7 (More) Mistakes Your Staff Could be Making
These all go a long way to prolonging the life of your dishwashers and glasswashers and making your kitchen run more efficiently.
- Slamming the door or hood down. The results of using this heavy-handed approach can result in door hinges breaking, door catches being worn quickly and door magnets breaking off. Sometimes pass through hoods becomes split, and splash guards can be broken off. Wash water can then escape onto the floor and it’s usually very expensive to fix these issues.
- Not checking that glasses are empty before putting them into the glass washer. It can be very difficult for staff to see everything in a glass when they are working under pressure and the lighting may not be great behind your bar. However, try and instil it into them to look carefully for chewing gum, confetti, etc as these can create havoc in a glasswasher. Most places that we deal with have banned confetti from being brought to parties and occasions that they host. It causes a great deal of bother to a glasswasher as it is often very hard for the staff to see the small pieces sticking inside glasses. This clogs up the wash system and ends up costing money on engineer call outs and labour, and occasionally burns out the wash pump motor.
- Tipping beer slops into the glasswasher. Not only does this make the wash water dirtier than it should be, it has a neutralising effect on the glasswash detergent. It dilutes it down and renders the chemical practically ineffective. Have them pour excess drink down a sink or into a bucket for disposing of later.
- Removing filters before draining machine down. When the filters are removed this means that the drain is the first and final line of defence for trapping food scraps etc, when the machine drains down. This leads to blocked drains and blocked drain pumps. If the drain pump burns out, then this is a very costly mistake.
- Washing with same wash water all day. It is good practise to empty down your machine, give the filters a clean, wipe it down and restart it with fresh water after every service. For example, if your restaurant does a breakfast service, a lunch service and then a dinner service, I would recommend emptying down the machine between breakfast and lunch, and then again between lunch and dinner. This means that the wash water will be fresh for each new service. This would not be applicable if you use a dishwasher that has a ‘fill and dump’ method of functioning, like some American machines. Certain dishwashers that are now on the market are designed to remove heavy soil before the actual wash cycle.
- Closing the door or hood overnight when machine is switched off. This is very important in the fight against bacteria building up inside of your machine. At the end of service, once the machine has been emptied down and switched off, filters removed and cleaned, the machine should be wiped down with a damp cloth and the door or hood should be left open. This should be done every single night. It allows the air to circulate and for the machine to dry out. Dishwashers and glasswashers are hot and moist and this combined with yeasts from beer, sugars from cocktails, etc. building up, it becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Don’t encourage it. Leave the door or hood open every night. This is especially important with glasswashers in night clubs or function suites. They may be used only a couple of nights each week and then left closed for the remainder of the time. This coupled with the fact that the lighting is usually low in nightclub bars, can result in exceptionally unhygienic circumstances and can lead to customers getting food poisoning or worse, as mould spores can rapidly spread inside the machine and go unnoticed. Shine a torch inside your nightclub or function suite glasswasher, you may get a nasty surprise at what you find. Your customers aren’t just getting a hangover the next day, it may be the case that you’re poisoning them.
- Not checking the inside of the dishwasher hood for plastic tub lids. This is not that tragic although when the lids sit in the same place for a while, they become a hiding place for bacteria. On top of this, when the KP lifts the hood of the dishwasher to pull out the clean basket, water should run along these purpose-built grooves inside the hood and back into the wash tank of the machine. If these are blocked then water will often pour out at a different angle and end up on the floor, posing a hazard within your kitchen.
- Richard Hose