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Is Your Fridge Making You Sick?

One of the most important pieces of equipment in a business that produces food is the refrigerator or cold room.  It is an item that is mostly underestimated and taken for granted by many but plays a major role in keeping the food safe. In professional kitchens, it’s not just about keeping produce fresh and appealing, but about ensuring that bacteria, mould and germs do not impact your food quality.  Produce kept fresh will also reduce the amount of food waste on the premises. Commercial refrigeration units are essentially the heart of every food business.

It is for this reason that refrigeration equipment should always be cleaned on a regular basis to guarantee maximum performance.  Frequent cleaning helps in improving the distribution of cold air and make sure that the refrigerator maintains its efficiency.  Equipment performing at their peak also use less electricity. Maintaining clean units does not only guarantee safety but also enhances the quality of the products produced by the business.  

The initial step in maintaining refrigeration units is to keep all of its mechanical parts clean.  The external portions such as the outside surfaces, gasket seals, and doors need to be regularly cleaned. The interior parts of the refrigeration units are even more important than the outer parts. Internal components including shelving, doors, and walls are also required to be routinely cleaned.

Establishing a reliable sanitation program to make sure that the components will not be damaged is an effective way to lessen risk factors.  In cleaning the equipment, some sensitive areas that are prone to damages should be given extra attention.  The sensitive parts are the electrical components like fans and lighting and the interior evaporator coils.  Electrical components should treated with caution and not swamped with abundant amount of water and other cleaning solutions.  The evaporator coils which are mostly made from copper and aluminium, are highly sensitive to corrosion from acidic and alkaline cleaners.

Cleaning the major parts of a refrigeration unit is relatively straightforward. The external section can be cleaned with mild soap and water on a weekly basis or whenever dirt starts to build up. The internal section, on the other hand, which has more sensitive parts need to be carefully and thoroughly cleaned by a range of cleaning methods. The condenser coils, which are considered to be the most sensitive part of a refrigeration unit, should be cleaned on a monthly basis to be free from lint, dust and dirt.  The condenser fins should be brushed or vacuumed from top to bottom.  The fan blades and motor should also be cleaned once a month by running a soft cloth over the fan blades and motor. The honeycombs and air return ventures can be cleaned depending on its environmental exposure or the very least at every four months. These parts that are responsible for creating airflow and cold air curtain may often look visually clean but hide dirt and mould which can clog the airflow, allows unwanted growth of microbes which are then distributed throughout the airspace.  

The inner shelving, doors and walls should be cleaned as often as necessary using only soft cloth and low pressure cleaning equipment to prevent the seals from being damaged.  

Basic cleaning of refrigeration can be done by almost anyone but it is more efficient to employee professionals who can guarantee an excellent finish.  Invest in a company (such as ourselves) who offer proficient refrigeration cleaning services that will ensure you a fridge that will never make you sick.

Many commercial business facilities such as hospitals, schools, and aged care facilities also provide large scale catering services for their employees and staff. This is done to meet the demands of the majority for proper eating place, and therefore should be well kept and cleaned all the time. Hygiene is an important element in maintaining good health.  As the famous line says, "cleanliness is next to godliness"; industries should assure that their businesses revolve around sanitary and hygienic facilities.

Customers, clients, and consumers are not likely to patronize stores and other service providers that are not as clean as they should be.  Clean business premises protect your professional image and helps prevent future lawsuits that are often results of neglected food safety hazards.  The best solution to making sure that all of these businesses sustain the most appropriate sanitation required for them is to invest in the hygiene of your refrigeration. 

Cleaning and hygiene products used in restaurants, cafes and food trucks may include bathroom cleaners, air fresheners, laundry detergents, paper towels, food containers, dishwashing items, paper bags and serviettes. These items should not be of low quality because they can make or break the business reputation. In addition, sanitation products at hospitals and aged care institutions should the highest quality because it is a necessity to ensure quality in these establishments.

If your reputation is important to your business, you want your equipment running efficiently and to reduce costs in electricity or waste, call EnviroChill on 0415 168 729 to discuss how we can assist.