Frozen food - changing attitudes

Monday 20 June 2016

Caterers are waking up to the advantages frozen food can bring to their operation.

There are many benefits to using fast food - Frozen food is convenient, has a long shelf life, can help to reduce waste and saves time.

It allows food to be kept at peak freshness, and preserves nutrients. According to research commissioned by the British Frozen Food Federation in partnership with the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) and the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), there is "no nutritional difference" between fresh and frozen foods.

Frozen food is ideal for high volume catering. Using frozen food helps to simplify production on the scale required by hospitals, which often have to provide thousands of meals within tight budgets and cook for a wide range of dietary requirements.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals recently invested in a Central Production Unit responsible for producing meals for thousands of patients over a number of sites. Ingredients can be prepared in precise portions and stored frozen, which avoids waste as the length of storage is no longer governed by best before dates. Meals are prepared and then frozen using Williams blast freezers allowing them to be held in peak condition. Williams blast freezers work quickly, able to reduce the temperature of hot foods from +90C to -18C in 240 minutes without damaging the food or reducing its nutritional balance.

As well as fast bulk freezers, Williams has a comprehensive range of freezer storage options. This includes everything from walk-in freezer rooms to cabinets and undercounters, including models with drawers. Williams' advanced refrigeration technology eliminates the problem of ice build-up that can affect drawers in freezers, allowing product to be easily accessible while maintaining strict hygiene standards.

Using frozen food and Williams refrigeration technology allows high volume caterers like Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to deliver quality food, safely and cheaply. Many of the techniques used can be adapted for smaller sites, and Williams offers a range of products suitable for a use in a variety of locations, including under counter blast chiller freezers.

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