Don’t Get Caught Slipping - Make Sure Your Walk-In Unit Is Ready For Inspection

The holiday rush is over, and the new year has arrived. Busy season is upon us, and everyone is working hard to ensure that their restaurants and kitchens are running smoothly. When things are busy and / or when everything is working correctly it can be very easy to forget to check on your kitchen appliances to ensure there are no problems occurring, everything is clean, and that everything would pass inspection. Unfortunately a lot of the time regular checkups are put to the way side and the only time a cleanliness or functionality issue is addressed is when something breaks or an inspector shows up and everything goes poorly. The biggest problem with both of these scenarios is that if that’s what alerted you to a problem, it’s probably already too late and your kitchen may suffer some downtime because of it. Checking up on your walk-in cooler or freezer can help determine items that may need fixing to pass a health inspection, or components that may be on the fritz that could be easily fixed to help prevent further damage in the future. Here are some items to look out for to make sure you pass inspection:


1) Check Stored Foods - every few months you should do a check of all stored foods your walk-in cooler or freezer to ensure that none of the stored items have gone bad or spoiled. If food has already been prepped be sure to label the item with a use-by-date and discard anything that has passed that date. You can implement a FIFO storage system - First-In First-Out - that puts items that will expire or go bad first at the front of your shelves, and foods with longer shelf lives to the back so that you can focus on cooking with items that will go bad sooner than later. If you have food that has damaged packaging you will need to re-pack or discard those items. 


2) Keep Organized - the more organized you keep the items on the shelves and floor items in the walk-in unit, the easier it is to maneuver inside the unit. This is important not only for cleaning but also for sorting items to ensure that nothing gets missed that an inspector may find. 


3) Keep Floors Clean - this goes hand-in-hand with the keep organized note, but make sure that your floors are as clean as possible. Try not to let too many things pile up and be stored on the floor so that regular cleaning of the floors is an easy task. If there is a spill it’s easier to clean up when there’s not much stuff on the floor, and making sure a spill or other incident is properly cleaned up is crucial in preventing the growth of mold and bacteria in the unit. 


4) Check Thermometers & Internal Temperature - if you notice that the internal temperature of your unit seems off - either running too hot or too cold - it could be sign of damage and should be looked at. You could have faulty door or door seals, there could be damage to the exterior panels of the unit, the condenser coils could be dirty or malfunctioning, or any number of other issues. The longer these types of issues go un-addresses the likelihood of it causing significant and pricey damage that can lead to substantial downtime and the need to discard frozen or cooled food items that may spoil or go bad. 


5) Check For Signs Of Damage - inspect the floors, walls, and ceiling of your walk-in cooler or freezer for any signs of damage. Things to look out for include mold, rust spots, freezing spots / ice buildups, and other noticeable items that may cause concern. Not only will a health inspector likely fail you if they find these issues before you, but any types of damage, mold, ice, etc. could be the result of a problem with the components of your walk-in unit and they should be addressed as soon as possible by a certified technician. 


In an ideal world you would check these items every couple of weeks and try to make them as routine as possible. While it may not always be possible to check off every item listed above every other week, you should strive to build a semi-routine inspection schedule that addresses one or two of these items at a time to help make it easier and less time-inclusive. The more easy it is to address these quick checks, the more likely it is for you to do them routinely. Regular checks will help ensure that your walk-in cooler or freezer is in tip-top condition and running smoothly, and will help make almost any random inspection easily passable. If anything ever seems off you can always call in a licensed technician to come and inspect your walk-in components to ensure everything is working properly. HoodMart provides our customers with a wide range of walk-in coolers and freezers - as well as all walk-in accessories such as door hinges, kick plates, and light fixtures. HoodMart Walkin Coolers are Guaranteed To Pass ALL City & State Codes. ALL HoodMart® Walk-In Coolers and Freezers are UL Listed Panels and Doors, NSF Listed, EISA & U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Compliant, and Listed and Certified for all States, including City of Houston, State of Oregon, New York City. Custom Hurricane Approved Units Available. If you still have questions regarding the purchase of your walk-in cooler or freezer, please feel free to contact one of our experts today by calling us at 1.800.715.1014 or by contacting us through our live chat system.