totalcare-hygiene-services-ltdtotalcare-hygiene-services-ltd

Tag : water leaks

Taming the Beast: How TotalCare Makes Refrigeration Headaches a Thing of the Past

 

Next time you’re in a supermarket, count up the refrigerated display cabinets (yes, we know how to live). Chances are, if you’re a customer, you’ve never noticed how many there are. In fact up to 79,000 throughout a single large grocers estate! Each chiller (another word for fridge) has on average 5-6 fans per fridge to circulate airflow, totalling 395,000 fans across one supermarket brand. If you’re a Store Manager or employee, though, we’re willing to bet you spend far too much time thinking about refrigeration units, and the many problems they tend to cause.

 

Refrigeration units: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em

A large grocer couldn’t run without refrigeration, to cool and preserve the goods on sale. Sales revenues from chilled foods make up more then 60-70% of all goods sold throughout some single grocers. So, how critical are chilled goods from a sales and profit perspective to supermarkets? The answer is incredibly important!

Yet maintaining, servicing and mending each cabinet consumes valuable time and resources, and can even affect consumer confidence. Here’s a quick run-down of the common issues:

 

  • Drain blockages: Refrigeration units are havens for bacteria biofilms(jelly-like bacterial secretions that thrive in warm, dark and damp areas). Once the biofilms have built up, condensate is unable to drain away, resulting in water spillages on to the shop floor. Employees can only soak up the water with absorption socks called Puddle Pythons, and wait for a refrigeration engineer to be available. In the meantime, customers may slip and fall, resulting in potential injury and possibly out-of-court settlements and increased insurance premiums. 40% of all declared injuries throughout supermarkets are due to slip&trip hazards (Health&Safety Executive).

 

  • Shut-down for cleaning: most refrigeration cabinets are given a deep clean once every 9-12 months (housing and panels are generally cleaned every few weeks). The traditional cleaning method involves vacuuming drain-lines and high-pressure washing with cold to warm water – which means shutting down the cabinet, removing produce, and disrupting customers. No disinfectants are used to remove micro-organisms. However, due to the lack of correct use of chemical products in situ with a poorly executed methodology, the 1-2 time maintenances become more frequent throughout the year, which may result in compromised reputations for both the contractor and grocer.

 

  • Parts/Component breakdown: it’s been reported that, on average, 7% of refrigeration fans and fan motors need replacing every month. Based on what has previously been stated, this is approximately 27,650 per year throughout a single supermarket chain. In larger stores this can work out to be a whopping thirty parts per month per larger store! As a result of faulty fans, due to drain blockages, the evaporator coils are also prone to freezing, necessitating a full defrost and potential loss of goods and sales revenues.

 

  • Increased energy bills: The build-up of biofilms can also affect the heating/cooling flow within the unit, increasing surface corrosion and making the unit less energy efficient. It is a proven fact, throughout the refrigeration industry, that for every 1 degree increase in condensing temperature energy costs can rise by 2-4%. Studies have shown in some cases of an overall increase of up to 36%!

Other costs to grocers and contractors include: Service Contractor call out fees (inclusive contrac or pay as you go), system downtime, loss of sales revenues, component replacements, insurances premiums and energy taxes!

The build-up of dirt and bacteria jelly is worrying for stakeholders, especially when located so close to goods that are for human consumption.

What’s a Store Manager to do about all of this? It’s vital for the store’s reputation and name – and for the health and happiness of its customers – for refrigeration units to be cleaned well, maintained efficiently and mended in a way that causes the least disruption. Unfortunately, current cleaning methods don’t tend to address the underlying issues, allowing bacteria to rapidly return, and the cycle of breaking-down and patching-up to continue.

 

TotalCare does things differently

We’ve got good news for you: we believe our one-time, first-time approachshould apply to even the most troublesome of refrigeration cabinets. That’s why we’ve adopted a new cleaning method for commercial refrigerators, using products that have been registered with the international NSF non-food compounds programme. It means they can be used safely where food is stored and handled. And because we use safe cleaning products not just warm water, we completely remove the damaging biofilms each time, discouraging regrowth for longer. Infact, up to the next scheduled cleaning regime.

