Maintenance Tips: How Not To Treat A Frozen Beverage Machine

Like the human body, a frozen-beverage machine can turn against itself. The very product this equipment is designed to produce can destroy it. Many a service agent can tell you horror stories of what happens when these units are mistreated.

Sugar is a frozen-drink machine’s greatest enemy, so it’s important to clean your equipment regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, generally weekly. Usually, this means defrosting and draining the machine, disassembling the primary working parts—bowl or barrel, beater and drive shaft, dispensing valve, drip tray, etc.—and washing all of the parts in warm water and mild detergent. Keep small parts together in a handy plastic bin during this process. Rinse and reassemble the machine. You should sanitize the machine and lubricate moving parts with a food-grade lubricant at least once a month. Note: only use the manufacturer-recommended, food-grade lubricant. Use of cooking oils or other lubricants eventually gum up from the friction and cause more, not less friction.

Machines should be wiped down every day, but depending on local health codes and the products you’re serving, machines only need to be thoroughly cleaned every week or so.

Maintenance is simple but extremely important with these machines. If your units are self-contained air-cooled models, usually they’ll have a removable air filter that should be cleaned at least weekly and more often if the machines are in a dusty or dirty environment. Seals, gaskets and/or O-rings should be checked quarterly and replaced as necessary or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If they’re not, the drive shaft will scrape away at parts of the machine it shouldn’t. Make sure your counter is equipped with a tube of lubricant gel and liquid or powder sanitizer and a few spare gaskets and O-rings.

 

Copyright FER May 2014

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