Walk-in Refrigerator Safety Rules


Walk-in refrigerators provide ample storage for restaurants and other large-scale food operations. Following basic safety rules ensures that food stays fresh and that anyone who uses the refrigerator does not get trapped inside.


  • A walk-in refrigerator or cooler should maintain a steady internal temperature below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep several thermometers in different areas of the refrigerator and monitor their readings daily.


  • Keep raw foods such as meats and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods and produce. This precaution prevents any bacteria in the raw food from contaminating other food items.


  • Label your food products with the type, date of storage and expiration date. Follow the FIFO rule--First In, First Out--to ensure freshness.


  • Don't put more food into the walk-in refrigerator than it can handle. The state of Wisconsin Food Code suggests allowing 1 cubic foot to 1.5 cubic feet of space for each meal per day.

User Safety

  • Anyone who uses the walk-in refrigerator should know where the safety latch is located if the door closes. Don't enter the cooler without telling someone else first.


  • To reduce slip and fall hazards, keep the refrigerator floor free of moisture, debris and other obstacles. Users should wear protective clothing such as gloves, hat and coat when entering the cooler.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Steven Depolo
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