We also physically remove dirt and dust from circulating airflows, improving the surrounding air quality. We’ve found that our method preserves component life for longer, reduces the number of service calls, keeps drains leak-free for up to fourteen months, helps units stay energy efficient, and significantly reduces disruption in-store.

We think of ourselves as your reputation insurers: a vital, willing partner in boosting customer and employee satisfaction. This is achieved when the right combination of cleaning products with the right level of technical understanding come together.

Imagine it: no more water leak-and-breakdown headaches. You and your refrigeration cabinets can be friends for good. More importantly your customers will want to come back knowing that their goods are kept in a clean and hygienic environment!

Find out more: http://www.totalcarehygieneservices.com/refrigeration.html

Meet the Biofilms: Your Refrigerator’s Worst Enemy, and Probably Yours Too

 

You might think that the worst you can find down the back, in or around a refrigeration unit would be a bit of ancient cheese, pushed out of sight by an enterprising toddler. Well, we’re not ruling out the cheese, but we’ve got some news for you: the worst that lives in those hard-to-reach spaces is more than enough to put your customers off their morning coffee.

Meet the biofilms.Here’s where they come to life: in the sort of dark, damp spaces where bacteria thrive. Once a few bacteria have adhered to a surface, they begin to multiply, and different kinds are attracted to the same spot through a form of bacterial communication called ‘quorum sensing’. As the bacteria form a colony, they begin to secrete a robust, jelly-like substance called a biofilm. As the colony begins to mature, the biofilms thicken and the bacteria start to disperse, covering more surfaces and spreading as far as they can.

Bacterial colonies will produce biofilms in any damp, humid environment – anywhere from the drains in your shower to the bottom of your fish tank to the spaces between your teeth (we call this dental plaque!). But refrigerators – especially the large, industrial models in supermarkets – are a particular favourite. And that’s a problem, if you’re the manager of a large grocer. Not only do biofilms look unsightly and unhygienic, but they can lead to food contamination, total equipment breakdown and a fatal loss of consumer confidence.

Want to know how? Here’s a common timelinefor biofilm mayhem:

 

Bacteria are transported by the airflow and introduced to refrigerator ->

The biofilms begin to plug the water drain in the refrigerator. ->

The water, instead of draining, backs up. ->

The water comes into contact with the fan motors, short-circuiting the motors and corroding the outer casing. ->

The now-limited air-flow forces the fridge to drop its internal operating temperature. ->

Ice forms on the coil and begins to freeze in the water tray, causing more blockages and internal damage. ->

Water begins to spill out onto the shop floor, presenting an immediate hazard for customers. ->

An engineer is called, and the unit is demerchandised and switched off. ->

Sales revenues are lost and, after prolonged or repeated shut-down, so is consumer confidence.

 

And all this can reoccur in as little as four to eight weeks.

 

The Golden Rules of Commercial Fridge Maintenance

It’s a debate that still rages within the UK’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning industry: which product performs best at keeping drains clear and free from water leaks? It’s particularly fierce between the manufacturers of those chemical products, all of whom recommend their own strip or tablet options, with impressive claims as to their effectiveness and longevity.

But that’s not really where the discussion should begin at all: here at TotalCare Hygiene Services Ltd, we know it’s important to understand the cause of a repeatedly blocked drain, before a solution can be recommended. And the root causes of blocked drains tend to be threefold:

  1. Poor Drainage Installation:

There are two common offenders here –

a. Design.In recent years, the designers of refrigeration display cabinets have tried to maximise the amount of goods the cabinet can hold. As a result of this trend, the space between the bottom of the cabinet and the drainage area is reducing. A smaller space reduces the flow levels in which drain pipe can run.

b. Installation.For water to flow freely, the drainage equipment should be installed with a minimum gradient to allow free flow of water. It’s an easy thing to miss, and done incorrectly it leads to big problems.

 

  1. Dirt and Contaminants: 

It’s astonishing what our engineers have found in the bottom of refrigeration cases over the years: foodstuffs, packaging, labels, pens, tools, bulbs, coins, hair and even mice. Each has the potential to block the drain. As customers and staff restack goods or take them away, items can fall into the condensate collection tray under the refrigeration cabinet, adding to the blockage risk.

