Refrigeration Lessons from Frosty the Snowman
Isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year? When else is it perfectly acceptable (even encouraged!) to eat candy canes, wear ugly sweaters, and sit around watching animated holiday TV specials?
We’re offering today’s blog just in case you needed any additional justification for that last holiday activity. Did you know those holiday specials can be surprisingly educational? Here’s a case in point: if you happen to be in the food service business, Frosty the Snowman offers some important refrigeration lessons that can help you keep your commercial refrigeration equipment running reliably.
REFRIGERATION LESSONS: Temperature matters!
Frosty knew the sun was hot that day, but he understood the importance of checking the thermometer and getting reliable temperature information. “When the temperature goes up, I start to melt…and then I get all wishy-washy!” What if he hadn’t stopped to check the thermometer when he suspected a temperature problem? He would have turned into a puddle of magic Christmas water and the story would be over.
When you depend of refrigeration equipment, you need to be just as vigilant about checking temperatures. Here’s why this is one of the most critical refrigeration lessons. If your display case is just a few degrees off, you could end up a puddle of wilted buttercream and even product that’s not safe to consume.
In Frosty’s day, all they had was those hard-to-read red mercury thermometers. Luckily, you have better tools at your disposal: digital thermostats with exact temperature readings. But constant vigilance about checking them is not enough. You need to have those thermostats regularly calibrated by a refrigeration professional to be sure the temperature readings are accurate. Then you can be sure your ingredients and product are safe and fresh.
Related article: 6 Ways You’re Jeopardizing Your Restaurant’s NYC Health Grade
REFRIGERATION LESSONS: Keep doors closed
Here’s another one of those refrigeration lessons that requires constant vigilance. Pay attention to how often your refrigerators and freezer doors are unnecessarily left open. You see it every day: freezer doors propped open with boxes while a shipment is brought in. A low boy door left open while a cook uses an ingredient before putting it back. These bad habits can make a big difference in the interior temperature of your units and the freshness of your food.
Taking that vigilance to the next level, be sure to regularly check the door hardware and gaskets for a proper seal. Improper closing can also make those refrigeration units run too warm and threaten the safety of your ingredients.
Frosty learned the same lesson about doors. Safely closed inside the refrigerated box car, he and the frozen Christmas cakes stayed in top form. Same for the lovely Christmas poinsettias inside the toasty greenhouse: properly sealed doors kept them (and Karen) safe. Not so much for Frosty.
The doors on your refrigerators and freezers are designed to keep the cold in and the warm air out. Keep them closed and properly sealed!
REFRIGERATION LESSONS: Take care to keep cool
Frosty understood the need to take care of himself to stay in top form. He got lots of exercise (wonder how many calories you can burn bellywhopping?). He tried to stay out of the sun and away from the fire, and he sought out the right environmental conditions to keep him cool and healthy instead of melty.
If you want to keep your refrigeration units in top form and running reliably, you’ve got to take care of them as well. That means investing in a regular preventative maintenance plan with qualified professionals. This is one of the most important refrigeration lessons of all.
Mission-critical equipment like refrigeration units require specialized care, including cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting fans and motors, tightening loose electrical connections, fixing faulty gaskets and hinges, cleaning grimy ice machines, and checking for condensation and water leaks that can signal impending breakdowns.
Related article: Commercial refrigeration maintenance: Tuneups prevent breakdowns
REFRIGERATION LESSONS: Trust the experts
Who can Frosty trust to solve his problems? Certainly not Professor Hinkle. He’s got an impressive title, but even the kids knew better than to trust a bumbling magician who threatens his pet rabbit and tries to deprive a snowman of this right to live. Karen meant well, but she just didn’t think things through and her solution backfired because she lacked experience and foresight. It’s Santa Claus who comes through in the clutch. After all, Santa is the expert about Christmas snow and getting people to behave.
So, the last of our refrigeration lessons from Frosty is about trusting the experts. Make sure you properly vet any refrigeration company that installs and services your equipment. When you trust someone who is not qualified (which can easily happen when you make a decision based on convenience or price), you’re setting yourself up for a costly mistake.
Related article: Restaurant Refrigeration Installation: Get It Right the First Time
If you’re worried that refrigeration maintenance is too expensive, here’s another refrigeration lesson you should know. A commercial refrigeration maintenance agreement doesn’t cost as much as you might think. The right refrigeration service company can customize the plan based on your equipment, your needs and your budget. Want to find out more? Grab your free copy of our helpful guide to Refrigeration Preventive Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your Food Service Operation.
When you get on track and start taking proper care of your refrigeration equipment, something wonderful is bound to happen!