Following a catering job, you gather up equipment and supplies to start the unenviable task of cleaning up back at the central kitchen—dirty food pans, utensils, insulated carriers, and the list goes on….oh boy! Dirty, greasy, food-caked equipment all screaming for attention! Tired from a long day’s work, it’s easy to overlook the beverage dispenser–the small piece of equipment that quietly offers thirsty diners their choice of hot coffee and iced tea, or perhaps even orange juice and lemonade. Because this unassuming-looking piece of equipment often holds sugary drinks or even dairy-containing drinks such as hot chocolate, it is important to keep it well-cleaned, every time after each use.
If you continue to use them without cleaning regularly, the drinks that are being dispensed will begin to have an off-taste from the acidic build up and the ‘leftovers’ from coffee sediment and pulp from juice. These all form risk factors to be aware of. After all, biological contaminants love to grow in moist, dark places, especially if it contains sugar or animal protein, such as milk. What better environment to grow in than the spigot and faucet area of your beverage server with its network of tubes and connectors? Anyone up for a cup of mold with a dash of bacteria? The imagery alone should compel you to sanitize your beverage dispensers on a regular basis. But if that’s not enough, how about a recent article by Restaurant Hospitality: “3 tips to Minimize Foodborne Illness Risk,” that cites: “According to a 2009 FDA Report on the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors, contaminated equipment and utensils within the foodservice environment were out of health code compliance more than 17 percent of the time.Improper cleaning and sanitization of foodservice equipment, surfaces and utensils were singled out as the most significant factors in food production.”
So before your unassuming-looking Camtainer starts multiplying bacteria to dangerous levels, please follow these simple cleaning instructions and don’t give these germs a fighting chance!