15 essential checks to make before reopening a commercial kitchen


After a long period of being switched off, commercial kitchen equipment can require a bit of TLC before it can be up and running again.

At the end of the first lockdown, the Foodservice Equipment Association launched a recommissioning equipment guide – and its advice remains just as relevant as operators look to reopen again, particularly for those that haven’t been involved in delivery or takeaway services over the last few months.

Its ‘Recommissioning Foodservice Equipment After Prolonged Closure’ guide lists some of the key points to consider to ensure that commercial catering equipment is working safely and efficiently.

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The advice covers a variety of specific areas, ranging from coffee machines and refrigeration to food waste systems and combi ovens.

It also gives general pointers and tips that apply to the kitchen as a whole.

15 key points to consider:

1. Clean and sanitise everything (equipment, surfaces, walls, floors, etc.) thoroughly before you start. (Caution: make sure the cleaners and sanitisers you use are suitable for the surfaces you are cleaning, e.g. stainless steel).

2. If you’re unsure about any appliance’s operational status, get it serviced. Similarly, if anything doesn’t feel right – for example, a button that won’t push – then don’t force it, call an engineer.

3. As much as possible, check everything is in good order (for example, do a thorough visual check) before switching on.

4. Treat equipment as if it was new – follow the user manual, run through the start-up procedure, do a dry run, then start it up and run the machine.

5. Note that many manufacturers will have instructions and advice online – if the answer isn’t there, give them a call.

6. Gas equipment: check the appliance as well as the ventilation and interlock systems.  If in any doubt at all, call in an engineer.

7. Electric appliances: again, if they’re not working, and you’ve checked the supply is switched on and that they are switched on, then call an engineer.

8. Water: for any appliance using water (beverage systems etc.) run water through the system to flush out any standing water. Thoroughly clean the system.

9. Refrigeration: after cleaning, turn on and check that it reaches the correct temperature before loading.

10. Warewashers: give them a run through on empty.

11. Light equipment: where possible and safe to do so, dismantle and give the appliances a thorough cleaning.

12. Grease management systems: recommission according to the manufacturer’s instructions. With external grease traps, if they were not emptied at lockdown than get in a contractor to empty them. Fill up bio dosing systems.

13. Waste management systems such as FWDs: recommission according to manufacturer’s instructions.

14. With all appliances, cupboards, etc., check for any presence of dust, insects, pests, etc. and act accordingly.

15. Remove any results of pest control measures.

Tags : catering equipmentkitchens
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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