Published on Sunday, 01 November 2015
Written by The Editors
To get the longest service life out of a refrigerated pizza prep table, proper usage is key. While some units can provide longer-term food storage, others should only be used for production. The typical service life of a refrigerated prep table is six to ten years. Operators that follow manufacturer recommendations for cleaning and maintenance will get the most use out of the unit.
Here, Bob Gilpatrick, director of service at Hagar Restaurant Service in Tulsa, Okla., discusses how to best care for refrigerated pizza prep tables.
- These units can get messy during use, so regular wipe downs are necessary throughout the day.
- Like any refrigeration equipment, refrigerated pizza prep tables require quarterly evaporator coil cleaning. This can be accomplished either manually or chemically. If done from day one, the exterior coils can be more easily brushed off or vacuumed.
- In terms of placement, prep tables shouldn’t be pushed too far up against the wall, or air flow to the unit can be blocked, compromising operation and length of use.
- The equipment’s owner’s manual will instruct users on proper cabinet loading. This is key information, as there will be temperature consistency issues if the unit is overstuffed.
- Product held in refrigerated prep tables, such as tomato sauce, can be acidic and attack aluminum bins. Operators storing these types of items for long periods or overnight should use bags to protect metal bins.
- When used properly, refrigerated prep tables are now much more energy efficient than in the past. For example, ingredient lids can be closed during slow periods to conserve energy and overnight to protect the evaporator coil service life.
- Regularly inspect door gaskets and replace cracked or torn components as soon as possible.
- If product temperatures are not being maintained or food is spoiling, it may be time to replace the prep table.
- When the cost of repairs starts skyrocketing, it is time to replace the unit.
- Operators should make sure the equipment’s integrity is intact on a regular basis. If casters start breaking down, this can be a safety issue for employees. And although cracks on interior containers don’t compromise the use of the equipment in the short term, over time this can produce condensation on the bottom frame and lead to rust.
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