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Contents At A Glance

FE&SEditorial Archives2002September — Feature

Air Curtains & Air Doors

Types: There are two basic types of air curtains. First are those used for insect control, which are generally hung at delivery or service entrances or inside a kitchen door. Then there are those versions used for environmental control at various locations in facilities.

Capacities/Footprints: Air curtains, mounted above a door, either on the interior or exterior, are available for doors from 39 to 129 wide, and can now be custom-manufactured for doors up to 169 wide and 209 high.

Energy Source(s): Air doors create an invisible air seal generated by high-efficiency, direct-driven centrifugal fans that compress the air inside the unit and release it through a directional nozzle outlet with a pressure powerful enough to stop winds up to 25 mph. An air curtain used for repelling flying insects requires a higher velocity of air than one designed for environmental preservation.

Manufacturing Method: Air curtains' heavy-duty fan motors are enclosed in corrosion-resistant stainless-steel cases and are, generally, factory-assembled units, that include universal mounting hardware for installation.

Standard Features: Air curtains for both types of applications are available with adjustable air velocities, and can be unheated or equipped with electric, steam or hot-water heating units. Industrial models are available with gas-fired heating options.

New Features/Technology/Options: An automatic door switch can be used to control operation of an air curtain when a door opens. A time delay control can now be installed in high-traffic areas. Some operators are now using air curtains to separate smoking and non-smoking areas inside their facilities.

Prime Functions: Air curtains are used to separate two environments by keeping inside conditioned or heated air untainted by outside air, and to prevent the intrusion of flying insects, dust and other airborne contaminants. Air curtains also facilitate free-flowing traffic in facilities, as well as unobstructed vision.

Key Kitchen Applications: Air curtains are used to control insects and aromas in kitchens, as well as above dock doors, walk-in coolers, drive-up windows or any opening susceptible to energy loss or temperature variation. Air curtains used for insect control should be mounted on a kitchen doorway's exterior. For optimum protection, an environmental control unit should be mounted on the interior, drawing in conditioned air through an intake screen and discharging it through a nozzle to create the necessary air seal.

Maintenance Requirements: Air curtains should be cleaned regularly for best performance. Air-cleaning filters are available for many air curtains.

Food Safety Functions: Air curtains repel houseflies and other disease-bearing pests, helping to eliminate potential exposure to contagious diseases. The FDA specifically recommends the use of air curtains for the exclusion of insects. Several states have already enacted legislation regarding the mandatory installation of air curtains at specified openings in food-production facilities.

Cleaning Supplies

Types: Cleaning supplies include a variety of items such as wet mops, mop handles, mop buckets, mop wringers, brooms and brushes, dust pans, utility handles, floor squeegees, scouring pads, grill cleaners, plastic spray bottles and buckets.

Capacities/Footprints: Mop heads provide an array of yarns to choose from. Cotton offers good absorption and retention, low cost and limited shrinkage, making it appropriate for general uses, such as picking up liquids and scrubbing. Rayon mop heads are designed for quick absorption and release; they also dry fast, are mildew-resistant and shed less lint. Rayon mop heads are most often used to apply liquids, including finishes and disinfectants. Synthetic mop heads are designed for superior tensile strength, while shedding no lint, making them best for use on rough surfaces. Blends are designed to offer a balance of price, performance and durability.

There are many mop handles from which to choose, all of which are now designed to offer unit staff quick and hands-free mop-head changes.

Mop buckets are designed to hold cleaning solutions during heavy-duty commercial mopping. Mop buckets are offered in sizes of 26 qts., 35 qts. and 44 qts. and are typically constructed of durable plastic.

Mop wringers assist in mopping functions by attaching to one of the four sides of a mop bucket to make wringing mop heads easier. Wringers are designed to accommodate 8-oz. to 36-oz. mop heads. Wringers are available in side-press and down-press designs. Both are offered in a choice of durable plastic or zinc plated.

