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Backbar: the food hygiene issue

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Backbar: the food hygiene issue

As pubs and bars diversify and adapt to new demands the backbar is increasingly becoming a food service area and, sometimes, a food prep area.  It’s essential that everyone who is in contact with food – from management to casual or temporary staff - is trained in good hygiene practices. This is not only for protecting customers, but for protecting the business’ reputation, too. From hand-hygiene to correct use and maintenance of refrigeration, all aspects of hygiene should be taken into account.

The right equipment

Coping with the demands of a busy venue means backbar refrigeration has to operate efficiently, to maintain temperature as doors are continually opened and closed. It also has to be robust enough to survive a punishing level of wear and tear.  However as always, aesthetics are important so the kit also needs to look stylish.

For food storage most backbar areas will want undercounter fridges.  A small fridge is also useful for keeping cocktail garnishes fresh and for keeping milk cool if offering hot beverage options. We offer a variety of sizes for even the smallest of working spaces

If the bartender is using lots of fresh ingredients in, for example, cocktails or to garnish sandwiches, then the venue may want to consider a prep counter, which has chilled wells for holding fresh food safely, or a specialist ingredients holder such as a Williams Thermowell.  A refrigerated, standalone prep well, the smallest Thermowell, the TW4, operates efficiently in ambient conditions up to 32°C and can be sited on worktops, wall-mounted or even mounted on extendable legs.  It holds up to four ingredients wells and ensures the food is kept safely. An ideal solution for all types of food prep. 

Is your fridge up to the job?

Using refrigerated equipment that is up to the job is vital, especially if you are storing food. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of budget-priced imported fridges in the market – but according to many of Williams customers, these products have not been performing as they should, resulting in operators turning to quality brands for replacements. 

Some of these imported products are semi-domestic models that are being miss-sold, but many are allegedly commercial models that are simply not up to the job or break down altogether. If the equipment can’t maintain temperatures they fail HACCP guidelines.

In these cases, buying cheap refrigeration is actually more costly as it gives the operators loss of revenue, loss of product and unhappy customers. 

It pays to buy quality, even in the short term, because that way you know the products stored are safe and you are complying with HACCP guidelines and the law.

Cleaning up

Areas where food is stored, prepared and served should be regularly cleaned during service and at the end of service. Any spills should be dealt with immediately.

It’s essential that refrigerated equipment is regularly cleaned, serviced and maintained. The door gaskets or seals need to be checked – any damage will affect the power consumption, so replace them right away. Have equipment serviced regularly, ideally under a PPM (planned preventive maintenance) contract.   

If you’re not sure which refrigeration is right for your establishment, contact us and our team will be able to advise you.

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