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Foodservice Julian Dates For Potatoes Are Important When Diagnosing Issues For Fresh Fries

Q:

My French fries are cooking up really dark and the potatoes don’t look that fresh. What should I look for?

A:

Answers include: potatoes stored too cold, excess starch and sugars that need to be rinsed off once the potatoes are cut or if you are single stage cooking instead of pre-cooking or blanching. Also make sure potatoes are completely dried off (drain off excess water) before they are being dropped in the fryer. When you said the potatoes looked a little old I immediately wondered when they were run at the shippers and when you received them… The Julian date codes for #1 carton Idaho® potatoes that are stenciled right on the longest side of the lid of the box.

Here are the Current Julian Dates (find this file on our Directory page). If packed in January, the numbers would be 1-31. If packed in November, look for a number in the low 300’s. December 31st would be #365 unless there is a leap year.

The longer the potatoes have been stored (if below 40 degrees F) the more sugars they accumulate.