Three types of brooms/brushes are most commonly used in foodservices: lobby-angle brooms, deck brushes and floor sweeps. Lobby brooms are typically 360 in width and used for light cleanups throughout the day. Deck brushes are 100 to 120 in width and most often used for rugged scrubbing. Deck brushes are designed to remove caked-on dirt and grease. Floor sweeps' 180 to 360 widths allow for larger floor coverage when sweeping. Floor sweeps are most appropriate for fine to medium cleanups.

Lobby dust pans are designed for easy pickup, release and storage of swept debris.

Utility handles are usually constructed of hardwood and attach into any broom or brush head. A wood handle with metal tip is best-suited for sweeps and scrub brushes.

Floor squeegees are available in metal or plastic, straight or curved models. Floor squeegees are used to remove a liquid from the kitchen floor once it has been sprayed down. Handles are sold separately. Most operators choose either a standard utility handle or a telescopic handle. Telescopic handles are most often made of corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum with nylon locking collars and are available in lengths of 89 to 249.

Cleaning Supplies

Scouring pads are offered in three weights: light duty, medium duty and heavy duty. Light-duty pads work best on most ceramic, chrome, porcelain, stainless-steel and painted surfaces. Medium-duty pads are designed for daily cleaning of pots and pans, dishes, utensils and equipment. Heavy-duty pads are very abrasive and usually are only used for removing baked-on deposits and scuff marks.

A "grill brick" is made of pumice and is designed to clean residue safely and effectively from a hot grill without scratching it. Griddle screens are used for light cleaning or after cleaning with a "griddle brick." Griddle pads are for light cleaning and polishing, and can be used on a warm grill with a griddle screen and holder.

Plastic spray bottles are used to hold cleaning solutions and are usually available in sizes of 16 oz. to 32 oz.

Plastic buckets typically hold 10 to 16 qts. and are available in a variety of colors.

Standard Features: Many mops feature a vinyl-coated mesh headband for durability. Looped ends keep the yarn from fraying and linting. Most mop buckets come with 30, non-marking casters, a universal "caution" logo, embossed graduations for liquid measurements and some have faucet-style drains to eliminate potential back strains when staff empty the container. Wringers feature maximum venting for quick water release into a bucket without splashing. An ergonomic handle design abets leverage and comfort. Brooms and brushes feature a block that holds the fibers. Blocks are available in foam or wood and range in sizes from 100 to 360. Broom fibers (or bristles) are constructed of different fibers. Among the most commonly used in foodservice are Palmyra, a durable, natural, low-cost, liquid-resisting fiber; polystyrene, a durable, moisture-resisting synthetic fiber; and black Tampico, a natural fiber with a soft to medium texture and good durability.

Lobby dust pans typically feature an ergonomically designed PVC handle that allows for "no bending" pickups. Lobby dust pans are constructed of a durable plastic so they will not rust and their plastic hoppers snap closed when in use and release for dumping or carrying contents without spills. Utility handles are most often constructed of wood and offered in lengths of 540 to 600. Straight metal squeegees usually feature a steel scraper, while straight plastic squeegees have a foam blade designed for greater liquid removal. Sizes range from 180 to 360 in width. Scouring pads are color-coded, i.e., light-duty pads are white, medium-duty pads are green and heavy-duty pads are dark green. Griddle pad holders are offered in metal, metal with a plastic handle or a high heat-resistant plastic. Either clamps or teeth hold their screens in place. Griddle pads' absorbent features allow particles from a grill to soak up through the screen and prevent it from clogging.

Bottle sprayers are available in a variety of colors. Sprayers should be adjustable to provide a fine mist or a steady stream. Some spray bottles are chemical-resistant for use in tougher applications. Most cleaning buckets are constructed of heavy-duty plastic and some feature a built-in pour spout. Divided buckets allow for separation of a cleaning solution from rinse water.

New Features/Technology/Options: One new mop head features a permanent bacteria-fighting additive. Environmentally friendly, this yarn treatment lasts for the life of the mop head and is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, fungi and yeast, while helping to reduce mop-head odors. One-piece bucket and wringer combos now usually feature a faucet-style drain, a bracket to hold a "caution" sign, a sediment screen to contain debris, color coding to help prevent cross-contamination, contents' measurements clearly indicated inside the bucket, a wide-mouth pour spout, a wringer that accommodates 12-oz. to 32-oz. mop heads and a 35-qt capacity. "Walnut" pads are designed for use on stainless steel to eliminate any scratching and preserve the appearance of the equipment. As their name implies, they contain crushed walnut shells.

