Sanitation & Safety Equipment

Browse our articles on sanitation and safety equipment and find primers on a wide variety of specific product categories, including articles on how to specify, when to replace, energy efficiency and much more.

Consultant’s Take: Oil-Filtration Systems

Oil is the most expensive food product in the kitchen. The customers buy products cooked in oil, and at the end of the oil life, operators recycle or throw away the used shortening. Filtering plays an important role in getting the most from an operation’s fryer oil.

Tips for Maintaining an Oil-Filtration System

Service agent John Schwindt, general manager and vice president of operations at Hawkins Commercial Appliance Service Co., Englewood, Colo., shares a few tips on maintenance considerations for oil-filtration systems.

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Power Sinks

Also called agitating sinks, power sinks tackle food soil with hot, soapy water and agitation to clean pots and pans, eliminating about 90 percent of the hand scrubbing typically needed. It’s important to note that these units do not serve as garbage disposals, so staff need to pre-scrape items prior to placing the wares in the wash tank.

Three Signs It’s Time to Replace a Power Sink

Structural leaks: Leaks from the stainless structure and not from drain fittings signify a sink will need replacing. If the leak comes from a drain fitting, it is most likely a seal leak that can be repaired by a plumber. If leaking is from the stainless structure, including the corners, bottom of the bowl or where the sink bowls meets drain boards, replace the sink.

THE Quarterly Product Knowledge Guide: Waste Collection Systems

When determining what type of waste collection system suits their businesses, foodservice operators can choose from a variety of options in terms of size and function. These systems can be as small as an under-sink garbage disposer or a big remote pulping system that includes a built-in grinder to send trash through pipes with water to create a sludge for disposal.

Consultant Q&A: Kevin Cromwell, owner, Cromwell Consulting, Stoughton, Mass.

FE&S: Talk about the importance of water filtration in commercial foodservice.

KC: Water is the most important ingredient in foodservice and one of the most overlooked. Soups and sauces are up to 80 percent water; fountain beverages are between 78 percent and 83 percent water, not including ice, which is all water; and coffee and tea are 96 percent to 98 percent water. Plus, every dish, glass, utensil, pot, pan and food contact surface in a foodservice establishment is touched by water. Based on this, why would anyone not have water filtration?

FE&S: What should operators consider when purchasing a water filtration system?

KC: Water for each location needs to be tested, or the 
local municipality should provide a water content breakdown. Then, the proper water filtration system can be designed for the location and application. The filtration requirements of a coffee brewer are not the same as the requirements for a combi oven. The requirements for filtration are set forth in owner’s manuals and data sheets for most items that are water dependent, and failure to meet these requirements can cause a void in warranty — not to mention an increase in repair costs and operational down time.

FE&S: Is there equipment that operators tend to overlook when it comes to water filtration?

KC: A growing area of filtration is for warewashing equipment. Filtering the water before it enters the water heater can extend the life of the water heater, or filtering after with high-heat filters can reduce the costs and amount of chemicals needed in the warewashing process.

FE&S: How can an operator determine the appropriate system for their restaurant?

KC: As the terms used in the testing results and the water filtration industry can make you feel that you are back in chemistry class, the specifier of the system should work with the filtration company of choice to select the proper filtration. All of the major manufacturers that supply the foodservice industry have solutions for all types of water.

FE&S: What is a common misconception about water filtration?

KC: There is a common practice in the municipality to use chloramines as a disinfectant as this works better than chlorine. A chlorine filter will not remove chloramines, which will rust stainless steel, again voiding all warranties from equipment manufacturers.

Cleaning & Maintaining Water Filtration Systems

Assess water quality to determine what type of filtration an operation needs. Filter life varies from location to location based on use and an operation’s water quality.

Here, Vidal Munoz Jr., service manager at Commercial Kitchen Parts & Service in San Antonio, provides more detail on cleaning and preventative maintenance for these systems.

  • One filtering function of multipurpose filters may be exhausted before another. This could lead to replacing a filter sooner than expected.
  • Change the filter if the system’s pressure gauge shows a drop of more than 30 PSI or the outlet water pressure is less than 30 PSI.
  • Store filter cartridges in cool, dry, ventilated areas and properly dispose of filter cartridges in the trash.
  • Some areas rely on many chemicals to make water usable. A good filter will help contend with this to protect equipment.
  • A good carbon-based filter will remove chlorine before it goes into the unit.
  • One common misconception is that a filter will solve all water-related issues. This is not true; it will slow down corrosion or other water-related challenges and increase the time and intervals between service calls. It is impossible to get everything out of the water by filtering.
  • Servicing needs depend on usage. Most filters need to be checked every three months and replaced every six months. This often gets overlooked.
  • It’s best to write the dates on the filter of both when it was last replaced and when it will need replacing.
  • Filters that have not been replaced regularly can impact equipment performance.

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