Proper Care And Maintenance Of Your Commercial Refrigeration Unit

When you are just opening a restaurant for the first time, and you are building it from the ground up, one thing you will badly need is a commercial refrigeration unit, or what is known as a "walk-in." This special restaurant equipment keeps all of the food your restaurant will cook at proper temperatures so that you will not be serving rotting or spoiled food to your customers. Once you have one of these units installed in your restaurant, there are some guidelines that help you care for and maintain the commercial refrigeration unit. 

Refrigerator Thermometers to Monitor Temperature

All refrigerated foods must be cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Frozen foods, particularly raw meats, should be kept in a separate freezer at a temperature much colder than that. You will need refrigerator thermometers to monitor the temperature in your unit. At any time in the future, should the temperature rise even five degrees above the required "safe food handling and storage" practices, you should call a commercial HVAC technician to check the unit for anything that might be broken. 

Keep the Door Closed When You Are Not Putting Food in or Taking Food Out

It is just like your refrigerator at home. If you are not taking food out or putting food in, keep the door closed. The refrigeration unit in your restaurant cannot generate enough cold air to cool the air outside the unit as well as inside. Letting all of the cold air escape through an open door will cause your food supply to spoil. Leaving the door open even a crack for an extended period of time can cause your new commercial refrigerator to break down long before it is expected to, and that is a major expense to have when your restaurant is so new. 

Defrosting the Unit

On occasion, these units can accumulate frost on the walls and shelves. It is important that this is removed so that it does not contaminate the food. You will need to empty the unit and move any food in there to another cold space while you defrost this unit. (That is why it is always a good idea to have more than one unit if you can house them within the walls of your restaurant.) Turn this unit off, leave the door open, and then wipe up the melting frost. Clean the unit completely at this time, and then close the door and turn the unit on again. It should be ready to house your transferred food supplies in about an hour or two.