Prime Functions: The prime function of all cleaning supplies is to pick up a liquid or debris or to scrub, sweep, wipe, spray or contain cleaning solutions.

Key Kitchen Applications: Cleaning supplies are used for applications including sanitizing floors, work surfaces, grills and pots and pans during the day as well as after-hours cleanup.

Maintenance Requirements: The life span of a wet mop can be as long as seven months, if it is laundered on a regular basis. However, in foodservice this is not a reality and mops tend to last only a few weeks. Proper rinsing on a regular basis may prolong the life span to a few months. Mop buckets, wringers, brooms and brushes that are used for scrubbing liquids should be rinsed after each use. Scouring pads and grill maintenance items must be replaced on a regular basis, depending how often and hard they are used.

Food Safety Functions:basis will reduce bacteria and other contaminants throughout a kitchen.

Disposers/Pulpers & Compactors

Types: Disposers are offered in four standard sizes and multiple models to dispose of food waste in professional kitchens. Disposers are designed for light- and heavy-duty continuous use. Light-duty disposers are intended for use in delis and convenience stores. Heavy-duty small-, medium- and large-capacity disposers are designed to meet the needs of busier restaurants, hotel kitchens, hospital foodservices and cafeterias.

While disposers can be operated on their own, waste compactors should not be operated without disposers or pulpers to handle liquid waste. Most compactors have motors ranging from 1 hp to 5 hp.

Capacities/Footprints: Disposers are manufactured with motors ranging from 1/2 hp up to 10 hp. Horsepower determines units' shredding capabilities, as well as their capacities for continuous operation. Therefore, the higher the horsepower, the greater the shredding capability. Light-duty disposers' 1/2-hp motors allow these units to have the shredding capability of a larger disposer. However, higher-horsepower disposers have the waste-handling capacity necessary for larger operations.

The body size of a disposer determines its waste-handling capacity. The larger the body, the greater the waste capacity. Light-duty disposers are the smallest commercial units. They are approximately 140 in height. Larger disposers range in size from 170 high to 231/40 in height.

Compactors are often used in conjunction with disposers. Compactors are available in 1, 2, 3 and 5 hp. A 1-hp compactor can dispose of 300 lbs. of waste per hour.

Two-hp compactors dispose of 500 lbs. of waste per hour, 3-hp compactors can handle 700 lbs. of waste per hour and 5-hp compactor dispose of 900 lbs. of waste per hour.

Alternatively, waste may be run through a pulper/extractor, which significantly reduces liquid waste as part of the compaction process. From the pulper, the compressed waste is loaded into bags or directly into an outside waste receptacle.

Energy Source(s): Disposers and compactors are both available in the following voltages; 115, 208, 230 and 480 volts.

Standard Features: A standard electrical wall switch can operate light-duty disposers. The most common electronic control today is a manual reverse switch that allows shredding in both directions, which can help unjam a machine and prolong the life of a disposer.

Water controls are offered with all disposers and pulpers to regulate the amount of water going in and out of the unit. A siphon breaker prevents backflow, while a solenoid valve ensures that water runs through the disposer. Flow control valves are designed to provide the correct amount of water for the disposer. For their part, compactors are supplied with a manual switch control panel.

The motor is the heart of a disposer. To ensure a longer life, most motors are cooled by a controlled air flow and are totally enclosed. The motor is also protected from water damage by its triple-lip seal. A secondary spring-loaded oil seal usually provides extra security against water damage and loss of grease. Disposers' shredding elements are designed for reverse-action grinding. Reverse-action grinding prolongs the life of a disposer by eliminating any jams that can burn out the motor. For lasting sanitation, most disposers feature an all-stainless steel and chrome-plated external finish.

