For optimum food safety, regularly clean and sanitize temperature-controlled food holding equipment. Because these units are considered secondary to cooking equipment, they may not get the required weekly maintenance needed to be kept properly clean.
Wipe down these units daily with soap and water and rinse them to remove debris and spills. Refrain from using harsh chemical cleaning agents as these can damage the cabinet’s finish and compromise its service life. The unit’s exterior should be polished once a week with the appropriate solution. Because food remnants can collect at the bottom of the cabinet, continuously wipe down the interior of the unit throughout the day.
Regularly check door seals and gaskets and replace them when necessary. Clean water pans in the dishwasher, while washing heating system covers in the sink.
Forced-air systems require more extensive cleaning since air extracts moisture, protein and grease from the environment.
There are several signs that may signify a hot holding cabinet needs to be replaced. For example, holes in the cabinet body can negatively impact the unit’s operation and temperature consistency, so this is a sign replacement is needed. If the cabinet’s insulation is compromised at all, food safety may be at risk. If this is the case, a new unit should be purchased.
When maintenance costs start to add up, especially if the cabinet is seven or more years old, it may be a sign the unit has reached the end of its service life. If an older hot food holding cabinet is not maintaining temperatures or taking longer to heat up, replacement is most likely necessary.