Swansea-based distributor HB Catering & Refrigeration has launched a hotline that foodservice operators can call to verify if certain types of equipment need to be checked, or can seek advice about the correct procedure to restart it after the long lockdown.
The dealer has introduced this dedicated service with the specific aim of helping companies struggling to ensure their operations are able to reopen safely and efficiently.
HB emphasised that equipment such as combination ovens, microwave ovens, refrigerators including walk-in units, ice machines, dishwashers, bar equipment and coffee machines should ideally be checked and tested before use, and that owners should also check if key accreditations and certifications remain valid.
Equally, gas kit may have perished seals, ice machines and wash ware can develop harmful bacteria and many types of equipment require maintenance checks after a period of inaction. These include gas interlock systems and extraction canopies.
The advice comes on top of the many other adjustments that owners will need to make, due to restrictions on trading relating to social distancing measures and hygiene. But the distributor believes the importance of cleaning, checking, maintaining and restarting equipment should not be understated.
Compliance and installation manager Kyle James said: “Commercial catering operations have endured an incredibly challenging period. But as they start to reopen, we want to ensure they avoid some of the hidden dangers that can exist when using equipment that has been dormant for a long period of time.
“We are more than happy to advise over the phone or come and conduct a thorough audit in person at the premises. Having come this far, the last thing most businesses want is another setback where equipment fails, is faulty, or, in a worse-case scenario, even makes a customer unwell.”