November 15, 2019

Shelf-Stable Strategies for Foodservice

Shelf-Stable Strategies for Foodservice

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Balancing consumer demand for farm-fresh ingredients with complementary shelf-stable ingredients is fundamental to a profitable foodservice operation. Healthcare foodservice kitchens face the added challenge of formulating emergency menu plans for disaster and crisis preparedness, which requires strategic forethought into shelf-stable ingredient selection.

To ensure that your kitchen is following current best practices in shelf-stable menu strategies for both healthcare and commercial foodservice operations, read on!

Find Profits in Shelf-Stable Ingredients

For both healthcare and commercial foodservice operations, a shelf-stable menu plan can help expand profit margins. Optimizing usage of shelf-stable ingredients can help your kitchen utilize both fresh and prepared ingredients more efficiently to ensure guest satisfaction.

One way to optimize your everyday ingredient usage is to elevate and complement fresh and prepared ingredients with speed scratch recipes. A trusty lineup of popular speed scratch recipes, like this Spinach Strawberry Salmon Salad, will help reduce food waste and kitchen labor while increasing profit margins. 

Shelf-Stable Storage Best Practices

A simple solution to reducing food waste, increasing efficiency, and improving profit margins is to ensure that your kitchen is properly equipped to store and utilize shelf-stable ingredients.

Canned and vacuum sealed shelf-stable foods should be stored in a dry location between 50°F - 70°F. Although shelf-stable food goods like canned and pouch tuna are safe to eat for years, Chicken of the SeaⓇ recommends using them within a year to deliver the greatest guest satisfaction. The USDA Shelf-Stable Food Safety guidelines state that stocks of canned or pouched goods be rotated into your normal food supply so that none is stored longer than a year prior to consumption. 

Disaster Preparedness in Healthcare Foodservice

Menu preparation for disaster and crisis scenarios is a key part of healthcare foodservice shelf-stable menu strategies. An emergency menu plays an essential role in disaster preparedness. It relies on a variety of shelf-stable products so that you are assured of the ability to serve meals, even if you lose refrigeration. 

Foodservice directors at healthcare facilities should have a written Emergency Preparedness Plan, which includes disaster menus. To ensure your Emergency Preparedness Plan is adaptable to a variety of potential disasters and crises, collaborate with your facility’s safety officer to analyze how the plan could change in different scenarios. 

Shelf-stable, high-protein ingredients like canned and pouch Chicken of the Sea® tuna and salmon products form the core of an adaptable emergency menu plan. Following storage best practices and rotating shelf-stable ingredients into a healthy menu featuring enticing speed scratch recipes will ensure satisfied guests and maintain healthy profit margins.

Learn more about Farm to Foodservice best practices and elevating ingredients with speed scratch recipes in our free CE course, Local Produce: Farm to Foodservice.

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