 candles.

Article by Gene Cox, Texas Food Manager Training

Texas Food Manager

Food Contamination Issues

This post covers several issues

First. There are more than three ways to legally sanitize things, but I have only seen three used.

And you need to know these stats:
Chlorine sanitizer: 50 ppm – 99 ppm for 7 seconds
Iodine sanitizer: 12.5 – 50 ppm 30 secs.
Hot water: How hot? 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rings, jewelry. Please, be real. We wear jewelry, but legally you can only wear a single band wedding ring. What happens if it falls in the food? There are three types of contamination: physical, chemical, biological. A ring is a physical and biolical because the ring is physical and your dirty skin is biological.

Hand washing. The TFER says 10 to 15 seconds. Lets go with 10 seconds.

Another trick question. “How long can food be held 135 t0 70 degrees?”
On the surface it looks like “hot holding”, and we all agree 4 hours. the options are 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, and some crazy answer. If you answer 4 hours which appears correct you will be wrong. Look at the temps. It is actually asking about thawing times. TRICK QUESTION. 2 hours of thawing at this temperature

Single use gloves worn only when handling raw food.

Are you paying attention? You should be.

Eggs held on a warmer for your guests delights. 135 degrees. Which is all that they need cooked at to begin with.

If you reheat anything, even your girlfriend, it is 165 degrees.

Calibrating a thermometer. You prepare an icy solution then place the thermometer in it for 15 Seconds,then adjust it to 32 degrees.

The only animal that can be touched in a restaurant by employees is fish in an aquarium. Hands off the dogs and girls.

When it comes to salad bar utensils, the best idea is to use Unwrapped utensils to prevent customers from contaminating them.

Storing in use utensils: — IN THE FOOD!!! If you place it on a side plate, too many possible things could happen to it.

Your plates must be resistant to chipping. Got it?

Remember these things, you will thank me later…..

Article by Gene Cox, Texas Best Food Services Training