Maintaining a Refrigerated Prep Table

Due to the high use of these units, proper maintenance is critical to prolonging the life of a refrigerated prep table. Here are five tasks that foodservice operators should regularly perform to keep these units operating at peak performance.

Maintaining refrigerated prep tables is not only important from a food safety standpoint, but also helps ensure optimum energy efficiency.

There are important steps operators should take to properly care for this equipment.

  • Clean the condenser coil on a quarterly or, ideally, on a monthly basis. A dirty coil reduces efficiency and shortens the compressor life.
  • Check gaskets regularly to ensure there is a proper seal and air is not let in. Air moisture can cause the coil to freeze, requiring a manual thaw in the unit.
  • Clean and dry cutting boards daily.
  • Clean food zones and the hood assembly over the pans at the end of each day.
  • Using improper cleaners can cause pitting and rusting on prep tables. Minimize the use of cleaning chemicals with chlorides and ensure prep tables are properly rinsed off when using cleaners so as not to compromise the finish.

Occasionally, prep table doors may get out of level. This may compromise the door seal and cause air leakage into the cabinet. Sagging doors can be remedied on most units by adjusting the hinges.

Note that refrigerated prep tables are not made for storing food ingredients overnight. At the end of each day, food should be removed from the pans and properly stored. The empty pans are then replaced on top of the table's cabinet.

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