Kitchen maintenance provider Serviceline provides some helpful tips on kitchen design and maintenance for care homes.
Some equipment such as liquidisers and blenders for making soups or pureed meals along with boilers for making tea are far more critical in care homes than in other sectors. What happens if that equipment breaks down? When planning new kitchens, care homes need to ensure there is a ‘Plan B’ covering critical equipment, with back up provided by other equipment and the re-assurance of a rapid, planned response by their kitchen and refrigeration service provider.
Cleanliness is essential, not only for good hygiene, but it also helps protect equipment and assist with staff safety. Engineers find that a common cause of personal injury in kitchens is poor cleaning, leaving surfaces such the sides or backs of microwaves greasy and difficult to handle. Kitchen staff must be careful whist moving a unit which can weigh over 30kg for cleaning as you certainly don’t want that falling on your fingers!
A common problem found by Serviceline engineers in all types of kitchen is limescale damage. Failure to monitor and maintain water treatment properly is a major cause of engineer call-outs for breakdowns and poorly performing equipment. Care home kitchens need to be designed to make it easy for their hard-pressed staff to carry out their regular daily maintenance checks, which includes keeping water softeners topped up with salt and ensuring the water treatment on the steam appliances is within date.
Check that your kitchen maintenance supplier also offers full legal compliance. For example, some dishwashers feature the use of refrigerant gas as part of the heat exchanger system, requiring engineers working on these products to be F-Gas certified, in addition to being qualified and dishwasher trained.
CSR is about more than just service and maintenance. It involves how staff clean equipment, how they operate it and whether they are using the correct detergent etc.
Catering equipment engineers attending site frequently provide advice and on the spot guidance for customers such as cleaning and routine daily maintenance practice.
If there is any doubt as to your legal obligations regarding kitchen maintenance, then take advice from the leading independent provider of kitchen and refrigeration service and maintenance.
Choosing a ‘proactive’ form of service that includes planning and inventory reporting alongside preventative maintenance helps to deliver maximum value and consistent execution. The main priorities are for urgent responses when care homes need it, as well as the ability to log service calls online 24 hours a day.
It is also essential that your service provider recognises the critical issues in your specific circumstances, such as the blenders or water boiler and responds accordingly, particularly where a smaller home may not have additional resources to use when something critical isn’t working.