Food Safety System in 15 min


Comply with your standards


Get your HACCP in
1 hour!

Sign up now


Feel free to use our free Fridge Layout Food Safety poster. Just enter your email and download the template

Fridge storage safety poster | Download Free Template

Fridge layout food safety poster

When you are in the business of serving cooked food, or even at your home for that matter, a commercial refrigerator with a working food thermometer and no temperature fluctuations is a necessity. At home, how else would you store your leftover roasted chicken and save it for later without a refrigerator? For a food business such as a restaurant, food truck, commercial kitchen, or cafeteria, a refrigerator could help you store and prolong the storage life of your raw materials and other food items. Although, with all the chaos inside a restaurant kitchen, how would everyone know where to properly place a food item to maximize the objective of a refrigerator or a freezer? This is where the fridge layout food safety poster would come in handy!

Ever wondered why your average fridge has multiple shelves or drawers? These refrigerator shelves serve more purposes than just maximizing space. Your fridge's temperature varies throughout each compartment. Additionally, proper stacking of your food on shelves could minimize the risk of potential contamination. With a fridge layout, food safety poster, and a properly working refrigerator thermometer, food handlers can be assured that the shelf life of their foods is extended. 

Learn about the basic food safety principle of maximizing your refrigerator and the best informative visual aid for refrigerating foods with topics on food safety.


What is a fridge layout food safety poster?

A fridge layout food safety poster is a standard food storage guide that contains information on which part of the fridge shelves would be best for raw and cooked foods and those in food packages. This appliance guide contains food storage tips on how to store food in the fridge properly. This type of proper food storage chart is a good reminder for all food employees on how to organize food items while minimizing the risk of contamination and maximizing the potential of your fridge.

A temperature chart for fridge is also a printed material that informs everyone in the kitchen about the importance of storing food in the refrigerator properly. Aside from keeping foods fresh and cold, the basic storage principle of using cold storage with consistent, safe temperature control is to slow down the growth of bacteria in food that causes food spoilage. Additionally, refrigerated food has an extended shelf-life over the ones stored at ambient temperature. Refrigerated or frozen food can last for 1-2 months. 

Any food naturally has microorganisms on them, but microbial growth can be controlled or even killed during processing. Despite this, keeping them at their optimum temperature for growth will allow them to grow again and affect food quality and safety. At constantly low temperatures, the growth of these bacteria can be controlled. Use a fridge layout food safety poster in combination with freezer thermometers to guide food handlers on how to keep food cold properly.

Proper food storage chart

How to organize your fridge?

Organizing your fridge is a critical food safety practice and is an integral part of food storage systems. It does not only make access to foods easier, but it also helps prevent and minimize the risk of cross-contamination among food items.


When you organize a food service fridge, you need to remember a few basic rules. Follow these steps and correct food storage conditions when organizing your fridge:

  1. Start by cleaning your fridge. Contamination can also come from your refrigerator. Clean food spills and make sure that every corner is sanitized. Make sure that there are no hazardous chemicals inside the fridge.
  2. Use the right containers. In food service, you need to use clear and airtight containers. These characteristics make the food easier to find while keeping them fresh for longer. Proper containers also help prevent quality problems, such as freezer burns.
  3. Group similar foods together. This is the main objective of organizing your fridge. This step will also help you find food ingredients faster.
  4. Label all food containers. This step is critical for traceability. If foods are removed from their original containers. Employees must label them with the name and the expiry date of the products.
  5. Monitor food ingredients inside the fridge. Employees are required to maintain the organization of foods inside a fridge regularly. This step also includes ensuring that foods are not too cramped in one space and that there is no cross-contamination. Foods can still expire even when stored in the fridge. Employees must also always monitor expiration dates or use-by dates.

Food handlers must consistently maintain the organization of the fridge as part of food safety compliance. This is an important part of the food safety system. Contamination can easily occur in this appliance and spread harmful bacteria. 


Food storage planning can also help in instances such as a power outage. When food is organized, employees do not have to open the fridge very long just to get an ingredient. Loss of power will make the refrigerator unable to sustain the temperature if opened for too long.


What are the thumb rules for organizing your fridge?

The objective of organizing your food business fridge can be summarized in a few basic rules. Following these cold food storage rules can ensure that your foods will be protected from cross-contamination and will not cause any food safety issues.


