CESA has issued key guidance that distributors can share with their operator customers about refrigeration in order to reduce food waste.
The association says it’s essential to get three key elements right: specifying the right equipment, including its Climate Class; looking after equipment correctly; and organising storage.
Every professional fridge will be manufactured to a specific Climate Class. For example, Climate Class 3 fridges are designed to operate in ambient temperatures up to 25°C, whereas a Climate Class 5 model will cope with temperatures up to 40°C.
A Climate Class 3 fridge won’t cope in Climate Class 5 conditions. Chair of CESA John Whitehouse commented: “Specifiers of new refrigeration equipment need to get to grips with this issue. Get an inappropriate Climate Class fridge and there will be temperature control issues, leading to unnecessary food wastage.”
The problem has been highlighted by the Energy Labelling Directive, which applies to professional refrigeration cabinets and counters (it will also apply to commercial ‘reach-in’ cabinets in the future). The tests set a model’s energy efficiency between A+++ and G – but the tests are carried out under specific Climate Class conditions, with the label specifying which Climate Class it has been tested to.
CESA is also underlining that dealers should emphasise to their operator clients the need to follow best practice in looking after equipment.
For example, end user staff should regularly check door gaskets (seals) for any signs of damage. A split in the gasket could lead to temperature loss, which again could cause food to spoil. At the other end of the scale, they should never wedge open a fridge door – it will lead to a dramatic loss of temperature.
Organising storage is the third strand of the battle with food waste. End users are advised to date all food stored so that they can operate a ‘First in, First out’ (FiFo) stocking system, to ensure older stock gets used before its best before date. CESA says it’s also essential to load refrigeration correctly – for example, ensure that the cabinet isn’t overloaded with food blocking the airflow system, which will cause temperature control issues that could lead or food waste.
When specifying and purchasing equipment, dealers and end users should consider how food and ingredients will be stored – for example, it’s often easier to organise storage, and to access the products, in cabinets with drawers rather than doors.
“We all know how big an issue food waste has become,” said John Whitehouse. “Best practice in refrigeration can play a big role in reducing food waste, which in turn will save costs.”