As with anything, prevention is better than a cure. This rings true when maintaining and cleaning your catering equipment. As a business owner, you need to learn and practise the essential techniques of cleaning and maintaining the equipment you use to prepare, cook and keep food. Not only does this ensure cleanliness but will also go a long way to saving you money on maintenance and repairs.

The deep fryers are one of the appliances that require the most attention on a regular basis. This is because they are heavily used in a kitchen and also use massive amounts of oils and grease which can clog hoses. When the oil and grease is heated at high temperatures, there usually aren't any issues, but you cannot leave boiling hot oil unattended overnight. When the unit is turned off and the oil and grease hardens, this is when the problems arise. To avoid these issues, follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions and always use hot soapy water when in doubt, as this will break down the grease and oil.

A professional design consultant should be engaged to layout your kitchen. This will mean that you will have a safe, easy to clean area. It will also mean that your staff will be able to work efficiently in the space.

Refrigeration units are another area which need special attention. If they are not cleaned out regularly it can compromise the food hygiene. To clean the inside of the fridges, use hot soapy water in the first instance and then go over with paper towel. This will ensure that no reside is left over. Not overfilling the refrigerators, stacking foods correctly and maintaining an appropriate temperature is also important. If this is not done contamination can occur. Make sure the back of the fridge is kept a suitable distance from the wall and that all debris is cleared from filters and fans. Try to avoid positioning fridges next to ovens and cook tops to limit their exposure to heat.

Equipment used to prepare meats requires special consideration. As they are used to cut bones and meat they can get quite dirty very quickly. Use baking soda, vinegar and water to clean and sanitize the surfaces. Ensure this is done after each use as bacteria and other nasties can often grow in such an environment. This will ensure your equipment will stay in good working condition and avoiding contaminated food issues.

And finally, the gas pipes are the other thing to keep an eye on. Foods, oils and wear and tear can invite pests to damage the pipes and pose serious safety issues. Regularly check the hoses and pipes and wipe down when necessary. This will make for a safe, clean and fully functional kitchen.

Cafeideas is a family owned Australian business that supplies Catering Equipment & Commercial Fridges to Cafes & Businesses.