Those in the hospitality and F&B industry will know just how essential a commercial refrigerator freezer is to keep food and ingredients fresh, which is why any potential disruptions can be detrimental to operations. As such, mould growth in your commercial refrigerator and freezer is a serious hassle, not only due to the loss of affected items, but also the time and effort it takes to render your freezer mould-free.
Because of the low temperature and humidity, mould develops inside walk-in refrigerators and freezers. Unchecked mould growth can damage inventory, cause health concerns in employees and customers, and lead to fines due to health code violations.
Fortunately, there are many ways a business can prevent mould growth in a commercial refrigerator freezer; here are a few viable options below.
Routinely Clean Your Fridge
Leftover food debris and excess moisture from spills can lead to prime conditions for mould growth in your commercial refrigerator freezer or catering freezer. As such, it’s crucial to clean your fridge to prevent any potential mould growth.
Another primary reason to routinely clean your fridge is that food crumbs and minor spills can still attract pests such as mice or ants. Apart from being unhygienic, these pests can cause severe damage to the electrical component of your commercial refrigerator freezer if left unattended.
Before cleaning your fridge, it’s important to remember to leave plenty of time for it to defrost. Be sure to remove all food items first before unplugging the unit.
Once the defrosting process is done, clean every space within your commercial refrigerator, from drawers to shelves and other removable parts, using soap and water to ensure all food debris is removed. Avoid using an abrasive chemical cleaner such as chlorine, bleach or ammonia, as these chemicals can crack or discolour the fridge and leave behind a strong odour.
During your cleaning session, remember to clean the sides and rear of the fridge while dusting/vacuuming the coils at the back of the fridge to prevent condensation. Also, ensure that the interior of the commercial refrigerator freezer is fully dry before putting it back in use.
Keep Fridge Humidity In-Check
Keep the humidity levels in your commercial refrigerator freezer low, as high humidity levels encourage mould growth. If you find any standing water in your catering freezer or walk-in freezer, clean it up promptly, as evaporating water can lead to dampness and higher humidity levels.
Ensure that your unit’s condensing coil, evaporator, and fans are in working condition and are regularly maintained. These systems help to adequately regulate airflow inside your commercial refrigerator, removing excess moisture and significantly decreasing the possibility of mould growth.
Keep The Doors Of Your Commercial Refrigerator Freezers Closed
Leaving the door open on a commercial refrigerator freezer or walk-in freezer is not only a waste of energy but can also lead to temperature fluctuations and increased humidity levels that can be hard to control.
Furthermore, open doors may also allow mould spores to infiltrate your unit before spreading. When combined with higher temperatures and more humid air from having the freezer door open, it is a catalyst for mould growth.
Ensure that your commercial refrigerator freezer doors are shut tightly to avoid this. If you need items from the freezer, be sure to get thems all at once instead of making multiple trips which requires you to open the door constantly.
If you find that the seal of your commercial refrigerator freezer or catering freezer is failing, be sure to contact your local commercial refrigeration experts for repairs.
Ensure Your Fridge is Dry Before Storing
If you are storing a fridge for some time right after cleaning it, ensure that it’s completely dry before putting it back into storage. This is to prevent any mould and mildew from developing in the fridge the next time you use it, or you might find yourself having to go through the whole cleaning process to get rid of the mould and smell.
The best way to keep your fridge dry is to remove the doors on your commercial refrigerator freezer or leave each door slightly open by leaving an object between the door and compartment frame. You can also leave a deodoriser inside the fridge to remove any lingering smells while it’s drying.
If you find that there’s already mould present in your catering freezer, the first thing to do is identify the source and affected items, so the mould doesn’t spread. Use an abrasive scrubber to clean the area and dry the area before placing items back in.
In most cases, regular maintenance and care of your catering freezers will keep your unit free of mould. So, be sure to have your commercial refrigeration unit adequately maintained and implement measures to prevent mould from growing in your unit.