Tips on Storing Materials For Your Business

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As a business owner, you spend a great deal of money on supplies that are needed to create the products that you sell. The last thing you want to discover is that some of these precious materials weren't stored properly and have gone bad and must be disposed of.

To help ensure that the materials that help your business run last as long as possible and will not have to be discarded, consider the following examples and tips.

Food Storage: Follow the FIFO Rule

Whether you own a small coffee shop with a few employees or run a large restaurant with a huge menu, properly storing your ingredients, as well as other products used in your business, is crucial. As Unilever notes, boxes that contain any type of food should never be stored on the floor, as this is not a clean area. Storage spaces should be clean, and everything — from walk-in coolers to pantry shelves and large refrigerators and freezers — must have properly working doors with adequate seals so that the food inside can stay cool, dry and bug-free.

Be sure to follow the “FIFO” rule to storing food items: First In, First Out. You should also consult the food storage temperature guidelines to be sure everything is kept at the ideal temperature. All cleaning chemicals must be kept away from food, and these toxic products should never be placed on shelves above anything people will eat.

Film: Cool and Dry Is Key

For companies that keep film on hand, it must also be carefully stored to prevent it from going bad. As soon as a roll of film is made at the factory, it will start to slowly degrade. To slow down this process as much as possible, film should be kept in the refrigerator. According to The Mandagies, any rolls that are not going to be used right away should be placed into a Ziploc bag and then placed into the fridge. This will not only keep it cool, it will also help it to stay dry. You should also label the bags with the date the film was purchased and follow the FIFO rule for using it.

Medications: Avoid the Medicine Cabinet

This may sound counterintuitive, but the medicine cabinet is the last place you should store any type of medication. Medicine cabinets are found in bathrooms, which are not known for being the driest or coolest spots; these rooms tend to be humid and warm from the sink and/or shower.

As Medline Plus notes, since heat, air, light and moisture can damage medicine, they should all be stored in a cabinet that is far away from any extreme temperatures. This means it should not be near equipment that can heat up. Placing the bottles of medicine into an air-tight and water-tight storage container is also a good idea; as an additional tip, remove the cotton from the bottles first as it will draw moisture into the container.

Common Denominator: Proper Seals

While food, film and medicine all have some specific storage requirements, they do share one very important thing in common: the use of proper seals. Every storage container, freezer and walk-in cooler in the restaurant industry must have undamaged and the correct gasket, o-ring or seal to keep them as cold and contaminant-free as possible. The same is true for the small fridge used to store film and the storage bin for holding medication.

To prevent leaks in these storage units, reduce waste and save money, source your replacement o-rings and other seals from a reputable and reliable company like Apple Rubber. In the case of proper storage, you don’t want to cut costs in your supply chain — you really want to ensure that you have only the best seals, gaskets and o-rings for your storage units, cabinets, boxes and appliances.

Proper Storage Saves Money

Every time you toss spoiled food, old film or damp medicine, it is like throwing money in the trash can. By following careful storage procedures and making sure the seals on containers, refrigerators and more are in good shape and working correctly, you can rest assured that your expensive supplies will last as long as they should.