Spreading foodborne illness is every kitchen’s worst nightmare. Recent episodes of food contamination in the news have made food safety top of mind for kitchen workers and those they serve. Keeping diners – and your brand’s reputation – safe means monitoring food storage and preparation to ensure health and safety standards are met.
One way to help protect against foodborne illness is to ensure preventive maintenance procedures are consistently followed. These processes, coupled with the use of 100 percent genuine OEM replacement parts, can not only help equipment stay up and running at full factory specification, but also ensures that proper cooking and storage temperatures are maintained. This preventive maintenance checklist can help kitchens preserve the health and safety of diners.
- Check the operation and calibration of thermometers and thermostats on ovens, food warmers and food carts to maintain proper temperatures and control bacterial growth. The Danger Zone is defined as 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, when bacteria grow.
- Inspect control knobs for worn or missing temperature markings to ensure proper temperatures are maintained.
- Check the calibration and operation of dishwasher thermostats and temperature gauges to verify the ware reaches the required temperature during wash and rinse cycles for proper sanitization.
- De-lime dishwashers to control bacterial growth and assist in maintaining accurate temperatures.
- Inspect door gaskets, hardware and power cords on food holding and transport carts for wear or damage to keep bacteria from accumulating in marred areas and to help keep proper temperatures.
- Confirm that all lubricants, silicones and other supplies are approved for use on food-service equipment to prevent poisonous contamination.
- Clean condenser coils and check for restricted airflow to control bacterial growth and help maintain correct temperatures.
- Inspect cooler and freezer door gaskets and hardware for wear and damage to ensure doors are closing properly and staying closed.
- Examine walk-in door-strip curtains for missing or damaged strips to help maintain proper temperatures.
- Check that temperature monitors and thermometers are functioning and that they are calibrated accurately.
- Clean and sanitize ice machines and bins on a regular schedule, replacing water filters on ice and beverage units to prevent bacteria from accumulating.
- Check can openers and replace worn or chipped blades to keep food particles from accumulating and bacteria from multiplying.
- Replace non-food-safe lamps with shatter-resistant food-safe lamps to prevent broken bulbs from contaminating food.
- Replace weak or missing pre-rinse springs and fittings to prevent backflow if hoses hang into sink water. This keeps contaminated water from backing up into the main water supply, which could lead to a bacteria infestation.
Preventive maintenance promotes food safety, and Heritage Parts can help ensure you have the right information and parts on hand when you need them. With the largest inventory of 100 percent genuine OEM parts in the country, more than 99 percent parts identification accuracy and same-day shipping, Heritage Parts is a partner you can rely on to keep your equipment running properly. Call 1-800-458-5593 to speak with your dedicated parts specialist, or visit HeritageParts.com to create your own personal online account and order parts anytime.