Seafood doesn't have to come from the Pike Place Fish Market or even the Puget Sound in order to be fresh. And, believe it or not, it doesn't have to be stored on ice, either.
Typically, ice is the go-to storage option for fresh seafood because it has a unique ability to hold fish at a constant 32º F temperature. It works because ice transfers colder temperatures to what's around it, being most effective when it's in direct contact with what's being stored.
Ice is expensive to produce, though, and it's also difficult to transport, handle, store, and clean up. And depending on the quality of the water and the type of ice sanitation measures put in place, ice can even be bad.
As a result of the inconvenience of ice, several options emerged.
First, there are walk-in ice bins. These two-part container systems feature a perforated insert that allows water to collect in the bottom of the tub preventing moisture from coming in contact with seafood. This requires layering ice and seafood, along with constant monitoring throughout the day of service. This uses labor and causes temperature fluctuation potential as ice is replaced.
The second option is a fish file drawer system, which closely resembles an office file cabinet with a set of pans in each drawer. One is perforated, and one is solid to collect water. Drains are built into the rear and are connected to a floor drain. These systems also require a lot of ice replacement during the day, as well as cleaning the drain outlet, which can become unpleasant and accumulate bacteria.
Finally, there's the best option.
Refrigerated Drawer Systems from the Randell FX Series
These state-of-the-art refrigerated drawer systems allow operators to precisely manage temperatures and hold those temperatures within two degrees Fahrenheit. This ultimately leads to seafood that is safer, fresher, better tasting, and can be stored up to three days longer than standard refrigeration options. Without the need for ice, there's an additional set of benefits including less overhead, easier cleanup, and greater accessibility of seafood products.
But the Randell FX Series isn't just for easier seafood storage. Because these units have superior temperature control, they are ideal for healthcare foodservice operation, school nutrition programs, and more.
With innovative drawer designs that hold cold air instead of letting it pour out onto the floor, Randell FX Series units also provide significant energy savings over other refrigeration options.