Learn and use these rules and food safety tips to train your food service team about handling and storing foods in the fridge:

  1. Use only high-quality foods.
  2. Group similar foods together.
  3. Place ready-to-eat food on the topmost shelf.
  4. Raw meats, including beef and pork, must be placed on the middle shelves, followed by poultry and fish.
  5. Leftover foods and ground meat are placed on the bottom-most shelf.
  6. Place raw foods in airtight containers to prevent them from touching other foods.
  7. If your fridge has a crisper or a produce drawer, use it to place vegetables and fresh fruits.
  8. Always maintain the cleanliness and sanitation of your fridge.
  9. Food temperature control must always be maintained.
  10. Foods must only be inside the fridge within their maximum storage times. Immediately dispose of spoiled foods.

In organizing the fridge, the sequence of food products is critical. Placing raw foods on top of ready-to-eat foods make it more likely for contamination to occur. Food juices or drippings may come into contact with other foods, which can cause the spread of foodborne pathogens.


Why should raw meats be stored below vegetables?

The main objective of this food service operation is to prevent cross-contamination. Raw meats naturally have juices and may drip when stored inside a fridge. Vegetables require minimal cooking or are eaten fresh when compared with meats. This means that if a foodborne pathogen from the meat is transferred to the vegetable, it will be likely to survive after cooking.

When raw meats are stored in a food storage container and below vegetables, cross-contamination is less likely to occur.


How does organizing a walk-in cooler differ from a usual fridge?

A walk-in cooler is significantly more spacious than a regular fridge. This means that you would have more space to organize food.

Despite the difference in size, the general rules for organizing food stands. Remember always to group similar foods together and do not put ready-to-eat foods below raw ingredients.

With a walk-in cooler, food handlers can implement zoning. This is an inventory management practice where food groups are separated into different sections of the cooler. An entire section may be dedicated to raw meat and the like.

Who needs a fridge layout food safety poster?

A fridge layout food safety poster is a useful addition to the visual materials of any food establishment, may it be in a restaurant, a food truck, a coffee shop, a retail food store, a deli stand, a cafeteria, or others. It can be placed on the refrigerator door or a walk-in refrigerator itself where anyone assigned to monitor the fridge would see it. This fridge food storage poster is for a food establishment with a multilayer refrigerator built for industrial use. This chart can act as part of the food storage guidelines for restaurants


What are the benefits of a fridge layout food safety poster?

A fridge layout food safety poster is a very simple yet useful tool that prevents unorganized stacking and storage of foods on a shelf in any food establishment. Using it offers more benefits than you could imagine. The tendency for a fast-paced food establishment is for kitchen attendants to stack food where there is space.


Despite the convenience of such ways, mixing raw, perishable food with finished products, even at a cool proper temperature, increases the chances of cross-contamination. Unless you have dedicated refrigerators for each type of food item, a fridge food safety poster would be a very important tool for you.


Here are some benefits for food service businesses of using a fridge layout food safety poster:

  • Reminder. A fridge layout food safety poster is meant to be placed in a very visible area around your refrigerator. This printable fridge layout food safety poster serves as a reminder for all food safety personnel about which fridge shelves should be filled with raw foods or finished products. The poster is also designed to be reader-friendly and simple for everyone to understand. With constant reminders on how to store food items, food waste can be reduced significantly.
  • More organized. This proper food storage chart for restaurants is a tool to help everyone become more organized using fridge organization tips. When food ingredients come into the kitchen and are meant to be used later, the responsible thing to do is to put them in the refrigerator immediately. In doing so, rushing and putting the ingredients where there is space is not the best idea. Reviewing the fridge layout food safety poster will help commercial kitchen operators know which part is most appropriate for an ingredient.
  • Prevent cross-contamination. As mentioned, the low refrigerator temperature helps keep food fresh and prevents bacterial growth during storage, which can cause any foodborne illness. It not only slows down the growth of pathogens but also stops fresh fruits and vegetables from emitting ripening hormones.

This is why placing fruits and other perishable foods in an airtight container is important. Putting foods with the potentially highest microbial load on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator minimizes the risk of cross-contamination. This arrangement is made to prevent the juice drippings of your raw meat or fresh fish from trickling into other processed food items making your food dangerous to health.

Placing raw chicken above leftovers or other prepared foods in the refrigerator increases the tendency to contaminate your leftover food. This also prevents food wastage which happens when the food becomes spoiled. 

  • Easy to understand. A printable fridge layout food safety poster is meant to be easy to understand. Therefore, it must not be too complex. This food safety poster is made with simple, sometimes fun, illustrations so it can be understood without thorough reading. Simple associations with indicated images can be made with a simple glance. The poster is used to show that food safety is important.
  • Increase awareness. More than just a reminder, a fridge food safety poster also promotes awareness and food safety education about the dangers of cross-contamination and food poisoning. It strikes the interest of some and initiates an inquiry about the importance of proper food storage and its placements. 


