Re-Opening a Commercial Kitchen After Lockdown | Catering Engineers
Folds Road, Bolton, BL1 2SB

Re-Opening a Commercial Kitchen After Lockdown

Introduction

This guidance document is intended for use by kitchen operators and is only intended to assist in the start-up of equipment following a period of non-use, if in doubt a qualified engineer should be retained to ensure any appliance is in good working order before use.  Reference is made to “a Gas Safe registered catering equipment engineer.  All ceda members can provide suitably qualified engineers.

All equipment and surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised using the correct cleaning product for the particular surface.

 

Warewashing equipment

There could be potential problems regarding cross contamination from any build-up of bacteria within the machine or any water that might have remained in it, so we advise the following:

  • Check that the machine and filters are clean and in the correct place.
  • Ensure that there is a sufficient supply of chemicals (Detergent & Rinse Aid) attached to the machine.
  • Fill and heat the machine.
  • Put the machine through a minimum of three complete wash and rinse cycles.
  • Drain the equipment and recheck filters and clean if needed.
  • The machine is then ready for operation.

 

Refrigeration

Check door seals.

If they have been switched off, then clean and sanitise.  Ensure sanitiser is wiped off with clean water before loading food products.

Check temperatures before loading food products.  We recommend them being on for 24hours to avoid losing any stock.

 

Ventilation Canopies

Check all filters (grease filters and input air filters) are clean, if not clean them thoroughly.

If extract duct cleaning has not been carried out during the shut-down then this should be carried out before the ventilation system is used as grease build up on fans may have dried which can overload them.

If the system is clean, switch on and check that the fans are working correctly.

Whilst your kitchen ventilation replacement air system brings in fresh air from outside the building, this is less than the volume of air extracted, so as to draw the remainder from other parts of the building.  This is to create a slight negative pressure in the kitchen to prevent odours spreading out into the dining room or other areas.

To minimize the chance of drawing air from the dining room which may contain viruses, where possible open windows in the kitchen to provide the remainder of the replacement air.

 

Cooking equipment

Gas Appliances

We recommend having the gas installation checked by a Gas Safe registered catering equipment engineer before start-up to ensure there are no gas leaks. As appliances sit unused and at atmospheric pressure, joints and seals can settle and may weep gas. Individual appliances should be checked to ensure that they are working correctly.

Where a gas interlock is fitted check the operation by switching on the ventilation and then lighting an appliance before switching off the ventilation at which time the interlock should turn off the gas supply.

 

Electrical Appliances

Before reconnecting electrical appliances check the supply cables to ensure there has been no damage from rodents and if OK they should then be reconnected to the supply either by plugging them back into the appropriate socket or by switching on the isolator.  If there are any signs of damage to cables, these should be replaced by a competent person.

Appliances with heating elements should be run at low temperature for at least one hour to dry out any possible condensation before being used at normal temperatures.

Where appliances are protected by RCDs (Residual Current Devices) there may be some nuisance tripping at first due to condensation in the appliances, this should stop once the equipment has fully heated up, however, if it continues it should be checked by a competent person.

 

Ranges/Ovens

Check door seals have not perished or been damaged.  If there are any signs of damage they should be replaced by a competent person.

 

Fryers

Check that the fryer pan is clean and the drain valve is fully closed before refilling with oil.  Heat the oil to normal frying temperature (175/190°C) and carefully check this with a suitable thermometer to ensure that the thermostat is working correctly.

 

Appliances using water

Water softeners

Turn the water supply back on, add salt to the brine box and plug the appliance back in or switch on the electrical supply.  Reset the timer for regeneration cycles to a suitable time.

 

Water filters

Water filters should be flushed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions which normally require flushing with at least 5 times the capacity of the filter

 

Combi ovens and Steaming ovens

Before reusing Combi ovens and steaming ovens, ensure that water filters or other water treatment are fitted and have been flushed.  Appliances should be fully cleaned and sanitised then put on to either a cleaning cycle or on a steam cycle.  Door seals should be checked for leaks or damage.  If a wash down hose is fitted this should be thoroughly flushed for at least 10 minutes to remove any build-up of bacteria.

 

Pre-wash sprays

Pre-wash sprays should be thoroughly flushed for at least 10 minutes to remove any build-up of bacteria.

 

Water boilers

Before attempting to restart the appliance, ensure that any filters have been flushed or other water treatment units have been recommissioned.  Assuming that the water supply to the appliance had been turned off, it should be turned back on and the appliance refilled and brought up to boiling.

 

Coffee machines

Where water filters are fitted, ensure that these have been flushed or a new one fitted.

Turn on the water and then follow the manufacturer’s start up procedure which normally requires the machine to heat up and be run through several cycles before making coffee.

 

Ice machines

Drain down the water system of your ice machine to remove any potentially stagnant or contaminated water.

Remove the water system components from the machine. Cleaning and sanitise these parts, replace them if they’re worn or damaged.

Remove and clean the water inlet hose feeding the equipment, replace this if it has any signs of damage.

Replace the water filter cartridge. Quality hygienic ice needs a clean and hygienic water supply.

Once the parts have been cleaned, flush the whole system and ice storage bin with and approved sanitising solution, circulating it around for a minimum of 10 minutes. Ensure that you pour sanitising solution down any internal drain points to sanitise these too.

Remove and clean the drain hose of the equipment to prevent any return of stagnant water to potentially contaminate the ice bin. Replace the hose if it’s excessively dirty or damaged.

On completion of the above regime, allow the unit to make ice BUT dispose of the first few batches of ice to ensure that all residual sanitiser is purged from the system.

To ensure your ice remains safe and hygienic, clean and sanitise the external surfaces, bin lids, ice scoops and ice buckets regularly throughout the day and clean your ice machine completely at least once a week.

 

Water systems

Where a building, part of a building or a water system is taken out of use, sometimes (mothballed), it should be managed so that microbial growth including legionella in the water is appropriately controlled.

Before reusing the water system, it should be recommissioned by a competent person as though it was new (i.e. thoroughly flushed, cleaned and disinfected) before returned to use.  For more information see https://www.cieh.org/media/4208/legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf

 

Drainage

Drains and waste pipes may have dried out during closure causing waste material to stick to the pipes so flush the drain system by flushing with water.  Fill sinks and then remove plugs to obtain a high flow rate.

Grease traps where installed should be thoroughly cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.