 

  1. Exopolysaccharides:

Or, to use their more common name, biofilms. They’re robust, jelly-like substances secreted by colonies of bacteria, especially in damp, dark placeslike refrigeration cabinets. Not only do they look unsightly and unhygienic, they can very quickly plug the drainage system, causing water to short-circuit the fan motors and put the whole unit out of action.

 

What’s the solution?

After correcting any issues with installation and drainage, the most vital change to make is also the simplest: at minimum, booking a deep clean once a year. While we do have effective cleaning products we prefer and use, the frequency of cleaning matters even more.  The dirt layer acts like insulation, with Refrigeration equipment relying heavily on heat transfer, this layer will reduce its efficiency and then a cascade of problems will follow.

Some supermarket chains only allocate a deep clean once every two years, and the strain on the refrigeration unit tells – One such tell, are water puddles around the refrigeration equipment. Other chains will allow for more frequent visits, these may not resolve all problems, but in many cases water leak call-outs can be significantly reduced.

And those wonder products that promise to keep drains blockage-free for up to twelve months? They’re effective, but they should be the last step in the process rather than the first port of call. Just as doctors need to clean a wound before they can treat it, to reduce the possibility of further complications, so we need to find the cause of repeated blockages in supermarket refrigeration before we treat the area with preventative measures.

 

Good refrigerator hygiene helps your bottom line

When a unit breaks, it’s never just about the unit. Keeping your refrigerators in good health for longer means:

  1. A reduction in service calls
  2. A reduction in potential visitor and staff injuries
  3. A reduction in system downtime
  4. A reduction in component failure and replacement parts
  5. A reduction in possible health hazards from multiplying bacteria
  6. A reduction in store operation disruptions
  7. An increase in sales

All of which include a direct cost benefit to the business. What’s needed is more than the correct chemical choice: it’s the right service provider delivering its thoughtful cleaning solutions in the right way.

TotalCares top tips for maintaining refrigeration plant are:

  1. Pumps & Drains cleared from blockages, via Vacuum or Heavy Duty Drain Unblocker
  2. Chemical Selection:
    1. Disinfectant and Cleaner for the removal of dirt and eradication of biofilms.
    2. Biocidal tray treatment – Ongoing protection between maintenance visits
  3. Frequency – Frequent visits to monitor and regular cleaning cycles.

Call TotalCare Hygiene Services Ltd, and we’ll work to understand the problem and find the right solution. No ‘wonder products’ required.

 

 

#freezer #foodforthought #milk #kitchen #instagram #eggs #samsung #fridgemaintenance #airconditioning #filtercleaning #hvac #appliancerepair #fridgerepair #repair #appliance #magnets #smeg #lg #supermarketrefrigeration #supermarket #maintenance #cleaningtips #entrepreneur #vacuum #london #cleaningsolutions #commercialcleaning #kitchen #biodegradable #protection #participate #natural #deepcleaning #maidservice #allpurposecleaner #instaclean #facilitiesmanagement #cleaningservice #cleaning #clean #cleaningtips #officecleaning #housecleaning #housekeeping #home #cleaningservices #carpetcleaning #cleaningcompany #business #realestate #cleaninghacks #cleaningproducts #maidservice #residentialcleaning #cleanhome #cleanhouse #cleaner #commercialcleaning #homedecor #love #maid #residential #cleaningsupplies #house #propertymanagement #commercialrealestate #bhfyp

Free Quotes

Receive a complimentary price quote for cleaning services that will fit your needs and your budget

Your Name:

Your Email:

Subject:

Your Message:

Support

Our support is not just on the job, but before the job and after the job! We are happy to look into any task, such as site inspections, maintenance training, post job reporting and auditing and complete the service job too. You'll be updated on our progress every step of the way.

Monday - Friday

Our office operates between Monday-Friday, but our service is available all week long, night or day. Our operatives travel throughout the UK servicing and maintaining facilities and commercial plant. See what we can do for you - complete the fields to the left.