Central kitchens are established for the following objectives:
- to increase productivity
- to increase efficiency
- to reduce costs
- to stabilize quality
To increase the efficiency, three issues need to be addressed:
- the least popular work
- the food most liable to spoilage
- work with the most complicated process
The least popular work are not necessary the most physically demanding work. For instance, most food factories have to process ingredients, such as cleaning, peeling, shopping and so on. They are not difficult but boring. Many operators do not like these types of work. As long as there are right machines, lots of such jobs can be left to machines.
Foods spoilage go along with microorganism control. Food spoilage is the result of bacteria multiplication. Humans’ taste is far worse than animals’. When noticing the stink, we understand the food has gone bad. When noticing the stink, the amount of bacteria in food has actually gone to 70 million, far beyond the10 million legal limit (10 million is the upper limit for raw eaten fishes, which is the the most loose standard). We all know bacteria multiplies once in every 20 minutes. So it is suggested by law to finish meals within two hours. Since it takes only two hours for bacteria in ambient temperatures (20-70 degrees are most favorable to the growth of bacteria) to excess that boundary, how to reduce the amount of microorganisms before the storage is essential.
Bacteria goes dormant at 4 degrees. But low temperatures cannot kill it. When the temperatures raise, the bacteria is about to multiply again. Hence, the cooling process between cooking and storing becomes critical, especially for thick sauces or fermented foods. By shortening the cooling process, one can restrain bacteria from multiplying and reduce its total amount. Fewer bacteria contributes to a more stable quality and a prolonged shelf time. For information about cooling, one can refer to rapid cooling machines
As for central kitchen or food factory planning, one cannot be frightened of a complicated process flow. Rather, one should be concerned if a complicated flow leads to serious cross contamination. As mentioned before, bacteria plays a major role in food preservation. Different foods have different microorganisms in them. Occasionally food poisoning has been reported. It is because meat or vegetables have been contaminated by Vibrio. But Vibrio exists only in sea food. Obviously cross contamination had occurred in cooking or pretreating process.
To avoid cross contamination, one must abandon the notion of big kitchens. A kitchen without partitions may be convenient and time saving and yet a mixed flow of staff, goods, air and water leads to the risk most people cannot imagine. The way to solve cross contamination is to separate the flows . Only the central kitchens which control the flows of staff, goods, air and water and establish breakpoints against bacteria can attain food safety standards. For more information, you may refer to the introduction. If you want to know solutions to these problems, you are welcome to contact us.