Keeping warmers/merchandisers clean and properly maintained will enhance customer appeal as well as the appearance of food displays.
Cleaning this equipment involves wiping down all food surfaces with a food-safe solution at least daily, while a stainless-steel cleaner should be used in areas that are visible to customers. Glass sections should be wiped daily with glass cleaner to remove fingerprints and food debris.
As for routine maintenance, operators should conduct a regular check to ensure the glass is free of small cracks or chips and check for signs that a component may need replacement.
A warmer/merchandiser shows a variety of signs when it needs service. These include a deteriorating toggle switch rubber boot, a burned-out bulb, a torn power cord, a damaged endcap, or an element that is struggling to reach or maintain proper temperature.
Warmers/merchandisers will most likely need replacement if proper temperatures between 140 degrees F and 160 degrees F cannot be maintained as this is when food safety becomes an issue. In this case, a new unit is definitely warranted. Also, if burn or scorch marks appear on heated holding surfaces, it indicates the calrod is either out of calibration or failing. A new unit may be needed if the repair is costly.
Consider replacing older units damaged from heavy use or ones that show wear and are used in the front of house. This is also the case if there is broken glass, knobs falling apart or damaged lights.
If there is pitting and/or erosion from harsh cleaning chemicals, heavy use or age, it can be a food safety hazard that warrants a new unit.