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Defrost Labels for Catering

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Brent C

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:41 AM

Hi all, 


I have been asked to look into some EHO reports for some catering company's.


The one issue that keeps coming up is labels, no surprise there.


The issue was: When a raw material comes out of a freezer they don't put a defrost label on.


I have looked around and I can find anything around defrost labels for catering. 


So my question is, would you have a defrost label on the raw material that is being defrosted, and would you put the defrost label over the suppliers Best Before Date?




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Jeffrey Ort

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 12:50 PM

I have been involved in this at past positions. Our practice was to apply a label that included a date of defrost and a use by date. It can either based on material best quality or last expected day of use.


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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:20 PM

Seems like a good idea. How much info do you need to keep track of? Just the date of defrost? Labelmakers abound and are your friends, or if everything has <1week shelf life after defrost, you can designate a colored sticker for every day of the week and skip having to generate a dated label.

Austin Bouck
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Posted 13 November 2019 - 05:22 PM

in my experience in catering, there is always an intenal policy on thawing which helps minimize the confusion. Usually thawing is max 3 days/72 hours and a defrost label is place on the material. This way materials are only brought out of the freezer when its needed. It is a night mare to monitor thawing + best before date by a production employee.

"Whatever you do, do it well..." - Walt Disney

Brent C

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:58 AM



Thanks for your posts. 

I have spoken to the EHO and they said the below:


If you defrost a particular item of food, the manufacturer’s instructions should always be followed. If it is something made by yourselves then you need to have a system place to ensure whatever it is, is defrosted, day doted ( or  labelled with date of defrost/and or use by).

The same would apply to best before products. This needs to be a system that all chefs are aware of when defrosting products. You also need to then decide on that products shelf life. Again I would re iterate that its best to follow the manufacturers guidance. 


so, would you put the defrost label over the best before date or not?

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