Manufacturing Method: A disposer's grind chamber is constructed of corrosion-resistant stainless steel. The rubber mounting over the grinding chamber is designed to isolate sound and eliminate vibration. Typically, a mounting is enclosed in chrome-plated covers to enhance sanitation and appearance.

Key Kitchen Applications: Commercial disposers are most commonly found in soiled dishtables, vegetable prep areas, salad prep areas, pot sinks and meat/seafood prep areas. Generally, one or more disposers are found in a kitchen.

Protective Lighting

Types: Protective lighting is designed in many types, shapes, sizes and watts to offer maximum options in safety lighting. Protective lighting includes standard fluorescents, high output (HO), very high output (VHO), U-shaped fluorescents, black lights and Teflon-coated incandescent lamps.

Capacities/Footprints: Standard fluorescents are offered in full wattage, energy-saving, preheat, preheat-rapid start, rapid start, instant start and "slim-line" linear models.

HO protective lights are available for non- refrigerated and refrigerated areas. High-output fluorescent lamps for non-refrigerated areas are designed to withstand the highest temperatures. VHO lamps are available for non-refrigerated, refrigerated and freezer areas. U-shaped fluorescents are designed to provide nearly the same light output as linear straight lamps of twice their length. Black lights are designed to help unit staff identify food contamination in food-processing areas. Teflon-coated incandescent lamps are designed to be used anywhere a light fixture exposes a bulb or doesn't offer adequate protection.

Energy Source(s): Most fluorescents consume anywhere from 6 watts to 185 watts and require a 120-volt to 130-volt energy source.

Manufacturing Method: Plastic coating captures glass, mercury or phosphors should lamps break. Teflon coating offers longevity and high performance up to temperatures of 500°F., plus resistance to most thermal shocks and chemical contamination.

Standard Features: All protective lighting should include a skin-tight protective coating that contains all glass, phosphors and mercury, protecting the surrounding work area should a light shatter or break. HO fluorescent lamps designed for use in non-refrigerated areas typically feature a Teflon coating over a lamp's hot ends for ease of handling and a plastic coating over the entire length of a lamp for protective strength.

New Features/Technology/Options: New to the market are plastic-coated, shatter-resistant metal halide, high-pressure sodium and mercury-vapor lamps. These lights are designed for illuminating large areas with high ceilings.

Prime Functions: All protective lighting is designed so that unit staff never have to touch or be exposed to bare glass and to ensure foods cannot be contaminated by broken glass or other lighting components.

Key Kitchen Applications: Protective lighting is most applicable in freezers, refrigerators, prep areas, dining rooms and insect light traps in operations including restaurants, supermarkets, C-stores, "salad-toss" bars, schools, daycare facilities and meat- packing plants.

Maintenance Requirements: The suggested maintenance on all protective lighting is called group relamping, which is the replacement of all lamps after they have been in service for 70% of their use-life (average life-span ranges from six to 3,000 hours). Replacing lamps before they burn out eliminates flickering and protects ballasts and other system components.

Food Safety Functions: While black lights are designed to combat food contamination in processing areas, all protective lighting is designed to keep food safe from the contamination of broken glass.

The FDA Food Code Chapter 6, Section 202.11 states "Shielding of light bulbs helps prevent breakage. Light bulbs that are shielded, coated or otherwise shatter-resistant are necessary to protect exposed food, clean equipment, utensils and linens, and unwrapped single-service and single-use articles from glass fragments should the bulb break."


Types: There are many types of sinks that meet specific facility needs. Sinks are classified by function and include hand sinks, prep sinks, scullery sinks, mop sinks, pot sinks, bar sinks, C-store sinks and corner sinks. They are either manufactured to be NSF-rated or not. NSF-rated sinks are required to be manufactured with radiused seams, coved corners and integrally welded drainboards for most effective sanitation. Non-NSF units typically have unground welds and detachable drainboards.

Capacities/Footprints: Local health codes govern the size of kitchen (scullery) sinks pertaining to number and size of bowls, water-level depth, backsplash height and drainboard size. Minimum pot sink bowls should be 200 3 200 with at least a 120 water-level and should have at least three compartments (wash-rinse-sanitize) and two drainboards.

