Any commercial cool room depends on a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that not only food stay fresh and safe to eat, running costs and future repairs are minimised. Here are some quick checks for food distribution business as well as restaurants and cafes can implement to ensure the reliable operation of their cool room.
1. Inspect Door Gaskets & Keep Clean
Also known as rubber seals, these are essential for keeping cool air from escaping. It is normal for some condensation to form around seals, especially during warmer weather, but to keep energy costs in the business down always close the door when inside the cool room.
Be sure to also inspect door seals regularly to ensure they are free from cracks and mould. If door seals have become brittle or buckled at the corners, the cool room could be leaking cold air and causing a higher than necessary refrigeration bill and gaskets may need to be replaced. To avoid mould growth, regularly wipe seals with soft warm water.
2. Flush Drain Lines
The evaporator component of a refrigeration system transfers any warm air to the condenser coils to be cooled, and in the process creates condensation. This condensation may not be able to drain effectively if the evaporator drain has become blocked. Whether it's food, dirt or other deposits causing the blockage, excess moisture in a cool room can quickly contribute to mould growth. It's important to regularly flush drain lines by scooping deposits from the drain and flushing it with a jug of boiling water to dislodge any stubborn particles.
3. Bacteria and Mould Checks
Potentially deadly bacteria such as listeria pathogens have been found in cool room drip trays and condensate outlet pipes. Because of this, it's important any business handling foods inspects for mould and mildew growth regularly. Once a week cool room panels should be wiped down with an antibacterial spray and a clean microfiber cloth. Sachets can also be installed inside the cool room and emit a vapour to target airborne and surface bacteria.
4. Fan and Condenser Fin Cleaning
The cool room condenser over time collect dirt and dust which can affect the ability of the fan to transfer cool air effectively. Dirty condenser fins in the cool room can also place undue stress on the condenser coils and limit airflow affecting the shelf life of food. When fins become dirty or dusty, it's time to wipe them with a damp cloth and soapy warm water. A handheld vacuum cleaner may also be able to remove built up debris blocking the condenser fins.
If you've implemented these quick maintenance checks and any of the above problems persist, it's time to call a commercial refrigeration specialist like A.B.C. Refrigeration Services to carry out urgent maintenance and repairs. When the health of your customers is at stake, failure to do so could mean risking the ongoing operation of your business.