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How to Pack Your Freezer

Published by Ian Yates on


Cold Storage Racking

Organisation is paramount when it comes to safe storage of chilled and frozen food. Your business depends on the quality of your food, and incorrect storage can create problems with temperature and lead to spoiled food. To negate this risk your ColdBox chiller and freezer will operate more efficiently if packed correctly.


Where possible you should use shelving to keep food items off the floor. Our ColdBox trailers can be delivered with racking installed on request, or you can use your own shelving or dunnage racks to achieve this. Raising items at least 6 inches (10 cm) off the floor increases airflow, reduces the risk of contamination and is considered standard practice in commercial kitchens.

Fresh meat should be placed on the lowest shelves to prevent cross contamination from thawing products or damaged food containers leaking contents onto items below. By having these items on a raised shelf it is simple to see if any thawing or leaking occurs and appropriate action can be taken.

You must ensure your items are given enough space between each other and from the walls, floor and ceiling for adequate ventilation. If cold air cannot circulate around your stored food items it can create warm spots, and warm spots create bacteria.

Keep fresh greens, vegetables, soft fruits and berries away from the fans inside a ColdBox chiller. This is because the cold air blowing across fresh items can damage them to an extent where they cannot be used. Store these foods as far from the fan as possible or use containers to maintain their colour, taste and shape.


bad freezer storage
Photo / Auckland Council

A poorly organised ColdBox chiller or freezer will create problems for those people tasked with retrieving food items. Label your shelves to ensure food is placed in the correct areas, which also has the benefit of quickly finding what is required. The quicker it is to find items, the less time is spent with the door open and the more efficiently a ColdBox will work for you.

How NOT to pack your Coldbox Chiller and Freezer!

The above image shows a poorly packed ColdBox Freezer and Chiller unit which was having problems with maintaining temperature. The way the boxes have been stacked do not allow for adequate airflow and the condensers were struggling to achieve the set temperature. This method of packing also leads to problems for stock rotation and ensuring your produce is used at the optimum times.

food labels
ColdBox Contact Details
Freezer Storage

Along with labelling your shelves, your food should also be labelled. This will include date of preparation and date it was placed into storage as a bare minimum. Ensure you use First In First Out (FIFO) procedures to ensure proper rotation of your food items. Place newest items to the back of any shelves and bring the older food forward.

A correctly packed ColdBox chiller and freezer will ensure your products are kept in their prime condition.