aisle space is important when designing a convenience food system. Flow of
personnel and food product is a strong consideration in designing a
convenience food system.
COOK/CHILL FOOD SYSTEM. With a cook/chill system, foods are
prepared from basic ingredients with the full range of processing done on
the premises. Foods are prepared, appropriately packaged, then quick
chilled and stored under refrigeration. The prepared foods are subsequently
brought to their appropriate serving temperatures as near to meal times as
possible and maintained at these temperatures until served.
COOK/CHILL/FREEZE FOOD SYSTEM. In a cook/chill/freeze system
(cook/freeze or ready food), foods are prepared from basic ingredients, and
all processing is done on the premises. Foods are prepared, appropriately
packaged, then quick chilled or quick frozen. Currently, there are two
methods of quick chilling: "Blast Chilling" and "Water Bath Chilling".
Blast Chilling requires extensive refrigeration infrastructure, which must
be considered and carefully planned. The water bath chilling method also
demands extensive planning and a chilled water system from the physical
plant. If a chilled water system is not available a "ice builder" which
supplies ice water for chilling must be integrated into the plan at great
expense and space. These methods of food service are complex and require
extensive planning from specialized consultants with a proven track record
of success. Equipment issues include: mixer kettles, pump and fill stations
for Cryovac food processing, cook and chill tanks, tumble chillers for water
bath chilling, casing (Cryovac bags) conveyors to move heavy food
containers. The prepared foods are brought to their appropriate serving
temperatures as near to meal times as possible and maintained at these
temperatures until served (See figure 22-2).