Sanitation is One of the Most Common FDA Failures for Grocers

Alix Penning

Now that we got your attention, if an inspector visited your store today, how would you feel? Would you be confident in your equipment and practices, or would you be crossing your fingers and pacing?

Take a look at these common FDA failures :

  • Older meat or deli cases that don’t hold a steady, compliant temperature
  • Microbial growth in refrigeration units with areas that are difficult to sanitize and clean
  • Units with drips or condensation, or non-compliant lighting
  • Leaky or contaminated plumbing and cooling
  • Contamination and microbial growth from poorly designed or outdated refrigeration units
  • Contamination and microbial growth from faulty fans or other air-blowing equipment

These are just a few of hundreds (yes, hundreds) of potential violations stores can suffer.

So, how can you make sure you’re breathing easier at the next inspection?

The first step is by addressing any old, outdated, or faulty equipment.

If your coolers or refrigerated cases are 20+ years old, they probably have a few quirks. Things like sticky doors that won’t close on their own are annoying, but they can pose serious sanitation risks, too. Gaps letting in warm air, thermostats on the fritz, condensation dripping on exposed food… These kinds of issues stick out like a sore thumb during inspections.

Thankfully there’s a solution that makes everyone happy, including the health inspectors —

Upgrading to new equipment. New equipment prevents countless problems and often saves lots of money, too!

New cases or coolers offer lower energy bills and reduced overhead, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing temperatures are dependable and consistent.

Employees will love how much easier and faster their jobs are with the new equipment.

Customers are more confident purchasing from updated equipment, too. The cleanliness and modern look of new cases reassure buyers that your food is safe and fresh.

Lastly, inspectors appreciate an easier job thanks to the simplicity and reliability of new equipment.

Updated refrigeration units offer the latest in technology and design, and the benefits go beyond saving money on energy bills, greater efficiency, and FDA compliance...

The best part of new equipment, however, is that it usually pays for itself fairly quickly. Your return on investment will likely occur in just a few months — even for major upgrades.

Most businesses see immediate, measurable benefits. You can expect much lower energy bills, less loss through spoilage, pest prevention, and in some cases energy rebates or tax benefits.

Having reliable equipment means less maintenance, and employee productivity increases with easy operation and cleaning. Food safety and sanitation are improved, too — even when you need custom work.

Take the case of a new Supermarket in San Mateo, for example.

It is a known problem in markets when water collects underneath big, stationary equipment.  This area is difficult to reach to clean. Not cleaning it is really NOT an option because it can become a hotbed of microbes, insects, and unwanted pests. This is one location where a solution is needed to prevent the water and food particles from accumulating. It is also an area that needs to be addressed causing labor to be spent on that task instead of stocking shelves.

Cold Craft loves making our clients lives easier. So though finding the perfect solution for this client required a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, we tackled the challenge head on.

After collaborating with the grocer on several design ideas, we came up with a stop-gap design to help with their water woes. By removing the feet from the equipment, we mounted their cases on a curb-like platform that provided a water and debris barrier.

With design ideas in hand, we enlisted the help of a general contractor to help create the custom pieces.

In no time at all, we had the perfect solution in place. The grocer had a beautiful new setup that contributed to their high safety and sanitation standards.

Whether you keep your meat, dairy, or produce in walk-in coolers or multi-deck, island, or self-contained cases... new equipment means a lot fewer headaches.

And working with an Energy Smart Grocer partner like Cold Craft makes getting new equipment even easier. By partnering with us, you’ll enjoy reliable technical support, personal care and attention, and expert advice whenever you need it.

Want to see how upgrading your cold cases eliminates sanitation worries and benefits your bottom line? Visit Cold Craft online, or call the Cold Craft office at 408.374.7292 to speak to one of our refrigeration experts today.

ColdCraft.com Lic #631837.