Commercial Fridge / Freezer Cleaning Tips

Cleaning and Maintainance of your fridge and freezer is crucial in any commercial food environment and its one of the first things on a Food Standards Agency inspectors checklist. There will always be spills and dropped items in a busy environment but its vital to keep your fridge, freezer clean and operating efficiently.

Remember that chilled food must be kept at 8°C or below. To achieve this, it is recommended that fridges and chilled display equipment should be set at 5°C or below.

The Law allows certain tolerances to this requirement if there are unavoidable reasons such as:

  • to accommodate the practicalities of handling during and after processing or preparation,
  • the defrosting of equipment, or
  • temporary breakdown of equipment

Tips to Keep Your Commercial Fridge / Freezer Clean

Before we talk about how to actually clean your commercial fridge and freezer when it gets too dirty, we should first establish some tips to keep them clean in the first place. After all, if something never gets dirty, you won't ever have to worry about cleaning it, immediatley.

First, you should never place raw or defrosting meat on the top shelf. As the juices leak out of the meat, they may drip onto the lower shelves and contaminate the other food. On top of that, shelves that are higher up in the fridge tend to be warmer than those on the bottom. Always store your meat on lower shelves and inside a plastic bag, bowl, or pan to keep the juices contained.

You should also never overfill your fridge with too many items. Although it may seem like a great idea to stock up on food, especially for busy restaurants, overfilling your fridge can keep it from circulating old air properly. Cold air inside a fridge is meant to keep dangerous bacteria at bay, so getting in the way of that process could spell trouble.

If you have both fruits and vegetables in the fridge at the same time, make sure they are kept in separate drawers. Fruits emit a gas called ethylene that can make vegetable spoil quicker if exposed to room temperatures.


How to Clean Your Commercial Fridge or Freezer

In preparation, you should empty the contents out first to make things easier on you and allow you to identify better any issues that may need to be fixed, and, as a safety measure, always make sure that the fridge or freezer is entirely unplugged before you begin cleaning. There are a variety of different chemicals you can use to clean, but make sure you choose one the won't cause any discolouration or damage to the material inside and outside the fridge.

Now that you're prepared, you can start washing your commercial fridge or freeze. Start with the door seals or gaskets before anything else; these can be cleaned with a simple washing up liquid. Cleaning these daily would be a great way to keep a fridge from growing mould. Also, make sure that you wash everything, including all nooks and corner, inside the fridge or freeze. Many commercial fridges also come with a drainage hole and evaporator tray that may need to be cleaned out, as well.

Every commercial fridge is different; however - due to the amount of work one of these machines puts out in a day - most models use a condenser filter that will need to be cleaned out often. If this filter is not cleaned frequently, it will likely clog up and could even cause your fridge or freezer to stop working entirely. Use your model's manual to help find the filter, and then clean it using a vacuum to get all the dust and various debris out.

One of the most critical steps involved in cleaning your commercial fridge or freezer is also often the one that is done incorrectly. You'll need to make sure you properly dry out your fridge or freezer after cleaning, as this is essential to the continued efficiency of the machine. Choosing to let the fridge air dry is bad for the machine, and sitting water could cause the seals to rot and grow bacteria or mould.

Once you've finish cleaning and drying out your commercial fridge or freezer, you're all set to plug it back in and get it running again. The process may have been long and tedious, but the result is much better for your work efficiency. Properly cleaning your commercial fridge or freezer is part of the maintenance that is required to keep it running smoothly for its intended amount of time.

Considering that commercial fridges and freezers can cost upwards of several thousand pounds, it makes financial sense to take care of your businesses equipment

View: Commercial Refrigerator Guide

Related Maintenance Articles:

Further Information...

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