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Region 2

Serving New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Eight Tribal Nations.

Restaurant: Back of the House


  • Reduce dishwasher hot water temperature.
  • Turn off equipment and “standby appliances” (e.g., hot food holding cabinets, heat lamps, steamers broilers) when not in use.
  • Avoid overfilling refrigerator and freezer shelves. Proper cooling occurs when air can circulate thoroughly.
  • Ensure the refrigerator doors close and seal properly.
  • Clean refrigerator condenser coils at least every three months and defrost freezers frequently. Make sure to install strip curtains on walk-ins and check all seals regularly for air leaks.
  • Retrofit walk in refrigerators with:
    • Open-door buzzers
    • Plastic air curtains
    • Air blowers
  • Purchase energy-efficient lighting systems, such as compact fluorescent bulbs and T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts.
  • Purchase energy-efficient products such as dishwashers, fryers, griddles, hot food holding cabinets, icemakers, ovens, refrigerators and freezers, and steam cookers.


  • Allow event attendees to select their meals in advance.
  • Reuse plastic containers for storage.
  • Donate excess food for use as animal feed or arrange for a food bank to pick it up.
  • For room service delivery, replace disposable items with reusable ones (e.g., dishes, utensils, napkins) and minimize packaging.
  • Store food with waste reduction in mind:
    • Keep perishables near the front or top of the refrigerator.
    • Provide for easy access to frequently used items.
    • Store perishables in airtight containers or wrap products tightly.
  • Purchase food/beverage in bulk containers.
  • Source local, sustainable food options.
  • Recycle waste grease, fat, or used cooking oil.
  • Prepare food to order.
  • Compost food scraps.

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  • Adjust ice machine to dispense less ice or reuse ice that is not used.
  • Avoid running water during food preparation or to melt ice.
  • Defrost/thaw frozen food in the refrigerator.
  • Use strainer baskets to capture solid waste.
  • Reduce temperature on pasta makers when not in use.
  • Wash drain trays only as needed.
  • Replace dipper wells with rinse sinks or use individual utensils.
  • Scrape dishes or presoak them in containers before putting in dishwasher; run full loads of dishes.
  • Reuse water where possible, such as washing kitchen preparation areas with water from steam cookers.
  • Thaw frozen food overnight in the refrigerator instead of under running water.
  • Purchase water-efficient products such as faucets, dishwashers, icemakers, pre-rinse spray valves, waterless woks, and steam cookers.

Indoor Air Quality

  • Provide ventilation for steam.

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