On a regular, day-to-day basis when running your business, you might not usually have to worry about purchasing and using dry ice. In fact, in all of the time that you have operated your restaurant, you might have never used dry ice once or even really thought about it. However, if there is an emergency that causes a power outage in your restaurant, then you may find that using dry ice can be a good way to preserve food that you might otherwise have to throw away. These are a few tips that can help you with using dry ice in your restaurant during an emergency situation like this.
Make Sure It's Food-Grade Dry Ice
Dry ice is used for many different purposes, depending on your needs and the type of dry ice that you purchase. If you are going to be using your dry ice to keep food cold, then you should make sure that you purchase food-grade dry ice. This can be a little more expensive, but it's critical if you want to ensure that your food products are kept safe. It's still important to handle the dry ice carefully, however, and you will probably want to prevent direct contact between the dry ice and the food items that you have in storage in your restaurant.
Make Sure You Have Enough
Dry ice is sold in blocks of different sizes, and you'll want to make sure that you purchase enough blocks for your refrigeration systems and freezers. After all, if you have big walk-in coolers, then you might need larger blocks of dry ice so that you can keep the refrigerators and freezers cold enough.
Avoid Opening and Closing Your Refrigerators and Freezers
Dry ice can be quite effective at keeping refrigerators and freezers cold even when there is a power outage, but there are things that you can do to help them be even more effective. For example, avoid opening and closing your refrigerators and freezers often while you are using dry ice. This can help you keep your refrigerators and freezers cold for longer and can help you maintain more steady and reliable temperatures.
Monitor the Temperature of Your Refrigeration Systems
Of course, food safety is of the utmost importance, so it's imperative for you to make sure that your refrigeration systems -- and the food inside – are kept as cold as they should be. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your refrigeration systems throughout the power outage, and make sure that you dispose of any food that reaches unsafe temperatures, even for a brief period of time.
For more information about dry ice, ask a dry ice expert.