I have a small walk in refrigerator. To save space I stacked eight boxes of raw chicken wings on top of one another on a completely separate shelf from everything else. Is this safe health inspector/ food safety wise?

  • 3
    how are the wings packaged internally? Will the weight of the upper boxes cause the internal packaging in the bottom boxes to split, either spilling liquid onto the shelf or allowing air into contact with the wings?
    – John Feltz
    Dec 7, 2016 at 17:45
  • By «separate shelf» would that be wire racks above and below different shelves? Then they can still drip onto items on a lower shelf.
    – JDługosz
    Dec 8, 2016 at 6:07

2 Answers 2


This should be fine if there is no other food below the chicken wings. What you don't want is for the chicken to be in a position to contaminate other foods. General food service guide lines include:

From "Preventing Cross-Contamination During Storage Fact Sheet" (appears to originally be from the National Restaurant Educational Foundation, hosted here by New York's National Guard food service):

Store raw meat, poultry and fish separately from prepared and ready-to-eat food. If these items cannot be stored separately, store them below prepared or ready-to-eat food. Raw meat, poultry and fish should be stored in the following [order (top to bottom)]: whole fish, whole cuts of beef and pork, ground meats and fish, and whole and ground poultry.


If the wings started under 40 and the refrigerator is under 40 then you are good.

Say the wings are over 40 and you need to get them cooled in a certain period of time. Stacking would increase the cooling time.

Place in a water tight bin or tray so liquid could not contaminate food below. I guess you could risk contaminating the floor but still maybe not a good idea. Maybe even an air tight container to reduce odor contamination.

Something like this is space and operational efficient. Boxes are typically not packed tight. Use a size to take to the cooks stations.
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