Food Storage and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving-Charlie-Brown-SnoopyHello all, and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Storage Solutions!  Yes, it is once again that time of year; the time when we celebrate the coming together of different groups of people (the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock, and the Native American tribe the Wampanoag Indians) for the autumn harvest feast that we now call Thanksgiving.  It was a simpler time in 1621, and the first Thanksgiving meal shared by the colonists was vastly different from our modern Thanksgiving traditions. The only two items that historians know for sure were on the menu are venison and wild fowl.  However, it can be assumed that the Pilgrims didn’t enjoy a number of the vegetable dishes that we commonly have in our modern day Thanksgiving celebrations.

There are two main reasons for this.  Vegetables typically didn’t play a large part in the feast mentality of the seventeenth century.  It was also very difficult for the early settlers to keep food preserved for long periods of time.  So, depending on the time of year, many vegetables weren’t available to the colonists.

A lot has changed over the last few hundred years that has enabled us to enjoy such commodoties as pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce on our beloved turkey day.  One of the main factors contributing to our ability to have such an eclectic array of food on Thanksgiving has been the evolution of food storage and preservation techniques. The preservation of harvested and prepared food for future consumption is one of the oldest practical arts, and a necessity that developed from the sheer need to survive in a hostile environment where fresh food was not always available.  Early methods of food preservation ranged from drying fruits and vegetables, to salting and smoking meats.

Modern day techniques for storing and preserving food are much more advanced.  Typically, perishable food products will be stored and shipped in coolers or freezers to help preserve the food.  There are entire warehouses, which are basically giant freezers, that are optimal for storing mass amounts of perishable goods.  One important factor in the storing of these foods is the type of pallet rack being utilized.  It is important to use the appropriate type of racking in the food industry to maintain a clean environment. For this reason, structural C-channel rack is preferred over tubular rack because if something spills, it is easier to clean the open C-channel than it is to clean inside the closed tubular channel.  Another type of rack that is typically associated with the food industry is two deep pushback pallet rack.  Only going two pallets deep per row helps keep the product moving quickly as opposed to sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time.

There are some foods, such as ice cream, which need to be kept at extremely low temperatures.  Ice cream is typically kept at a temperature of -25°F, and these extreme conditions can cause an increased amount of strain on the racking equipment and materials.  It is recommended that a rack inspection be performed at least once annually, but more frequent inspections can be recommended depending on the amount of damage inflicted on the racks by the fork lifts and trucks.  Storage Solutions offers a warehouse safety service, where we will come in and make sure that all of the racking welds and anchors are in proper condition.

Thanks for joining us for another Storage Solutions blog post.  Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!