Manufacturing Method: Many sinks are made from stainless steel for durability and easier cleaning. Either welded or molded, the steel can be type 430, which has a 16% chrome content, or thicker, more durable type 304 that contains 8% nickel. Galvanized legs are corrosion-resistant, but stainless-steel legs are typically more durable. Fittings have traditionally been stainless-steel or brass/chrome-plated, although plastic fittings are gaining wider acceptance. A gooseneck, swiveling faucet is required to reach each compartment of a sink, and aerators and stream regulators save the most water.

New Features/Technology: New developments in pump technologies have renewed interest in semi-automatic potwashing sinks, which use high-powered jets of water to clean items such as pots and pans, meat lugs, rotisserie spits, utensils, mixing bowls and even hood filters and oven parts. Water is pumped through an array of nozzles at a rate of 300 to 400 gals. per minute. Power sink units can have up to six sections, including a soiled end drainboard, scrapper, wash sink, rinse sink, sanitizing sink and clean-end drainboard. Specialty handwashing sinks are now available with automatic soap and water dispensers, some using electronic-eye faucets and hands-free models with knee or foot pedals. Some handwashing sinks are now available with automatic tracking of employee handwashing for HACCP-compliance documentation.

Maintenance Requirements: Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of sinks is necessary, and preventative care to avoid rust and corrosion is advised.

Food Safety Functions: Handwashing sinks help to maintain HACCP guidelines in foodservice kitchens, as most local health codes do not allow employees to wash their hands in a dish sink. Hand-washing sinks should be readily accessible and very visible. As correct handwashing procedures require a minimum of 25 seconds, it is best that sinks are located in areas where those procedures are observed by others. Benchmarks to consider include: One hand sink for every five employees; one hand sink for every 300-sq.-ft. of facility space; one hand sink for each prep and cooking area.


Types: Warewashers include undercounter dishwashers, door-type dishwashers, glasswashers, flight-type or rackless-conveyor dishmachines, rack conveyor- type dishmachines, pot, pan and utensil washing machines, upright conveyors and circular conveyor-type dishmachines.

Capacities/Footprints: Warewashers are graded on the racks or glasses per hour they can wash. Undercounter dishwashers and door-type machines generally wash 21 to 55 racks per hour, while a glasswasher can wash 1,000-2,000 glasses per hour. Flight-type or rackless conveyor dishmachines can wash as many as 21,888 dishes per hour at a NSF-rated belt speed of 13.69/min. Single-tank and multiple-tank rack conveyors can be adjusted to wash up to 288 racks or 28,000 dishes per hour at a maximum conveyor speed of 10.99/min. Pot, pan and utensil washing machines have a six- to 60-pan capacity. Circular conveyors can wash a maximum of 122 to 320 racks per hour at a conveyor speed of 3.49 to 9.09/min.

Energy Source(s): The majority of warewashing machines operate on electric power levels ranging from 115V for smaller machines to 460V for larger units. Some warewashers offer the option of either electric, steam or gas water-heating systems, while others are available only with single-source gas-heating systems.

Undercounter dishwashers and door-type machines are the most compact, are generally efficient and best-suited for use in smaller kitchens. Undercounter dishwashers generally do not exceed 230 wide 3 250 deep 3 530 high in overall dimensions. Door-type machines are designed to conserve space, providing high production in small dishroom areas. Door-type machines typically measure 260 wide 3 250 deep 3 920 high. Glasswashers can be as large as 720 wide 3 220 deep 3 380 high. Upright conveyor systems offer high-volume operators continuous dish-rack or direct-drive loading. Conveyor systems' largest section can be 49 wide 3 79 to 109 high.

Manufacturing Method: Warewashers are fabricated from a flat piece of stainless steel. The stainless steel is laser-cut, punched and welded into specific models.

Standard Features: While most warewashing systems are constructed of stainless steel and almost all feature common utility connections, door-safety switches, idle pump shut-offs, tank heaters and low-water tank heat protection, just about all other features vary greatly.

