It’s Florida. It’s warm, even in the wintertime. That’s why it is very important that convenience stores, grocers, wholesalers, and retailers with commercial refrigeration units in the Tampa Bay area have systems that are well maintained to keep beverages ice-cold, leafy greens and other produce crisp and fresh, cuts of meat and seafood safe and succulent, and of course, our favorite ice creams properly frozen for our delight.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the food safety and sanitation program was established to work “with food service establishments as defined by Section 381.0072, Florida Statutes to help ensure their products are not a source of foodborne illness. Generally, this includes foodservice operations located in institutional settings (such as schools, assisted living facilities, detention facilities, adult daycares, etc.), civic and fraternal organizations, bars and lounges that don’t prepare foods, and theaters that limit their food service to items customarily served at theaters (such as beverages, popcorn, hot dogs and nachos). The codes and standards for food service establishments can be found in Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code. “
With that said, there are crucial commercial refrigeration temperature requirements set forth by the DOH, in which the above-listed establishments must carefully manage to prevent foods and beverages from spoiling. Mold and bacteria growth, such as
e-coli and salmonella, can cause severe food poisoning, illness, or even death.
Commercial refrigeration maintenance in Tampa should always be a top priority for business owners, because the consequences of equipment failure can mean customers get sick when products spoil, resulting in a significant loss of profitability.
Furthermore, if patrons purchase and consume items that are not kept at the proper temperature, and they get food poisoning, this leaves the business owner liable, resulting in lawsuits and/or costly settlements.
Preventative commercial refrigeration maintenance is the wise, less expensive option to keep you, your business, your refrigerated products, and your customers safe year-round. The following are seven commercial refrigeration maintenance tips to help keep refrigeration units cool between professional commercial refrigeration maintenance in Tampa:
- Cleanliness is king for commercial refrigeration units. The interior and exterior of refrigeration units should be cleaned weekly or bi-weekly using a vinegar and water solution, or a mild detergent that is recommended for stainless steel or the surface of your unit. Avoid abrasive scrubbers and use soft brushes and cloths to remove spills, splashes, and debris for ultimate cleanliness.
- Quarterly condenser coil cleanings are recommended. Dust and dirt that accumulate on the condenser coil will put undue stress on the refrigeration unit and keep it from maintaining the proper temp. To keep condenser coils clean, dust, dirt, and debris can be removed using a soft brush, followed by a vacuum or air compressor. Business owners can find out more about cleaning and maintaining condenser coils in the equipment manual.
- Examine the area around the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is responsible for removing heat from the air to cool the interior of the refrigeration unit. It is located next to the evaporator fan to capture the warm air. Clean this area on a consistent basis and avoid packing the refrigeration unit with too much product, or hot foods that cause the evaporator fan and condenser to work harder. If the evaporator coil “freezes,” the temperature in the cooler will be lower than optimum. Over-taxing the evaporator fan and coils can lead to equipment failure, loss of product and costly repairs.
- Routinely inspect the gaskets. Gaskets exist around the door frames to seal cold air in the commercial refrigerator. It is important to inspect the gaskets around the doors of your fridge for splits and cracks that may cause cool air to escape from the unit. When this happens, the refrigerator will have to work harder to cool the unit causing increased energy costs and a burden to your unit. Replace cracked or damaged gaskets with the exact type for your make and model based on the specific serial number. The wrong gasket will not work and will be a waste of time and money. To keep the vital gaskets in superior condition, regularly clean with a mild detergent to help prevent damage.
- Check and maintain clean air filters. Just like with air conditioning units, commercial refrigeration units have air filters that require cleaning or replacing. This is especially true for restaurants that use deep-fryers, grills, and griddles because grease can accumulate on the air filter causing ventilation to be blocked. A powerful shop vacuum can remove some grease, dirt, and debris, but always consult the equipment manual for the proper way to degrease the air filter in your unit. If you notice cracks or damage to the filter, replace it immediately.
- Regularly clean drain pans and tubes. Commercial refrigeration units in kitchens, especially, create a build-up of nasty slime and sludge that collects in the drain pans. If not cleaned monthly, the accumulated grunge will emit a foul odor and pose a danger of unit failure. Use a vinegar and water solution to thoroughly clean the drain pan before it overflows and stinks up your space. The same goes for drain hoses. By cleaning them regularly, drain hoses will function properly without clogging. Clogged hoses can back-up into the defrost system and overflow onto the floor. Not only is this unsanitary, it is unsafe. It is best to clean the drain hoses inside and out to keep them working properly.
- Keep the refrigeration unit dry. Whether your commercial refrigeration is provided by a stand-up or chest-type unit or a walk-in cooler, it is important to keep the interior dry. Excess moisture from spills that is not removed will circulate throughout the unit and possibly cause a freeze-up and equipment failure. Always clean wet spills as quickly as possible to prevent this from happening, and the likelihood you will experience an issue decreases.
What decreases the risk of commercial refrigeration failure, even more, is regular unit maintenance by commercial refrigeration professionals in the Tampa Bay area; and for restaurants and kitchens, hiring professionals who specialize in commercial kitchen equipment.
Proficient Air of Palm Harbor, FL specializes in commercial refrigeration maintenance, as well as repair. Our service technicians have the training and experience to perform high-quality regular maintenance to keep your unit cooling properly under the hottest, most stressful conditions.
Moreover, Proficient Air offers affordable maintenance contracts to ensure commercial refrigeration units are carefully inspected and maintained regularly to prevent system failures. Use one company, like Proficient Air to do BOTH your commercial refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance. You can count on prompt service from Proficient Air should an emergency arise for your commercial property.
Take advantage of Proficient Air maintenance contracts for commercial refrigeration units that include:
- At least half off the third service
- Discounted labor rates
- 15% off parts
- Trip charges waived *within 25-mile radius
- An option to add filter service
- Guaranteed Same Day Service
Proficient Air in Palm Harbor offers quality, efficient, reliable products, installations, repairs and maintenance contracts that perfectly fit your needs and budget. Protect your commercial refrigeration investment and keep your products and customers safe with Proficient Air. Call today: 727.386.2732