It’s hard to imagine a time where there wasn’t a refrigerator in our homes and businesses, keeping our food and beverages cool. Refrigeration history – and yes, there’s a history – is surprisingly vast.
Egyptian Pharaohs may have had the first inkling towards refrigeration when they ordered slaves to fan their wine to keep it cool, but it wasn’t until 1854 when the first commercial refrigerator was invented.
Since then, refrigerators, as we know them, have changed by leaps and bounds. Commercial refrigerators, in particular, have literally grown to fill up large spaces, even entire rooms.
Hygiene and keeping a clean space has never been more important, particularly for food service. Follow these five tips and tricks to maintain a clean and tidy refrigerator.
1. Beware of ice
Refrigerators and ice are best buds, right? Not always!
If your commercial refrigerator is prone to ice build-ups, be very cautious and clean those ice growths quickly.
Ice can easily become contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, and even E. coli. Neglected refrigerators and ice machines become breeding grounds for contaminants which can spread to food and beverages.
Contaminated ice is often spotty and emits foul odors.
The easiest way to prevent contaminated ice is to keep your refrigerator maintained. Our refrigeration checklist will help you keep your refrigerator clean until you can schedule a thorough cleaning with your local refrigeration experts.
2. Maintain a steady temperature
Maintain a consistent temperature year-round, if possible, to avoid any potential issues.
It’s tempting to turn down the temperature, especially in the summer months, but fight that urge!
Continually changing the temperature can cause your refrigerator to freeze up.
3. Annually clean and inspect your commercial refrigerator
Large refrigerators require a special kind of maintenance. Schedule regular inspections and deep cleans for your refrigerator.
A professional cleaning isn’t a slight on your own cleaning practices. Even the most pristine kitchen could use a top to bottom cleansing.
Professional refrigeration cleanings include taking apart the machinery so every nook and cranny can be cleaned properly.
It’s recommended to schedule a professional cleaning at least once a year, but we recommend at least twice a year.
4. Properly care for the condensing unit
The condensing unit is the most important part of your refrigerator. Made up of the compressor, condensing fan motor, and coil, this unit is what keeps things running.
It can either be found on the top of the unit, but may even be tucked away underneath.
Familiarize yourself with your refrigerator and find the condensing unit so you know where to clean!
That’s right, clean the condensing unit once a month by powering down your unit and vacuuming dust and debris that’s accumulated during everyday use.
5. Regularly clean inside and outside
It’s not just about cleaning the intricate parts of your unit. Regularly clean the shelves, floor, hard-to-reach spots, as well as outside the unit.
If there are food items that rarely move, such as canned goods, remember to move them regularly and check for mold or ice build-up that may have accumulated.
Looking for more information on HVAC maintenance?
It doesn’t end with your commercial refrigerator. In order to keep your restaurant or supermarket in tip-top shape, it’s important to maintain a regular temperature.