Maintaining blast chillers is important from a safety standpoint since temperature consistency is key for HACCP reporting.
The average service life of a blast chiller can vary, depending on use, environment and manufacturer, but most last between 5 and 10 years. Operators can take several steps to prolong the service life of these units and keep systems in safe operating condition.
Unlike refrigeration equipment, blast chillers are not designed for continuous operation, and staff should shut off these units when not in use.
Clean the inside of the cooling cabinet with lukewarm water and detergent on a weekly basis. Wash door gaskets with water and use a dry cloth when
wiping them thoroughly.
Cleaning the condenser coil is a uniform task that applies to all refrigeration equipment. Clean the condenser every 30 days, using non-metal brushes to remove all dust and dirt from the blades. If a unit has drain lines, keep them clean of condensate water to prevent backups.
Unfortunately, blast chillers rarely show signs indicating a breakdown is imminent. While most refrigeration equipment can be repaired, there are signs operators should watch out for that indicate this equipment may soon need replacing.
If the unit chills food inconsistently by either not cooling as quickly or thoroughly as it has in the past, operators should ensure the
condenser is clean.
If this is not the issue, and it is an older unit, it may be more cost-effective to replace the blast chiller. This is typically the case for a unit that has been in service a long time and/or is used in a high-volume operation.
In the event the needs
or chilling capacity of the operation change, a new unit that can handle additional volume should be considered.