Your fridge food safety poster will help ensure that your foods last longer and that your refrigerator's purpose is maximized to the fullest. Get your proper food storage chart printable for any food establishment. You can even bring one for your personal kitchen. Make your printable fridge layout food safety poster part of your approach to food safety and keeping public health safe.



How to create a fridge layout food safety poster? 

A proper fridge food safety poster must have all the essential characteristics and food safety principles for it to be effective. Aside from proper placement, the cold food storage chart itself must have the correct key food safety elements. Here is a guide on how to create the most effective food safety poster:

  • Short but accurate. This type of food safety poster relies on imagery. It needs to translate the information on how to keep food safe with a quick glance, especially in a very busy kitchen. As such, you cannot put too many words, which will only crowd the poster. In addition to brevity, the information you put must be accurate based on food agency and scientific standards. Some fridge food safety posters base the arrangement and information they indicate on the temperate at which foods need to be cooked, whereas some base their arrangement on the type of food. Whichever basis of information is used, the arrangement should still be accurate.


  • Attention-grabbing. Aside from having easily understood content, a food safety poster needs to pop into the eyes so kitchen staff will see it easily. A good food safety poster can be strategically placed but still unseen if the colors or your imagery are dull. Being colorful and eye-catchy is not only for decorative purposes but also for the poster to be easily spotted.


  • Updated information. Similar to food safety innovations, information on food safety codes, laws, and standards usually changes. Agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration release new directives, such as food storage rules, from time to time. As such, you always have to check whether the information on your fridge layout food safety poster is updated.


  • Applicable to your appliances. Refrigerators are built differently. There are a variety of models with different heights, numbers of compartments, and numbers of doors. These differences can confuse anyone, especially if your refrigerator has three tiers when the layout you are using shows five. In such a case, explaining the principles of refrigeration to all food staff could minimize confusion. Your orientation must include why raw and cooked products are stored separately.


  • Foolproof. As we have said, your food safety poster must not have hard-to-understand words or even vague images. A confusing fridge layout food safety poster has the potential to mistakenly mix different types of food together and contribute to causing food safety challenges. 


These key elements make up a proper food storage chart printable for any food establishment. If your poster lacks brevity, then it may be ineffective, as food service operators will not even read it. You would always have the option to hire an illustrator to make a food safety poster for you, or you can use our free, downloadable, and printable fridge layout food safety poster at FoodDocs. Rest assured; our food safety poster is accurate, attention-grabbing, brief, updated, and foolproof.

New call-to-action

What is the easiest way to get a Fridge layout food safety poster?

Hiring an illustrator would be a good way to get yourself a fridge food safety poster that is customized for your appliances but can cost you quite a bit. If what you need is a food kitchen poster for your fridge layout that has all of the redeeming qualities of an informative poster, then your best bet is our free, downloadable fridge food safety poster. Our design features the proper food storage layout for your kitchen needs. We illustrated how your foods need to be grouped, which is based on the intensity of cooking they need once they come out of the refrigerator.


Our layout was made to prevent the contamination of any of your cooked or ready-to-eat foods and those that would only have minimal cooking requirements for temperatures and food preparation. All raw, perishable products that need a relatively high temperature and cooking time of processing include common foods such as fresh meat, raw fish, ground beef, and raw poultry products and are placed at the bottom. 


On the other hand, cooked and ready-to-eat foods such as cooked meat, dairy products, cheese, sauce, salad dressing, luncheon meat, and other cooked meat in clean, food-grade containers for storage are placed on the upper shelves. Next to these foods are the fresh produce or perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, and then fresh, lean fish,  fresh beef, and other meats on the middle shelves.

Our illustration also depicts how you should put foods such as vegetables or other exposed ingredients, such as processed meats, in a suitable plastic container to prevent cross - contamination of foods. Additionally, we always keep all of our information updated for you in case any revisions on food regulations come up.


Allow us to keep track of all the updates along all the stages of food supply chains while you manage your food business. Get access to more free templates for checklists, posters, and food safety charts like this proper food storage chart printable for any food establishment from our HACCP plan template hub.


Use our other important food safety resource materials, such as the Proper food storage chart, to determine how long your food will last in different conditions.


How can you help your team monitor fridge conditions?

