According to the World Health Organization, about one in 10 people become ill annually after consuming contaminated food. While the causes of the spoilage may vary, people who have access to refrigerators and freezers outside their homes are generally safer than those who don’t.
Commercial refrigerators and coolers come in various capacities and sizes. They’re also designed differently according to their purpose. While often kept in restaurant kitchens to store meat and other cooking ingredients, some commercial fridges are meant to showcase different types of perishables. Such a unit is called a display fridge and plays a key role in visual merchandising.
Display fridges and freezers are standard fixtures in commercial establishments, such as stores, bakeries, coffee shops, and meat and pastry shops. Unlike traditional cooling units, a display fridge must be placed on the store’s frontage or in any conspicuous area. Hence, besides being visually attractive, it must be easy to access, clean, and maintain.
Below are some tips to keep your store’s display freezer safe and immaculate.
- Remove the shelves for a thorough clean
A display fridge, especially one with an open design, is a dirt and grime magnet. On the upside, commercial fridges are easy to clean, especially if you’ve got the time.
To clean a display fridge, remove the products, shelves, and drawers to ensure every nook and cranny is cleansed. While the stainless steel interior can easily be wiped clean, you can’t eliminate all the filth without removing the shelves. Moreover, consider cleaning it from top to bottom if you have multi-level refrigerated display cabinets.
2. Avoid using harsh chemicals
Spray mild disinfectants and cleaners that don’t interact with any materials in your display fridge or freezer. It’s important to avoid cleaning agents with strong odours, as they’re not only damaging to your equipment but can spoil your chilled goods.
Disinfectants, including bleach, should never be used to clean a fridge. Aside from causing damage to your equipment and spoiling the goods, the strong smell of some cleaning agents can be absorbed by the food inside. In effect, a person may become ill from consuming food contaminated with these strong chemicals. Dissolving baking soda in warm water can be a good alternative.
3. Clean your display fridge regularly
A display fridge cleaning routine must ensure that your cooling case remains attractive, clean, and safe. Creating a checklist of cleaning activities on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis reminds you and your staff of the regular cleaning tasks and schedules.
Check the display freezer or fridge a few minutes before opening and closing your store. Spills, condensation, and smudges must be removed and cleaned before and after store hours. Moreover, clean your appliance inside and out, and don’t skip any part, especially the coils and filters.
Above all, weekly and monthly cleaning activities may include more thorough washing, wiping, sorting glass panes and rearranging the products, checking their expiry dates, and similar tasks.
4. Avoid blocking the airflow over the coils
Commercial fridges have evaporator and condenser coils vital to smooth and efficient operation. Condenser coils discharge heat from the refrigeration system, while evaporator coils are responsible for absorbing heat and cooling the fridge’s interior. If any of these parts malfunction, your fridge will overheat, resulting in costly repairs. Hence, it’s good that the units from your shop have a fully automatic system that keeps the temperature at the right level.
For stores that have yet to purchase any of our units, avoiding blockages over the coils is vital as it reduces the appliance’s cooling capacity. To prevent this, ensure the coils are clean and free of frost and obstructions. At the same time, it’s best to avoid overfilling the unit with stocks.
5. Practice good inventory management
Inventory management is necessary for any business in the food and beverage sector. Maintaining good inventory practices can increase your ability to meet customer demands, boosting your revenues.
Retail stores often implement the ‘first in, first out’ principle, where chilled goods and items on display must be placed strategically to avoid keeping supplies about to expire. The most common way to do this is to position newly-purchased stocks behind existing items. Besides preventing spoilage, regular stock turnover helps keep your display fridge clean.
6. Clean the door and keep it shut
Condensation develops when warm and cold air mixes inside the display fridge. Warm air enters the cooling appliance with the frequent opening and closing of the unit’s door. Because a display fridge is exposed to cool and warm temperatures, condensation and humidity can form on the glass and muddle the customers’ view. When this happens, it can be difficult for potential buyers to grab their favourite products, leading to lost sales.
Check the temperature and the gasket’s ability to seal the unit properly to minimise humidity. If you’re planning to purchase new refrigerated display cabinets, ensure they have advanced features that protect your products, just like the ones sold in our store.
Besides wiping the glass and door clean and keeping it closed, consider placing your fridge in a well-ventilated area and away from direct sunlight.
7. Regular maintenance is key
Like other appliances, a display fridge has several components that can be difficult to clean and monitor. Hence, it’s best to leave the complicated cleaning and maintenance tasks to professionals.
Maintenance services can either be booked once a month or every three months or more, depending on the type of display fridge or display freezer and its usage rates. Take note that the maintenance and cleaning services mustn’t result in long waiting times for the establishment, so they should be scheduled strategically.