As one of the most frequently used pieces of equipment, sandwich prep tables require extra care in cleaning and maintenance. The warning signs that a refrigerated prep table may need replacing include repeated or continuous failures of the different components within the unit. If the cost of repairs approaches the amount for a new unit, the prep table should be replaced.

Christopher B. Warren, director of operations at Joe Warren & Sons, Norwood, Mass., provides key information on extending a sandwich prep table’s service life.

  • Clean sandwich prep tables on a regular basis. Include all areas, such as drawers, food holders, cutting boards, doors, door gaskets and the interior of the cabinet.
  • Failing to clean up food debris in these units can result in foul odors that may have a negative impact on food quality and the working environment.
  • Use a warm cloth and soap or an antibacterial agent to clean all food contact areas. The same method will work on the door gaskets. This will prevent mold buildup, prolong the life of the gasket and help to form a better seal.
  • The maintenance on a sandwich prep table should consist of regularly inspecting the cleanliness and condition of the door gaskets.
  • Check door hinges to ensure proper alignment.
  • Regularly clean the condenser coil and condenser coil grill, removing any debris, grease, dust or grime. Operators can accomplish this by spraying an eco-friendly degreasing agent on the coil fins and wiping with a damp cloth or by using compressed air if the environment allows.
  • Operators should make sure the condensate pan is not cracked or overfilling.
  • If the pan is heated, operators should ensure the heating element is functioning properly. Most important, a temperature log should always be maintained to ensure proper product temperature.
  • If the unit begins to exhibit signs of wear and tear or high temperatures, it’s time to contact a service agent.