Imagine this scenario: At about mid-afternoon one of your cooks comes by with the temperature sheet in hand and says that the food in the cooler is way above temperature. You take a look at the sheet and realize in dismay that either the food thermometer is broken or the cooler is. You check the wall temperature for the cooler and, sure enough, it’s hovering right around 50°. Immediately you call for walk-in cooler repair in Delaware, but what do you do in the meantime?
Walk-in cooler breakdowns are a serious disruption to your business operations, but appropriate decision-making can help protect your customers from unsafe food and minimize food product losses. Below are the steps you should take to help keep your business running smoothly during a walk in cooler breakdown:
- Determine when the problem started: Do your best to determine when your cooler stopped working properly. Perishable food items will usually maintain safe temperatures for up to two hours unaided. After that, you need to take further steps to help keep your foods within a safe temperature range.
- Try to keep the cooler door closed: We know that this is sometimes easier said than done, but every time you open your cooler door, you are letting the cold air out and warm air in. Keeping the door closed will help your cooler to stay cold longer.
- Don’t put any hot foods in the cooler: Pre-dinner food prep often involves pre-cooking certain food items and then storing them in the cooler for later use. If pre-cooking is part of your operations, you may want to hold off until the cooler is repaired. Putting hot food in your walk-in cooler will only raise the temperature of the cooler faster.
- Use ice: Temporarily storing food with ice or in ice baths can help maintain safe food temperatures longer. Ice baths are actually more effective at keeping food cool than ice alone. You can fill a bus bin or any other container with ice and cold water, and then submerge another container into the ice bath to store the food in. This double container ice bath will help keep food cool without worrying about it getting waterlogged.
- Check food temperatures periodically: Despite your best efforts, your perishable food items may get too warm to use. To protect your customers, be sure to check your food temperatures frequently while your walk-in cooler is out of order. If your cooler foods have been at or above 41° for a period of four hours or more, they will have to be discarded.
Following these few tips will help protect your customers and minimize your food losses, but these are only temporary solutions. To avoid significant losses, it’s important that your walk-in cooler is repaired as soon as possible. At Commercial Equipment Service, we offer 24/7 emergency walk-in cooler repair in Delaware. So, if your cooler isn’t working, be sure to call us first for fast, quality service that you can count on.