What Are The Best Walk-in Cooler Storage Tips?

Walk-in coolers as the term suggests are coolers that offer cool and fresh drinks and food items as you walk up to them. These machines have been popular all these years because they are effective and convenient. However, what most people do not realize is that walk-in coolers only work great if they are stored or organized properly otherwise, you will need to call in commercial appliances repair services often. Below are some important storage and maintenance tips to help keep your cooler working in perfect condition.

Label Everything

The first and most important storage tip is labeling everything that you plan to store in your walk-in cooler. In most cases, you might have observed walk-in coolers with food items that are hardly ever labeled. Although, this is just due to laziness but takes a lot of time to figure out when it is time to pick your favorite snack.

One of the reasons you need to label everything is because there are a lot of things that look similar such as parsley and cilantro. You would not want mixing of the two items, which can ruin your dish. Plus, looks can also be deceiving if you rely on freshness.

There are plenty of items out there that might look fresh from the outside until you try to cook them. This is the case with eggs and milk particularly. Even if the milk has been sitting in the fridge for a few days, it might look like it does not have any issues until you smell it.

A noteworthy way of storing food items is by recording and mentioning the date it was purchased. With this, you will be able to organize food items based on their freshness. And, while labeling the food items is one thing, you should also label the shelves so that the same type of food items goes in the same spot.

Implement A FIFO Method

The First in First Out method is a standard for storing and organizing food in commercial kitchens. The rule is very simple to follow. The food item that first enters the cooler will also be the first one to leave. This method is a great way for you to make sure your food items are consumed within time and nothing goes to waste.

To make sure that this rule is followed, place new items behind the older items. This way, you will be able to grab the item that has been in the cooler the longest and automatically push the older items forward.

The Lowest Rack Must Be Six Inches Above The Floor

When the lowest last in at least six inches above the walk-in cooler floor, it will make sure that the floor is clean and save your time during the cleaning process. This extra space also allows you to mop easily so that pests, rats, or other intruders cannot make room for themselves. Plus, keeping the racks at a height also makes it difficult for the pests to reach the food.

However, one thing you need to keep in mind is that keeping the lowest rack 6 inches or more above the ground is not possible in every case. It might be that the roof-to-surface distance is not that much and you will have to do with whatever space that is available.

In such a case, you should not force 6 inches of space but look for other ways to keep the pests away from the food items. For instance, you can spray the area with an insecticide or lay down mice traps, etc. to keep the area secure.

Keep Meat Products On Lowest Racks

You might have seen meat products being stored in the highest racks in coolers. This might be the old-school method but logically does not make sense. The reason is that marinate and liquid could potentially fall on the food items below and not only cause a bad smell but also result in dangerous bacteria growth.

Cross-contamination tends to be a serious problem not only in terms of health but also as a violation of hygiene, which can result in a hefty fine or temporary closure of your business. The last thing you would want is your customers getting sick.

To prevent such a situation, you should store meat or meat items in the lowest rack to prevent cross-contamination. Instead of falling onto the food products below, the liquid will fall on the ground with no damage done.

Keep Delicate Food Items Away From Fans

Another common mistake people tend to make while storing food items is placing delicate items near the fans. This is going to spoil the food instead of keeping them fresh. Strong airflow can, sometimes, cause damage to the stored food items. So, make sure to only place items in front that will be consumed in a short period.

Leave Room For Circulation

When you purchase a new walk-in cooler, you should always go through its user manual. The reason is that it contains all the important tips and information about storage and maintenance. It is ignorance that leads to overstoring or stuffing the refrigerator.

Keep in mind that a cooler needs proper circulation to keep the food items fresh and cool. If there isn’t any space, the cool air will not be able to circulate properly which is going to cause food spoilage. As a general rule of thumb, it should be that the food items should be placed in their respective racks.

A good practice is to a space of three to six inches between them. This allows the cooler to run at its optimum cooling power.

Does The Walk-In Cooler Need Maintenance?

If you are already following the tips mentioned above and your walk-in cooler is still experiencing complications and you have to do commercial refrigerators repairs Fairfax often, it means there is probably a maintenance issue. You might think that a walk-in cooler does not require cleaning or inspection just because it is designed to store food items.

But what you do not understand is that dirt, dust, and other external factors also affect its performance. With time, the food items stored inside may also release chemicals or other properties that might contaminate or cause a bad odor.

Plus, there are a lot of other components inside a walk-in cooler like filters and coils that work together to produce and circulate cool air. With time, dust settles on these parts making it difficult for the unit to perform.

For instance, the coils are designed to dissipate heat. If there is a lot of dirt and dust, the coils will not be able to disperse heat and the unit will have to work harder than usual which will eventually increase the energy consumption as well.

This is why it is important to create a maintenance schedule and also hire an expert who can perform a thorough inspection and maintenance on these machines. Instead of considering it an expense, you should think of it as an investment to keep future complications at bay.


Storing food items in a walk-in cooler is as simple as it gets. All you need to do is follow the user manual and the tips mentioned above. This way, you will be able to protect your food items and sustain the performance of your walk-in cooler especially during busy business hours. Moreover, to prevent problems, hire a walk in cooler repair Alexandria expert for maintenance and repairs.

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