Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

The Quarterly Product Q4 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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Q4 2018 THE QUARTERLY 27 into the ambient," says George Loredo, service manager, San Antonio and Austin branches, ProTex Res- taurant Services Inc., Corpus Christi, Texas. "The higher op- erating conditions will force the compressor to work excessively to maintain desired cabinet tem- perature." This can compromise the unit's service life. For the refrigeration process to be effective, a closed space is neces- sary to cool the product. "That idea is very difficult to realize with a chef's base refrigerator," says Loredo. "Due to its very important role on the cook- ing line holding key prepared food items, the drawers are opened numer- ous times throughout the day." Door gaskets that do not seal properly compromise the refriger- ated space. Operators should regularly inspect gaskets, checking for gaps as well as torn or miss- ing sections. "Cleaning them often will keep them looking sanitary," says Loredo. "Occasionally, the drawer slides may be preventing the gaskets from sealing properly." Operators should inspect the drawer slides to ensure drawers close well, as these can get damaged by over- loading or abuse. Loredo also recommends ensuring a minimum clearance of 6 inches from the back of the refrigerator to the wall. Operators also should inspect the front louvre, which should remain free from airflow obstructions. This needs to be kept clean and the condenser coil should be cleaned by a professional. Operators should remove any pans, rags, product wrapping, etc. that fall and accumulate behind the refrig- erator that may restrict airflow. "Occasionally, remove the drawers and inspect the interior fan areas and confiscate paper, plastic wrappings and other debris that has been drawn into the fans," says Loredo. "While the drawers are out, verify the fans are turning and that there is no exces- sive ice buildup that may be causing the refrigerator to not maintain proper temperature." Clean the condenser coil per the manufacturer's operator´s manual if the condenser fins appear blocked. If the condenser coil has accumulated heavy grease, a com- mercial condenser coil chemical may be necessary. Caring for the base's stainless-steel surface will prevent minor surface rust, pitting and localized corrosion that will affect its sanitary appearance. "Do not allow water to pool on the surfaces, whether on the tops or on the interior areas," says Loredo. "Any moisture acidic in nature will enable corrosion." Stainless-steel surfaces should be cleaned using mild, soapy water, followed by a stainless-steel cleaner to prevent surface corrosion. "Do not use scrapers, abrasive cloths or chemicals, acidic or chlorine-based cleaners or solvents that may accelerate corrosion by pitting the surface," says Loredo. Seek out a refrigeration professional for annual clean- ings and checks. Loredo recommends the following yearly mainte- nance protocol: • Thoroughly clean the condenser coil • Wipe down the condenser fan • Clean the inside coil and wipe down the fan blades • Flush the drain pans and pipes with water • Also, check the refrigeration system and fan motors. Check the compressor electrical system for excessive noise or vibration. • "Lastly, manufacturers offer use and care manuals online with illustrated explanations of key components," says Loredo. "They explain limitations of design for loading product and limitations for placing equipment on top. They also include requirements for ambient conditions and offer basic cleaning tips."

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