Purchasing ready-to-eat foods is a popular choice for consumers looking for an enjoyable meal that isn’t fast food but don’t have to make themselves. Also called prepared foods, these meals are available in grocery stores, convenience stores and many other foodservice operations looking to provide food choices while limiting face-to-face contact.
According to Progressive Grocer magazine, over 60% of the people they surveyed choose grab-and-go options in the store. Making sure the foods are not only available but also are safely cooked and prepared before packaging is a crucial part of offering ready-to-eat foods, as is the labor involved. Using Pitco fryers and Thermo-Kool blast chillers can help with both of these concerns.
Comfort foods are making a comeback, and fried food is the ultimate in comfort food. What says summer picnic better than fried chicken? Fried foods also have a high profit margin, so be sure to have fried chicken options, both bone-in and tenders, available in your store’s prepared foods section. The best way to get chicken completely cooked through and crispy every time is to use Pitco fryers.
With floor and countertop options, built-in filtration systems, and smart oil quality sensors, Pitco rack fryers allow versatility while ensuring food is thoroughly cooked and tastes fresh with every batch. And for foodservice operations looking to help with labor, Pitco fryers lead the way with automation. Basket lifts allow staff to multitask while food is frying and eliminates the need to have one person continuously monitor the fry station. Automatic filtration increases safety for operators who directly handle fresh/ waste oil. With automation, there are no doors to open, knobs or levers to pull, keeping workers focused on other areas of the operation where they are most needed.
Cooked foods need to be cooled safely to prevent foodborne illness. Placing food directly into a refrigerator or freezer is not the safest way to bring the temperature down. Bacteria can grow in food between 40°F and 140°F. Known as the ‘danger zone,’ getting below this range quickly enough might not occur if hot food is cooled down with a traditional refrigerator. Using a blast chiller will help cool down foods rapidly such as potatoes for a deli's potato salad. For bakeries, blast chilling makes batch cooking more practical by preparing food in advance, helping maximize the productivity of often limited kitchen staff and reduce labor costs without compromising the quality of the baked goods.
Thermo-Kool blast chillers lower temperatures of food at a faster rate than conventional refrigeration systems. Not only does this keep your prepared foods out of the danger zone, but blast chilling also locks in the flavor and smells of the cooked food and prevents moisture loss, helping keep food from becoming dry during the cool-down process. Able to bring cooked foods’ core temperature from 165°F to 37°F in two hours, Thermo-Kool blast chillers allow for cooked food to be cooled, packaged and sold quicker while reducing profit loss from food waste.
Whether you operate a supermarket, convenience store, or retail foodservice establishment, you are providing your customers with a wide variety of menu options.
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