Today’s meal delivery carts, which are commonly used for hospital room service programs, are more complicated and advanced than traditional tray carts used in the past. This is because there have been advanced technologies, including carts with refrigeration and heating components inside.
Regularly inspect meal delivery carts. Operators should wipe this equipment down at the end of the day and use a disinfectant that is food safe.
These units also require quarterly maintenance. “Carts that have docking stations with refrigeration components need to have the condensing coils cleaned, gaskets checked and replaced, along with the docking ports inspected and repaired,” says Josh Taylor, service director at American Kitchen Machinery and Repair in Philadelphia. “Casters also need to be greased, and bumpers, handles and gaskets should be checked at least semiannually, along with the electrical components.”
It’s important to make sure the casters remain in good shape. If debris wraps up in these wheels, damage may occur. “Meal delivery carts that plug into docking stations and are not correctly aligned will damage not only the docking ports but also the plugs,” says Taylor. “This can cause the components to malfunction and damage electronics.”
Meal delivery carts have a service life of between 8 and 15 years, depending on use. Signs that a unit requires servicing include error codes with advanced systems. “This indicates when temperature consistency is compromised or proper temperatures are not being reached,” says Taylor. “Also, operators will visually see broken gaskets, or the casters will become sluggish or make noise, when maintenance is required. Any loose hinges or latches need to be fixed expeditiously.”
If the cart’s frame welding starts to break apart or electrical components fail, the unit most likely needs replacing.