Browse our articles on sanitation and safety equipment and find primers on a wide variety of specific product categories, including articles on how to specify, when to replace, energy efficiency and much more.
FE&S: How can operators keep disposers running smoothly?
RS: The most important thing is to make sure the appropriate food waste is being disposed of in these systems. Items like potato skins build a layer inside the unit and can dull the blades quicker. This also turns into a paste that drags motors down. Also, the higher the horsepower, the more volume the disposer can handle. It also helps to start and stop the unit as much as possible since the blades go in different directions when power is interrupted.
Not following manufacturers’ recommendations when selecting a disposer can result in an inadequate system that will not meet the operation’s waste needs. Because most operations become more dependent on these systems than anticipated, it is better to go bigger in terms of horsepower to ensure the waste amount can be accommodated.
Commercial disposers provide an efficient and convenient method of eliminating food waste and are beneficial to kitchen sanitation. These units not only help reduce garbage and dumpster odors, which can attract insects and vermin, but also lower trash hauling costs since the amount of overall waste being dumped is decreased.
FE&S: Do thermometers require service or maintenance?
BG: Thermometers are replacement items since they have no moving parts, and even the electronic types are reasonably priced. For this reason, there is typically no service needed for these tools.
Foodservice operators typically use air curtains, or air doors, in a variety of door openings to control temperatures, repel insects and mitigate odors and smoke. These are most often installed above dock doors, in walk-in cooler doors and at drive-up windows.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) (Section 312) compliance code mandates air infiltration reduction methods, such as strip curtains, spring-hinged swinging vinyl doors or other options, for all walk-in coolers manufactured after Jan. 1, 2009.
FE&S: How common is it for air curtains to need servicing?
DC: We don’t see a lot of these since this is a simple device meant to help stop insects from flying into the kitchen or keep temperatures consistent. Air curtains basically draw in air from inside of a door and blow it straight down.
Health codes for hand washing sinks in commercial foodservice operations have evolved over time and so too have the actual sinks. Years ago there were limited types available, but today manufacturers offer dozens to choose from that meet the necessary requirements.
In the last decade, most local codes began requiring hand sinks in commercial kitchens to mitigate the spread of bacteria and incidences of foodborne illness. These are important tools for foodservice operations to be proactive in preventing the spread of pathogens and bacteria.
FE&S: What are the requirements in terms of hand sink placement in foodservice operations?
TJ: Operators should have a hand sink in every work station. A general guideline is that these should be located no more than 20 feet from each work area, although requirements are subject to local codes.
Thermometers play an integral role in commercial kitchens’ food safety plans. These instruments help monitor temperatures in ovens, grills, fryers, refrigerators, freezers, beverages, milk frothing and food as well as air temperature.