Keep it Clean: A Simple Guide on How to Maintain a Commercial Freezer
Are you about to open your first restaurant? You'll need to know how to maintain your commercial freezer or it can turn into a pigsty quickly. You don't want an inspector to come in and see it.
It's all fun and games until a customer gets sick off of contaminated food as well. It's easier just to keep everything functional and clean. If you don't know how to keep up a commercial freezer, don't worry about it, we do and we have your back.
Here is a beginner's guide on how to maintain your freezer so you don't have anyone breathing down your neck.
1. Keep it Free of Spills
It can be really hard to clean up spills and mold after it's been sitting for an entire week. It's much better to handle spills as soon as they happen. Make sure your staff is equipped to handle these.
It's also better that your freezer is maintained throughout the entire week. Make it your opening and closing staff's daily routine to check and clean the freezer. This way it's sparkling clean week after week.
2. Don't Use Harsh Chemicals to Clean
You need to use soap and water when you're cleaning the inside of your freezer. Strong chemicals can irritate the metal and cause you to have to spend money on repairs later.
On top of cleaning out the shelves and walls of the freezer, you also want to mop and sweep the floors. Spilled liquids not only fester and cause mold, but they're a safety hazard as well. Mopping them up will keep your employees from slipping over them and hurting themselves.
3. Clean the Evaporator and Condensing Coils
At least twice a year you or a member of your staff needs to clean the evaporator and condensing coils with soapy water, and a bristled brush. If you don't, then the temperature in your freezer will be a bit too warm to safely keep your food and supplies in it.
If your food is put under warm temperatures, then it will spoil and you don't want to feed that to your customers. So, to keep that warm air out, just clean these two coils.
4. Inspect the Drain Line
At least twice a year you need to inspect your freezer's drain line alongside an experienced technician. This is a necessary inspection that will keep your freezer functioning.
If you don't check the drain line then debris can build up inside of it and cause problems that will cost you a lot of money to fix. If you're afraid of forgetting you can schedule an appointment for your technician to come out regularly.
5. Stay On Top of the Temperature
Even if the evaporator and condensing coils are fine, other things can cause the temperature to be off in your freezer. You need to check it daily to make sure that it's not too warm.
To avoid spilling and melting it needs to be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit otherwise it's a health code violation. Checking it often sounds obvious but it's easy to get busy and forget.
6. Inspect the Hinges and Door Frame
Mold doesn't only hide in the walls and on the floors of your freezer, it also gets into the hard to reach areas like your hinges and door frame. You can very well pass it by if you don't make it a regular part of your inspection.
If the door doesn't close correctly this can alter the temperature of it and cause food to spoil. Make sure you lubricate the hinges often, or whenever you feel them sticking to avoid this. Ignore this tip if your hinges self-lubricate.
7. Have a Technician Check Your Electricity
Any electrical errors can cause big problems down the line. You can have a technician come in every once in a while to check for a loose wire or any other problem that can cause it to use more energy than necessary.
Check your gaskets regularly to make sure they aren't covered in grime or weathered. This will not only keep it running efficiently but it will also make sure that it passes any inspections.
This sounds like an obvious one but, make sure you turn off the freezer lights before exiting. If you don't then it will use a lot of extra power to keep the temperature regulated.
8. Schedule a Maintenance Program
There are many things you can have a technician look at besides your electricity or drain line. You should schedule regular maintenance with them because they will know what to look for.
If you're not an experienced technician there is only so much that you will notice on your own so use the extra eyes to your advantage. This is the best way to make sure everything stays up to code. You can't have an issue if you never allow a chance for one to occur.
Use these steps to keep your restaurant's power bill at a minimum so you can sink the money into other areas.
Keep Your Commercial Freezer Up and Running
Owning your own restaurant is overwhelming but never let it get you so stressed that you forget the little things, like maintaining your commercial freezer. You need to check daily for mold, spills, and also keep up its temperature regulated so your food doesn't spoil.
This is the only way to keep your customers happy, your staff safe, and health inspectors off your back.
Unsure of the steps that you'll need to take to clean your kitchen? Visit our blog for a complete checklist.