Wire Shelving In Refrigerators
You hear stories every day about restaurants and stores with health code violations from old food, improper storage and sanitation procedures or poor food preparation. Most of these issues are preventable by paying more attention to organization and efficient storage methods.
Regarding industrial refrigerators, organization becomes an essential part of the functionality of a restaurant or food services. Many establishments purchase commercial refrigerators and freezers with the focus on storage capacity and cubic feet of storage. However, the size of the fridge does not account for how efficient the storage method is.
Although fridges and freezers come with some shelving, the storage is usually not maximized to fit the needs of each company. When it comes to shopping for refrigerators and freezers, restaurants and food servicers must decide whether to invest in wire shelving or custom shelving to meet their needs.
Wire Shelving Temperatures
Improper temperature control causes one of the most common health code violations in refrigerators. According to USDA standards for proper storage temperatures, refrigerated storage must be kept between 32 and 40°F, and freezer storage at 0°F. So, wires for refrigerator shelving must be able to withstand freezing and below freezing temperatures.
Refrigerator and freezer temperature is especially critical at these frigid temperatures because poorly fabricated wire could become brittle and chip or break. Only using proper materials that have been well-designed for refrigeration or freezer purposes will prevent this. Your options include:
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel can hold up to temperatures as low as -148°F and is rust-resistant, making it the ideal choice for refrigerator and freezer shelving. However, stainless steel is not rustproof and typically works better in drier conditions.
- Carbon Steel: Carbon steel wire shelves, on the other hand, are treated with an iron phosphate base and finished with an antibacterial agent and epoxy. The shelving works well in both freezing temperatures and is rustproof, so it’s ideal to use in wet or moist environments. Epoxy shelving will wear over time and may begin to flake to reveal the metal underneath, whereas carbon steel shelves can last for years.
- Chrome-Plated: Chrome-plated wire shelving also works well in refrigerators and offers a cheaper price point to stainless or carbon steel. However, the unit may or may not have a transparent epoxy coating, and humid environments make chrome material more prone to rust and environmental wear.
- Customized Finishes: For determining shelving temperatures, custom wire shelving for fridges may be beneficial. For instance, applying a powder coating will include using a thermoset resin base, which enables the wire shelving to retain its chemical and physical properties after being heated up or cooled to extreme temperatures. If you’re looking to purchase wire shelving that can withstand the high temperatures of an oven or the frigid environment of refrigerators and freezers, knowing the shelving has thermoset resin will ensure its ability to withstand the high temperatures required.
Understanding the wire fabrication process will provide helpful information to help you determine how well wire shelving can withstand hot or cold temperatures. You may want to discuss the materials used in a certain product with the manufacturer, or consider using a wire fabricator company to help design and order custom wire shelving for your fridge and freezer.
Something to consider when choosing fridge and freezer wire shelving is the sanitation of the materials. There are several factors you should look for to ensure the cleanliness of your shelving, including:
- Rust Resistance: Rust resistance can be a particularly impactful factor in wire shelving considerations. Health inspectors frown on rusted shelving, and you can often find it listed under health inspection violations, making rust resistant or rustproof materials essential for fridge wire shelving. Plated wire shelving uses chrome plating on the wires. Although this material is rust-resistant and cost-effective, the wire shelving is not suitable for coolers with higher levels of humidity. Black wire shelving, on the other hand, has an epoxy coating on it, making the shelving rustproof.
- An Appropriate Surface: Another critical sanitation consideration is what types of foods will be stored in the fridge or freezer shelving. If you’re storing raw meats or fruits and vegetables on a shelf, you’ll want to choose a non-absorbent surface, like stainless steel, to prevent contaminants being absorbed and later transferred to other foods.
- Easy-to-Clean Features: The openness of wire shelving will simplify the cleaning process after spills. Instead of liquids pooling at the bottom of a shelf, the spill can drip down. Wire shelves can be customized for easy removal, as well, facilitating an even faster cleanup.
- Ample Organization Spaces: Wire shelving also increases organization of areas, which decreases the likelihood of spillage and foods contaminating each other. Increased organization also means less time searching for items, which can reduce cooking time or the possibility of burning an item.
- NSF Certification: The NSF, or National Sanitation Foundation, was founded in 1944 and strives to protect or improve global human health through standards and testing of product safety. NSF-approved products undergo extensive testing to ensure the health safety of the product. Although the products are re-inspected annually to keep the approval, purchasing NSF-approved products would be an excellent way to ensure appropriate sanitation of your wire shelving.
The best method for cleaning your wire refrigerator shelving is using soap and water, as chemicals may damage the metal alloys. Without proper cool temperatures and sanitation, microorganisms can grow, which affects the safety and quality of food products. That’s why frequent cleaning of the shelves can prevent food contamination.
Wire baskets are a standard feature for both storage and display. Many grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants use wire baskets for display purposes. In fact, you will often see advertisements featuring wire baskets, but they can also play a considerable role in refrigerator and freezer storage.
Some benefits of using wire baskets include:
- Saving Time: Wire baskets can be a huge time-saver by creating a well-organized space that lessens the time you spend searching for certain items. These baskets will ensure food doesn’t get lost in the depths of your fridge. When operating in an ample food storage space, it may be difficult to freely move around without ever knocking over another object or two. If a spill should occur, wire baskets can help contain the spill to prevent as much food contamination as possible.
