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Top 5 Cleaning Tips for commercial refrigeration equipment.

In a recent article, we explored some of the most effective ways to maximise the life of your commercial refrigeration equipment. One of the key areas we highlighted was having an effective cleaning regime to keep your equipment in the best possible condition, inside and out. Whilst it may seem obvious, it’s something that can be easily overlooked in a busy commercial kitchen, so we thought it might be worth re-emphasising its importance by offering our Top 5 Cleaning Tips.

Follow each of these tips and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make, both in the performance and operational life of your refrigerators, chiller cabinets and freezers.

Tip #1: DO IT REGULARLY

Busy kitchens are messy places. Dust and grime can build up very fast, so the earlier you stop mess in its tracks, the better it protects your equipment. Just like the other key parts of your kitchen, it’s an excellent idea to schedule a light clean of your refrigerators and freezers into your daily routine, or at the very least weekly. Then every two months or so, make time for a more comprehensive ‘empty and clean’ to really make it sparkle!

Tip #2: DO IT WELL

You’ve decided to clean your refrigeration equipment. You might as well do it properly, right? Be thorough and always use high-quality cleaning products that are fit for purpose. It may be tempting to cut corners, but it could come back to bite you down the track. Generally speaking, a comprehensive clean should include these steps:

  1. Unplug your refrigeration units
  2. Empty all items from the shelves and compartments
  3. Throw away any expired foods and ingredients
  4. Wipe down the shelves and interior with warm, soapy water
  5. Disinfect surfaces and shelves
  6. Gently move the unit (where possible) to clean underneath, behind and on top
  7. Restock the shelves and compartments (see Tip #3)
  8. Reconnect power.

Tip #3: STAY ORGANISED!

The way you organise your refrigerators and freezers can play a big role in keeping them clean. Think carefully about how and where you store items, especially when you’re running multi-shelf units. The widely accepted industry best-practice is:

  • Top Shelf: Ready-to-eat foods, fresh produce, butter, condiments, pre-cooked foods
  • Second Shelf: Seafood
  • Third Shelf: Whole cuts of raw pork and beef
  • Fourth Shelf: Ground meat and fish
  • Bottom Shelf: Poultry.

It’s important to place your raw meat and poultry on the lower shelves, as this helps to minimise any mess caused by dripping juices (which as we all know will happen!) not to mention bacteria that could otherwise contaminate any food kept below it.

Tip #4: COVER AND SEAL

One of the simplest cleaning tips for your commercial refrigeration equipment is to prevent mess in the first place! Sure, it may take a little more effort. But by getting your team into the habit of methodically covering food and ingredients, and using high-quality clingwraps and fully-sealable, airtight containers, you’ll save so much time and energy down the track. Coupled with the organisation tips mentioned in point #3, you’ll have less mess and spills, which means a cleaner kitchen … and easier cleaning.

Tip #5: CONDENSER AND COILS

Condenser coils and evaporators are two of the most critical components of commercial refrigeration equipment. Unfortunately, given the smokey and oily nature of most kitchens, they can very quickly accumulate dust and grime which directly decreases their energy efficiency and, ultimately, lifespan. We recommend cleaning your condenser coils at least monthly, and ideally weekly. Usually, a gentle wipe with a damp rag or disposable wipe is all that’s required, especially when you do it regularly. Just be very careful when cleaning in and around electrical wires. If you’re in any doubt, switch the equipment off for a minute or two while you do it. Every few months it’s also an excellent idea to unplug the unit and give the condenser coils a gentle vacuum.

 

Do you have a ‘top tip’ for cleaning refrigerators and freezers?
We’d love to hear it. Contact us today.

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