Your fridge storage for food safety poster is just one of the many food handling practices and preliminary steps to attaining a compliant food safety management system all year round for your food business.

You would also need monitoring forms, checklists, a traceability system, and a way for you to track all your processes and allow you to review your efficiency in maintaining fridge conditions. You need all of these to prevent any consumer issues. Why not get the most out of all these requirements by joining us at FoodDocs and availing yourself of our digital Food Safety Management System?


Our team of food safety experts has come up with a digital solution for maintaining the correct fridge conditions in your establishment.  After answering our basic questions, our system will automatically generate a food safety management system fit for the nature of your food business!


As you embrace the digital FSMS with us, you can get the following features to help your food handlers maintain fridge conditions:

  • You can get an automatically generated Fridge Temperature Log, including a fridge layout food safety poster, that you can use to record temperature readings of your refrigerator. 
FoodDocs Fridge Temperature Log
  • Our system can automatically prefill this Fridge Temperature Log and our other monitoring forms based on your previous data entries. Your employees' jobs will only have to verify if the data entries are correct.
  • Every monitoring log generated by our system comes with detailed instructions on how to complete the monitoring task. This feature can guide employees and ensure that food safety tasks are done correctly and efficiently.
  • Get notifications using our mobile application to remind you whenever you need to check the temperature of your refrigerator. With this feature, you can quickly address any potential problems due to a non-compliant fridge.
In addition to digital solutions for helping food handlers, our digital Food Safety Management System also features systems for food business owners:
  • Our solution would only take 15 minutes for your food business to shift from pen-and-paper systems to an entirely digital one
  • Review your everyday food safety operations using our real-time dashboard, which is accessible through our website or our mobile app. You will get a real-time overview of your efficiency, allowing you to highlight and identify areas for improvement.
  • Organize and keep all your important documents in single cloud storage for easier access.
Create a more sustainable FSMS as you leave behind using printouts of your food safety monitoring forms and get to use digital ones. When you signup with us, we start the process by asking you a few, yet important, food safety questions that will describe your food business to us. It doesn't matter whether you are from the food service industry, retail food outlets, a cafeteria, or even a food truck. Our system was built to accommodate all kinds of food businesses in the food industry.
Never worry about your monitoring procedures and keeping compliant with food safety laws and regulations. We got you covered in all of these fields! The automatically generated food safety monitoring forms and checklists we will provide you are accurate and compliant with the most relevant food safety regulations in your location. Save more time focusing on your FSMS and shift your attention towards managing your business. 
In just 15 minutes, you will get yourself a digital FSMS by signing up with us at FoodDocs. Stay compliant with the most relevant food safety laws and regulations now and try our free 14-day trial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below, we compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about organizing a fridge and answered them for you. 

What raw protein goes on the bottom shelf?

Ground meat must always be placed at the bottom-most shelf of a refrigerator. Other raw meats, including fish, beef, pork, and poultry, are all placed in the lower levels. On the last shelf, ground meats and leftovers, which require extensive cooking and reheating, are placed.

Where should raw meat be stored in a refrigerator?

Raw meats are placed in the middle of the refrigerator, below ready-to-eat foods and fresh produce.

What is the most basic rule in food storage in the refrigerator?

In organizing foods in a refrigerator, the most basic rule is never to place raw products above ready-to-eat food.

What is a proper refrigerator?

A proper refrigerator for a food business must be able to consistently maintain low temperatures of around 33°F–40°F. It must also be big enough to store a large number of ingredients without compromising the temperature.

What is the maintaining temperature of a refrigerator?

A refrigerator must be able to maintain a temperature of 40°F and below to keep foods safe. The refrigerator must come with a properly calibrated thermometer to ensure proper temperature.

Where is the coldest part of the fridge?

As warm air naturally rises, the coldest part of the fridge is the bottom area.
fooddocs food safety documents

Switch to digital in 15 minutes

Linnuke An automated setup enables you to go digital in 15 minutes

Linnuke Our app notifications help your team to remember all daily tasks bam

Linnuke Save time on supervising and use automatically filled monitoring sheets

fooddocs food safety documents

Start your free trial

Linnuke  No need to hire a food safety specialist to open your food business

Linnuke  Saves time - artificial intelligence is 500 times faster than a consultant

Linnuke  Let's you change your HACCP content at any time


Easy app for monitoring to have an instant overview

  • Implement your Food Safety System in 15 minutes
  • Easy app for monitoring to have an instant overview
  • Ready-to-use HACCP Plan in 1 hour