Any commercial operation has to rely on keeping its assets, fixtures and fittings in perfect working order if it is to maintain uptime and remain on target. While this is important for any industry sector, it is crucial when it comes to food and drink, where storage issues can lead to considerable loss, danger to public health and a public relations disaster. If you are responsible for maintaining equipment within your food distribution network, why do you need to keep a close eye on coolers and refrigerators, and what should you be looking out for?
Lots at Stake
If you deal exclusively in perishable goods, then you will have one or more walk-in cooler facilities on property to store these items at the perfect temperature until they are ready for distribution. You need to make sure that these fridges are in perfectly serviceable condition throughout and make sure that your employees adhere to best practices.
In particular, make sure that they do not prop open an automatically closing door at any time. It can be tempting to do this when the workers in question have to move heavy items in and out, but it can have an adverse effect on the internal temperature, which can lead to fluctuating conditions. Obviously, this is not good for the inventory, especially if it were to happen on a regular basis. Note, however, that if internal temperatures are not stable within your fridge, this could also be due to a malfunctioning sensor, so you should check this out as well.
If you ever notice a buildup of frost within the unit, you must get to the bottom of this problem. Some people think that this is just natural, but it points to one of several issues. For example, humidity levels could be incorrect and there could be too much condensation within the cooler, or the door to the unit may not be forming a seal, allowing warm air in. Any significant buildup of frost indicates that temperatures are rapidly changing, causing moisture to melt and refreeze in cycles.
Sounds and Smells
Be on the alert for strange noises or odd smells whenever you walk into the unit. In the latter case, this could indicate that coolant is leaking or that the condenser is not working properly. Apart from a consistent 'hum', the equipment should not give off any odd noises, so noice could indicate that the bearings are faulty, or the unit is in need of service.
Finally, locate the source of any water leak and fix it as soon as possible. This may be due to insulation that needs to be replaced or damaged seals. Any water leak can lead to the development of mould or mildew, which would not go down very well during a subsequent inspection.
Bring in professional contractors for help with refrigeration repair so that you don't encounter any of the aforementioned issues.