Cleaning Cold Rooms in Time For Christmas

Sunday 7th December 2014

For many businesses dedicated to catering and food preparation, Christmas can be a very busy and nerve racking time indeed. Of all times of the year, Christmas is one of the seasons in which people are more collectively inclined to meet up, whether as family or friends, and go out to enjoy meals together. As such restaurants can expect a high number of customers within the space of a few weeks, if not a few days. Unsurprisingly, this can place a fair amount of strain on their cold rooms, as they’ll be exposed to the constant movement of food and produce.

Cleaning Cold Rooms

Cleaning cold rooms then becomes a serious challenge, especially when operating on a tight schedule. However, it is very important that they’re kept in good shape.

Food Hygiene 101

This is basic food hygiene, however it bears repeating just to underscore why cleaning your cold storage frequently is essential.

Now, the growth of microbial life is heavily influenced by the ambient temperature around them. At room temperature, they propagate at standard speeds and can spread across entire surfaces within a few minutes. As temperatures increase, they do so at faster rates. Once you hit 100°C or so, they start dying off as they are literally frazzled. Only the toughest microbes can survive those sorts of temperatures. Conversely, as temperatures drop their rate of reproduction slows, until they reach such a point that microbes go dormant.

Contrary to certain myths, freezing bacteria doesn’t kill them. They’re pretty much just held in limbo until temperatures rise to such a point that they become active again. Tough critters that they are, they’ll get straight back into replicating and spreading. In a busy kitchen, which it will be at this time of year, this can mean a lot of temperature variances within cold rooms, and this allows bacteria to spread.

The Importance of Cold Room Cleanliness

You can now see why it’s important to keep your cold rooms clean and devoid of bacteria. It’s impossible to keep your cold storage completely sterile, unfortunately. Not unless you want to blast it regularly with gamma radiation, anyway, and we can’t recommend that. However you can control and limit the growth and spread of bacteria colonies, which would be enough to keep your kitchen healthy.

The easiest way to do this is, if you can, to rotate your cold rooms. By this we mean have one active cold room that is used for storage on a particular day or set of days. The others can be set to cleaning. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to set aside days dedicated to giving your cold storage a deep clean before opening up to receive guests.

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