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Is FoodSaver OK or do I need to spend $$$$

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I run a gourmet take-out shop and have to fill a "retail" freezer, for customer take-home meals. The problem, of course, is that my product is dying from freezer burn within a few days. I've convinced the boss that a food vacuum is necessary I cannot spend a lot of money. My question--if I get a professional series FoodSaver will it last at least a year from daily use? My equipment rep says, no, but alas, he's my equipment rep. I realize it's always a good idea to buy the best you can afford, but as long as this thing won't crap out in 3 months it might make sense. Anybody else have luck with these in a professional kitchen?

Any other suggestions for this problem would be appreciated. I've tried a few items that I've purchased as already-frozen, such as appetizers. These do last better, but I would love to really use extra ingredients/extra labor time to put some homemade stuff out there for sale.

Thanks!
post #2 of 14
nscchef,
I have the pro series and use it in the bakery for a few things. They are pretty much a work horse although it is not used to the extent that it sounds like you will use it.
The regular bags are not see through. There is some waste in cutting and sealing.
I have purchased some clearer bags on ebay with good results.
You really need to make sure that the items will seal properly. Most anything liquid cannot be sealed real well without a mess. It tends to collapse containers and things of that nature.
I'm thinking that if this is something that is going to be around, it may be wiser to look into sealing machines for industrial use. Some of them use a special size container and seal foods to be food safe. I have seen some prettu good deals on some commercial sealers being sold due to container size changes.
This doesn't help you does it, sorry
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #3 of 14
Nscchef-

I've had a FoodSaver for three or four years for home use and, while I like it, I don't think I could recommend it for a commercial operation. I've had too many packages lose their vacuum while in the freezer.

I now do two seals at each end of the package, so I'll see how this works out. There's always the chance I've got a slightly defective one, but others with experience should weigh in.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #4 of 14
Foodsaver vacuum sealers are NOT legal for commercial use - you must use a HACCP certified vacuum sealer. Not that I haven't used a food saver commercially before :D

Erik.
post #5 of 14

Management Decisions

My business experience raises a question about the business savy within your management group. If the service life cost for your vacuum sealing equipment calculates to less than the cost of revenue loss for the food that's "dying of freezer burn" over the same period of time the decision should be a "no brainer".
post #6 of 14
This is certainly true for foods that are being packaged for resale. But is it also true for food that is being stored prior to being prepared for resale?
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #7 of 14
Just a comment on what seems to be a developing sub thread:

If you know the regs in your area, don't assume they are the same as another poster's. Food handling laws vary by municipality and state. There are also quite a few "depends" involved. For instance, whether the food might enter the chain of interstate commerce.

There may be a few regulations regarding equipment which are consistent nationwide -- but only a few. Many jurisdictions require NSF certification (or similar), but by no means all.

If you get legal advice from a non-attorney outside of your geographical area or an attorney not licensed to practice in your geographical area and/or not particularly familiar with the area of regulation -- don't bother to trust, just verify.

BDL
post #8 of 14
BDL.How right you are.
Examples: There is a health dept. law in N.Y that states if your horse drops and dies in the street, it cannott be moved until a rep. of health dept sees it.?????? Another h.d. reg. After eggs are peeled for egg salad ,they must be again dipped in boiling water.??????..IF salads are sold loose in deli case, ingredients do not have to be listed,.If same product is sold in plastic container WITH A LID on it ,ingredients must be listed??????.
CHEFED
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post #9 of 14

It All Depends

I've always found that the vacuum sealer you use depends entirely on the amount of food you want to preserve. If you are only packaging a few things here and there, I think a food saver would be more than adequate. If you will be packaging stuff for resale, I would go with something higher end. I have personally always had great luck with Minipack vacuum sealers. I found a few sweet ones at Office Zone.

I like the chamber sealer type of vacuum sealers because they are so efficient, but I just don't have the $$ right now. :mad:
post #10 of 14
I would try to convince the bossman to buy something made to stand up to commercial use and not a FoodSaver. Besides my MIL has the normal FoodSaver and same story as the poster a few posts up. It's pretty much worthless, in my opinion.
post #11 of 14
The ones sold in stores are great for a housewife or home use. They wont hold up to the steady heavy use of a commercial facility. If you can convince the powers too be about a commercial model , do so.. It will more then pay for itself it what it will save you. I put a piece of fresh salmon (raw) in one on a monday, and at 37" it is still good the following sunday or monday. In fact no odor at all.:D
CHEFED
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post #12 of 14
My oldest FoodSaver is pushing 15 years old and I am a heavy user. I buy bulk and also make large meals to freeze as leftovers. I would also carry it with on onsite BBQ catering events and seal any leftovers for the customer. Buy the premade bags (the bottom seal is much better than you can do on your own) and double seal the tops. I have pulled pork from last fall that is still edible with no signs of freezer burn or flaver loss.
post #13 of 14
Mary, when I say commercial heavy duty I am talking 40 racks of lamb a day, 200 dover sole, 25 filet of beef, 30 lbs red snapper etc. A lot of food, my home unit would burnout after 6 weeks. The one at work requires adjustment and repair about once a year. Original cost of one at work chamber style 24x24 $9000.00. The one at home $199.00. No comparison.:D

In addition the commercial one can take a 20x20 bag.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #14 of 14
The original poster didn't say what kind of quantity per day so its hard to tell. Chances are the local health board would have issues with it. I have sealed thousands of bags with mine, replaced the seal strip 4 times. Not sure if I can get a replacement anymore :lol: I just packaged 20 pounds of bacon today into 1 pound bags, local store had a sale on 10 pound boxes.
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