- Freeing Up Space: In addition to increases in organization, wire baskets provide the added benefit of freeing up space in your refrigerator or freezer. Since miscellaneous food items or smaller items are well-contained in space-efficient storage, you’ll have more room in the rest of your fridge or freezer.
- Allowing Rearrangement: Furthermore, wire is lightweight and durable, making it an easy-to-move storage piece. If you have food items that are frequently moved from fridges and freezers, baskets would be a convenient storage option that allows for smooth movement of the items. Not only that, you can even wash the food in the baskets, clean them and return them to storage without any further hassle.
If you’re wondering what type of wire baskets to invest in, carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum are all excellent options. Carbon steel is the most cost-effective, but will require additional finishes to prevent corrosion and may not be the most durable product.
Stainless steel is the strongest and most durable option, but it’s also the heaviest, which may not be ideal if the baskets require frequent lifting and moving. Aluminum is a less durable but lighter option for baskets that need more mobility.
Size of the Fridge for Wire Customization
An impactful way to create more space for food storage in even residential refrigerators is by adding extra wire shelving. However, many of these are made from cheap plastic and cannot withstand the weight needed for industrial fridges.
For this reason, you’ll want sturdier materials capable of holding more weight than the plastic materials. Metal wire shelving would be the best fit for industrial needs. But before choosing the material for your wire shelving, consider several factors, such as:
- Weight of Stock: Storage shelves may need to support as much as 800 pounds or more in weight, necessitating a sturdy material and construction. Concerning durability, stainless steel is the top of the line and would be the ideal choice for shelving that will hold a significant amount of weight.
- Width: Wire width also alters how much weight a shelving unit can support. During the wire fabrication process, wires can be cut to specific diameters. Larger diameter wires will be able to hold more weight and smaller diameters will hold less weight. Professional help will be a great asset in determining wire width.
- Fridge Size and Type: Another important thing to remember is that the type and size of your fridge will determine the wire shelves you can have. Even custom wire shelving needs to be based on what your fridge can and can’t hold. If you have a trunk-style or cabinet-style refrigerator, you’ll need to be more concerned with how the shelving will attach. Even if the size shelves you order fit in height, depth and width, they may not attach correctly or may be too difficult to fit into the refrigerator.
- Storage Set-Up: Before ordering custom wire shelving for fridges and freezers, you’ll first need to know how you will utilize each space in the refrigerator. If you have a walk-in, knowing where the walking areas will be and planning how workers will load or unload products is an essential part of the wire shelving planning process. Crammed storage will make movement and access to food more difficult and may make it impossible to load and unload everything you need.
In some cases, custom wire shelving may be ideal for walk-ins, and the weight can be designed to exact specifications for weight and size. If the refrigerator needs to hold 1000 pounds of food or other items, sturdy and durable shelving is a must.
For maximum space and efficiency to meet your needs, you can order custom wire shelving for your fridge. With custom fridge shelving, you’ll be able to plan and organize the kitchen to meet your individual needs and make your walk-in a safe, organized environment.
Custom wires can be significant to time and space efficiency. Having refrigerator wire shelving and freezer wire shelving that fit perfectly into your space will facilitate superior fridge and freezer storage, meaning the more you can offer to customers.
Some factors that vary depending how you customize your wire shelving include:
- Size, Shape and Materials: No two wire shelves are the same. Not only does shelving come in different sizes and materials, but the wire width also dramatically impacts the weight a wire shelf is capable of holding. Custom wire racks can be designed to meet specific needs and sizing, which will make installation a breeze. Even if you have extremely small items to store, sheet metal fabrication can be designed to create shelving inlays. That way, smaller items won’t fall through the gaps and be lost in the fridge.
- Adjustability: You may also find adjustable shelving with an added feature to enhance storage capabilities. If, for instance, you have several extremely tall items, you can adjust shelf height to fit the size, and you would have the option to be still able to store shorter items below or above. Adjustable height also can facilitate easier reach of items, particularly if you find reaching food items on the top of a fridge shelf difficult. This could save time in retrieving items on upper shelves and prevent less spillage or knocking over of other food products.
- Turnaround Time: When determining what to customize about your custom refrigerator wire shelves and where to order them from, you’ll also want to consider the turnaround time for design and manufacturing. A quicker turnaround will mean you can install the shelving sooner and increase productivity. A wire fabrication company that can design a prototype for you and quickly replicate thousands of those prototypes upon approval is a critical factor in turnaround time and satisfaction with your product.
Contact Madsen Wire to Order Custom Wire Shelves Today
As anyone in the food services industry knows, effective refrigerator organization and storage procedures are the keys to success. Disorganization can lead to wasted time searching for food or having to throw food away because passing its expiration date. Furthermore, inefficient storage space leads to reduced storage capabilities and lower production rates.
Custom wire shelving for fridges and freezers solves this problem. Shelving provides an excellent means for storing items in an organized fashion — particularly smaller items. Custom shelving goes a step further by fitting perfectly with any fridge, so you can foster a safer, more productive work environment.
Request A Quote With Us Today
At Madsen Wire Products, a premier wire company, we can build custom wire shelving with widths that range from 0.80 to .50” to meet your needs. We will also consult with you in the design stages and recommend the best type of wire for your needs.
Our 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility is fully equipped to handle any fabrication request and can quickly turn around large or small orders. We have also attained ISO 9001 certification, meaning our systems follow a set of repeatable, scalable processes.
Contact a knowledgeable Madsen Wire Products professional online or by calling (260) 829-6561 to further discuss your fridge wire shelving needs.