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At American Cooler Technologies, we know that many different industries need walk-in coolers in order to be successful. Our walk-in coolers come in customizable sizes and can serve many functions. As a manufacturer that deals directly with the customer, we work with numerous industries and always deliver high-quality, durable walk-in coolers that exactly suit your needs.
Here are a few industries where walk-in coolers are integral to what the business does and the services they provide.
One of the biggest trades using walk-in coolers is the restaurant industry. When food is your business, you have to keep it fresh and cool in order to put out the best and tastiest product. Refrigeration at 40°F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce risk of foodborne illness. For many foods, cool is good, but too cold is bad because at 32°F, ice crystals begin to form and lower the quality of foods.
Most foods can last several days at an optimal cool temperature before spoiling. Fresh meat, including beef, pork, and veal, can last between 3-5 days, while processed meats like bacon and deli meats can last up to 7 days. On the other hand, poultry is best at 1-2 days, but fresh in-shell eggs are good for 3 weeks.
Other areas of the food and beverage industry where walk-in coolers are essential are breweries, bars, and wineries. Storage temperature is crucial for beer and other alcoholic beverages. In general, there are four levels of optimal cooler temperatures: cool, chilled, cold, and ice cold.
Between 50-55°F (13°C), a cool temperature is optimal for richly flavored, very malty, and high-alcohol styles of beers. This is also the ideal temperature for red wine and ports. Next, at 46°F (8°C), a chilled temperature is ideal for standard ales, amber and dark lagers, and ciders, as well as white wines and rosès. After that, a cold temperature of 41°F (5°C) is best for craft pale lagers, light ales, sweeter fruit-flavored beers, and sparkling wines. Finally, ice cold temperatures that hover just above freezing at 34-38°F (3°C) are perfect for major brand pale lagers and light beers.
Grocery and convenience stores must also concern themselves with keeping food and beverages cool for their customers. Approximately 54% of all grocery sales are perishable items, most of which need to be refrigerated while in-store, including: meat, fish, and poultry (14% of total sales); deli and packaged meats (8% of total sales); dairy (9% of total sales); and frozen foods (6% of total sales).
As for convenience stores, approximately 160 million Americans a day visit the nation’s more than 150,000 convenience stores. Beer and various non-alcoholic drinks (soda, milk, juice, sports drinks, etc.) account for over 40% of their profit dollars. Add in fresh food products (sandwiches, hot dogs, etc.) – many of which need refrigeration, as well – and you have 3 of the top 5 sources of profit (the other two are gas and cigarettes) for convenience stores that need cool storage.
Though most do not think of it, florists are also a business in tremendous need of a reliable walk-in cooler. Keeping flowers cool slows down the respiration rate and maximizes vase life. The ideal temperature for most flowers is between 34-36°F (1-2°C), though tropical flowers and most orchids require higher temps of 50-55°F (10-12°C). The perfect temperature is of utmost important with flowers because of the dangers of both too high and too low temps. Flowers stored above 41°F (5°C) can deteriorate 3x faster and most flowers do not freeze at 32°F (0°C), with some requiring temperatures as low as 28°F (-2°C).
Other industries that use walk-in coolers include hospitals, funeral homes, and mortuaries. For hospitals, cold storage is needed for things like specimens, samples, and medicine. Some of the most common examples of this are whole blood and plasma, which must be stored at 34-42°F (1-6°C), and platelets, which must be stored at 68-75°F (20-24°C). At funeral homes and mortuaries, storage facilities must be kept between 35-42°F (2-6°C), as required by the U.S. Department of Health. And if long-term storage is necessary, -4°F (-20°C) is mandated.