Undercounter dishmachines, for example, can feature built-in electric booster heaters, "airglide" door designs, fully automatic wash and rinse cycles, minimal aisle restriction when a door is open, self-sealing gasketless doors, easy access controls, upper and lower wash and rinse spray systems and flexible hoses designed to make installation easier.

Tabletop Accessories

Types: Tabletop accessories include items that hold condiments. They are used to serve side dishes or enhance an operation's ambiance. Among common accessories are ash trays, breadboards or baskets, bud vases, cheese bowls or shakers, napkin rings or dispensers, oil/vinegar cruets, salt-and-pepper mills or shakers, ramekins, sauce cups or boats, serving trays, sign holders, syrup dispensers, thermal beverage servers, wine buckets or stands, creamers, sugar holders, votives or candlesticks, table lamps, carafes and decanters.

Capacities/Footprints: Sizes and capacities vary greatly, allowing operators to choose items that fit the proportions of their tabletops. For example, salt and pepper can be served in tall wooden or clear plastic mills brought to a table or in mini-shakers that hold only 1/2 oz., as well as combination units that contain both seasonings in reversible or side-by-side configurations. Operators can provide individual 2-oz. glass syrup dispensers or place a 6-oz. glass or 48-oz. polycarbonate dispenser on a breakfast on brunch table. Sugar in 12-oz. glass dispensers might be appropriate for a diner, while other operators would prefer to serve individual sugar packets in 20 3 40-wide packet holders or loose sugar or sugar cubes in stainless-steel 8-oz. sugar bowls with lids. Salad dressing can be served in 2-oz. ramekins, be presented in a 4-oz. sauce boat or offered in a caddy that displays three 6- to 8-oz. bowls. Olive oil can be served with vinegar in a cruet set or in globe-in-globe pitchers that may stand 120 tall. Olive oil alone can be served in a variety of glass containers, ranging from original bottles fitted with a pourer to hand-shaped cylinders and tall thin rectangular servers.

Small tables may only be able to accommodate a votive candle holder and a 31/20-high bud vase, while larger place settings may require 101/20 table lamps or 120 vases to create proper proportions. Wine may be served in carafes from 1/2 liter to 11/2 liters or may require a wine bucket to hold full bottles.

Formal table settings may start with a distinctive charger plate that can be as large as 150 in diameter, and some operations accent tabletops with place mats that measure 120 3 160. Dinner napkins, whether folded or held by napkin rings, start as 200 squares.

Custom-made condiment holders can consolidate items such as ketchup and mustard containers, salt and pepper shakers, sugar holders and napkin dispensers.

Energy Source(s): Table lighting can be battery-operated, but also can be powered by oil or butane.

Manufacturing Method: Tabletop accessories can be manufactured from a variety of materials, from wicker and wood for such items as bread baskets or boards, to color-coordinated glass and plastic, and metals with mirror finishes in brass, copper, gold or silver tones. Many accessories are made of the same materials and in the same finishes to coordinate with dinnerware. Salt-and-pepper shakers, creamers, sugar bowls, sauce boats, coffee servers, ashtrays and vases are usually made of china, glass or stoneware in the same textures, colors and patterns as dinnerware, using the same firing process to produce nonporous glazed surfaces. However, operators who want a more eclectic look to their tabletop designs have contrasting materials to choose from, as well. Glass, wood, polished stainless steel, copper- or silver- or gold-plated items can be mixed and matched to create unique looks.

New Features/Technology/Options: Artists and designers have experimented with the use of different materials and have been influenced by other nations and cultures to create unusual tabletop accessories. Serving stones of granite in 160-triangular or 220-square shapes are now being used for shared trays of sushi, appetizers or hors d'oeuvres. Sanded stainless steel has been appearing in water pitchers, wine buckets, breadstick holders and bread baskets, sign holders and other table- top accessories.

