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Common maintenance issues facing hospital kitchens

Crystaltech engineer

In times like these, hospital sites that have invested in routine planned preventative maintenance packages should find their equipment less likely to break down. However, there are still going to be occasions when immediate technical assistance is required to restore a piece of kit or correct a fault. FEJ looks at the common kitchen maintenance issues that healthcare sites might face.

Cooking appliances

Equipment that is in high usage but not necessarily receiving daily care when it comes to maintenance is likely to need attention at some stage, says Kane Needs, technical manager at Marren.

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“Currently, our main appliance requiring repairs are microwaves, particularly the ones that are on the wards for heating up meals. A lot of these items are overheating because of the lack of filter/vent cleaning, meaning the machine cannot breath correctly coupled with the increased volume of patients to care for.”

Dishwashing

The potential for cross-contamination from any item that has been washed in a dishwasher that is not operating correctly is always a concern, but nowhere does that pose more of an issue than in a hospital environment.

“Correct temperatures and disinfecting detergents are essential in order to keep bacteria under control,” insists Derek Maher, managing director of Crystaltech.

“Depending on the menu, we would promote the use of chemicals containing chlorine wherever possible.” He adds that Crystaltech is able to carry out bioluminescence testing to establish if there is a potential problem and gain an instant reading.

Breakdowns

Heavier demand on appliances installed in what are already very busy kitchens can quickly expose shortcomings in maintenance regimes.

“What we are finding is that where most kitchens in the care sector would normally have at least two services per year, they now only have one due to recent budget cuts,” says NWCE Foodservice Equipment managing director Ben Odling.

“This in turn is having a massive knock-on effect with avoidable breakdowns. We are also seeing a massive influx of breakdowns on waste disposal units and dishwashers.

“We have feedback from our clients that these units are now working 24 hours a day, which is a 100% increase in working time and demand. Dishwashers breaking down is very concerning for all as they ultimately help with sanitation,” he adds.

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Tags : kitchensmaintenancerepairs
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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