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Commercial refrigerators and freezers are often subjected to rigorous handling in fast-paced commercial kitchens. Overworked and under-appreciated, these appliances can easily be battered by busy staff rushing through their daily tasks. However, it is essential that we take care of our commercial refrigeration equipment to maintain the freshness and safety of the food we serve. This means doing regular maintenance to keep refrigerators and freezers clean and well-functioning. Check out this quick and easy checklist for staff to follow when cleaning refrigeration equipment. A little upkeep can go a long way in lengthening your unit's lifespan.
The first step to cleaning a commercial refrigerator or freezer is to remove any item or items that have expired or appear to have expired. It's not worth the risk when it comes to the safety of your customers. It's easy for perishables to get lost in the shuffle in a large refrigerator. Expired food can pose a safety hazard, so it's important to clean out your fridge regularly and remove any expired products. Relocate any food and ingredients that are still good to a separate freezer or fridge to prevent them from spoiling. Taking these simple steps will help keep your food fresh and safe to eat.
The next step is to remove the unit's shelves, vacuum loose debris inside, use warm soapy water, and with a non-abrasive scrubber, clean the inside of the refrigerator or freezer thoroughly. To keep your refrigerator interior clean and safe, it is vital to regularly wipe down all interior surfaces using warm water and a non-abrasive detergent or soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can cause permanent damage and even lead to discoloration of plastic and metal elements. Additionally, it is important to give your fridge shelves a thorough cleaning at the same time, making sure to remove any food or grime that may have accumulated over time. By following these simple steps and keeping your fridge interior clean and well-maintained, you can rest assured that your food will always be fresh and free from dangerous bacteria or mold growth.
Be sure to clean and inspect the refrigerator's door gaskets and seals for any tears or holes. Damage to door gaskets can result in the loss of cool air and allowance of warm air to increase the likelihood of spoilage and bacteria growth. Inspect each door gasket first and replace any that have shown damage. With warm soapy water, clean the outside and inside of each door gasket removing any leftover spillage. Dry the gaskets with a dry cloth to reduce moisture inside the unit.
The next step is to clean the outside of your refrigeration unit. Cleaning the exterior can help remove daily bacteria and protect your unit's appearance. Using warm soapy water and a damp cloth, wipe down the outside, reaching into the creases between panels. Avoid using hot water or harsh chemicals, as these can damage or discolor stainless steel surfaces. Using a premier stainless steel cleaner/polish like Readychem SSP can help keep your equipment looking brand new. With regular maintenance and care, you can keep your reach-in appliance looking clean and polished for years!
Dust and debris are a major source of problems for refrigeration units, as they can lead to clogged air intakes and increased energy usage. Over time, these accumulations of dirt and other particles can build up on the condenser and refrigerator coils within your fridge, sapping the power generated by your unit. To prevent this from happening, remove any built-up dust or dirt. Check out the video below to perform just that.
Cleanliness is essential when maintaining refrigeration equipment, and maintaining a clean surrounding area is just as important as effectively cleaning the unit itself. Thoroughly mop the floor under and around your fridge or freezer. This will help remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated over time. Additionally, if your equipment has casters, pull the unit away from the wall to have better access to clean behind and beneath the unit. And don't forget about the top of your refrigerator or freezer – dust can easily collect there as well, so be sure to give it a thorough dusting. By taking these cleanliness measures into account, you will keep your refrigeration unit working efficiently and prevent dirt and debris from causing damage in the long run.
To ensure your refrigeration equipment, especially refrigerators and freezers, pass all required health inspections, performing monthly cleaning maintenance can decrease the chances of a violation.
Commercial refrigerators benefit greatly from monthly or quarterly maintenance visits. Service experts like Brink Inc. perform a checklist of tasks to ensure your equipment is performing at a high standard.
Staff should avoid cleaning the interior of a commercial refrigerator with pure bleach. Bleach is a well know chemical known for its toxicity. Using bleach will remove mold and bacteria but possibly at the cost of your equipment.
Door gaskets should be replaced yearly. They are a relatively cheap item to replace and play a significant role in your refrigerator's performance.