Eclectic shapes, such as "origami-inspired" plates with projecting corners, tilted-square wine buckets and spiral wirebound condiment caddies, lend visual interest to tabletops. Besides new fluted and etched designs, glass is also being molded into unusual shapes, such as textured bags and offset stacked boxes, to make eye-catching vases, votives, sugar bowls and serving dishes. Other new items can be used as conversation pieces, such as crab-shaped metal dishes on which whole crabs can be served, napkin rings adorned with cactuses or rocking horses and roll-top, mirror-finished steel sugar bowls.

Manufacturers are also introducing pieces that can do double duty. These include a votive holder that also can be used as an egg cup and votives that keep butter in a melted state or warm brandy snifters, a 5-oz. lidded bowl that can hold sugar or soup and flared bowls that can hold soup or flowers.

Prime Functions: Tabletop accessories keep dining necessities at hand. They also add decorative touches that help to differentiate operations.

Key Kitchen Applications: By providing dressings, sauces and other seasonings in separate tabletop servers, chefs allow customers to "customize" dishes to their own liking and give them a sense of participation in the preparation of meals. By providing predetermined portions in such units, chefs also can incorporate their cost into the meal price, helping to maintain profit margins.

Maintenance Requirements: Many items are dishwasher-safe, while others require handwashing to prevent damage.

Food Safety Concerns: Because some tabletop accessories are refilled at the table, such as ketchup, cheese or sauce dispensers, spoilage could become a problem if containers aren't regularly emptied completely and washed.

Water Treatment Systems

Types: Water treatment systems for commercial foodservices are available in configurations for beverage dispensers, ice machines, coffee brewers, warewashing machines, kitchen water sources and as added features on steam-using equipment.

Capacities/Footprints: Water filtering units are available in capacities that range from small, single cartridge units for treating water flowing through an espresso machine, to multi-cartridge systems that filter all water entering large commercial facilities.

Manufacturing Method: Most water treatment systems consist of plastic housing/container units with removeable filter cartridges. Cartridges containing ceramic and/or chemical filtration media may be plastic-, aluminum- or foil-wrapped.

Standard Features: Water treatment systems vary, but should be NSF-tested and -certified under two "Drinking Water Treatment Systems" standards: Standard 42-Aesthetic Effects, governing taste, odor, chlorine and particulate reduction; and Standard 53-Health Effects, governing turbidity, cyst and asbestos reduction.

New Features/Technology/Options: Pre-filter kits that attach to existing water treatment systems are now available for foodservices whose water contains excessive levels of contaminants. Pre-filter kits can include surge tanks that can hold up to 12 gals. of filtered water. LED signals are now available on ice machines to remind operators to change filters. Some manufacturers now include water filtration systems as standard items with purchase of steam equipment, and provide free bi-annual reminders to change filters, as well as free water test-strips to ensure that systems are working as they should.

Prime Functions: Water treatment systems utilize filters to break down and remove corrosive substances in water lines such as chloramines, chlorine and ammonia that can build up as scale and slime and damage equipment. They also help to guard against health hazards found in water such as particulates, fibers such as asbestos and Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts.

Key Kitchen Applications: Properly filtered water used in foodservice facilities can extend the life of expensive equipment items such as combi-ovens and steamers, ice machines and beverage dispensers by eliminating scale and slime buildup. Better energy efficiency and fewer maintenance calls also translate into cost savings. Serving filtered water to customers and using filtered water for produc- tion of ice, beverages and menu items can enhance flavors and eliminate bad tastes, odors and microbial growth. Water filtration also ensures that customers will not risk exposure to waterborne contaminants.

Maintenance Requirements: Equipment such as steamers and ice machines should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before installing water filtering systems. Filtration cartridges in ice machines typically should be changed every month, and filters for most other types of equipment should be changed every six months. Filter cartridges should be stored in cool, dry, ventilated areas and properly disposed of in trash.

Food Safety Functions: Consumers are increasingly concerned with the quality of their water sources. New strains of microorganisms, frequent flooding, agricultural pesticides and industrial waste have all contributed to increased levels of waterborne contaminants in national water supplies. Installing water filtration systems can eliminate the possibility of serving contaminated water-based beverages and foods to customers.

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