When there’s a blackout in your restaurant, it’s important to think about all of the perishables located in your refrigerators and freezers. While the temperature can usually stay in check for a few hours, anything longer will require immediate action on your part. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to throw all of the perishables away.
Use a Generator
Having a backup generator connected to your restaurant is a great idea, especially if the area is prone to blackouts. You can have it set up so that the coolers and freezers are instantly given power. The generator can run for hours. Many are powered by natural gas, ensuring that you don’t run out of power before the electrical power comes back on. You will want to choose the right generator based on the size of your restaurant, your availability to natural gas, and your budget.
Use Dry Ice
Dry ice is a common ingredient used to pack and ship perishables, so it only makes sense to use it to protect them if there’s a blackout. Plus, dry ice is known to inhibit bacterial growth, which is especially helpful when you’re trying to keep your ingredients fresh. You will want to use about 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice for every 24-hour period. Everything that you place into the insulated container with the dry ice should remain frozen. You can pack meat, ice cream, and even produce in dry ice without damaging the ingredients.
Rent a Refrigerated Truck
Particularly when you have temperature-sensitive foods, it can be advantageous to rent a refrigerated truck for a few days. It will provide you with all of the space that you need to move everything from your coolers into the refrigerated portion of the truck. You can use speed racks to organize the food based on cooking temperature. Since you don’t know how long the blackout will be, you can protect your investment effectively. Once the power is back on, you can disinfect the coolers and move your perishables back inside.
If you’re not careful, a blackout could end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost food product. As soon as the power goes out, you will want to spring into action to protect your perishables. A little bit of advanced planning with having a generator or a number to a refrigerated truck on hand can go a long way.