Mould growth is a common problem in coldrooms. Mould contaminates food products stored in walk-ins of food businesses. It also affects the research materials of laboratories and medical centres. It’s important to prevent mould growth for the good of your business, employees and customers because inhaling mould spores can result in health problems. Here are five ways to prevent mould growth in your coldroom.
Do not store materials that promote mould growth in your coldroom.
It’s safe to use metal or plastic containers in coldrooms. Restaurants and cafes commonly use food-grade plastic to store ingredients in walk-ins. However, anything made of paper, cardboard or Styrofoam could harbour mould. When choosing coldroom shelving, make sure it’s made of durable materials that are easy to clean and sanitise. Food businesses and medical centres prefer coldroom shelving made of stainless steel and food-grade plastic because they are resistant to corrosion and mould growth. They are also non-toxic! Galvanisation further increases the quality of coldroom shelving. Applying a thin coating of zinc to steel or iron ensures that the metal remains rust-free for a longer period of time.
Clean up spilt liquid immediately.
The level of condensation in coldrooms affects mould growth. If there’s a lot of moisture in your coldroom, mould will appear soon. Pools of liquid harbour mould. They are also dangerous because people might accidentally slip on the wet floor. Clean up spilt liquids immediately to prevent mould growth and accidents in your coldroom. Wipe containers dry before putting them in your walk-in, and report water leaks as soon as you detect them. Keep your coldroom dry to prevent mould from growing and contaminating your stored items.
Use 1:10 bleach solution or 70% ethanol solution to sanitise your coldroom and shelving.
Cleaning removes dirt, while sanitising decontaminates surfaces. Sweeping and mopping a coldroom’s floor cleans it, while wiping down surfaces with disinfectant sanitises them. Create a 1:10 dilution of household bleach, and use it to wipe down plastic surfaces. Using this solution to sanitise coldroom shelving and containers prevents mould from growing on them. You can sanitise metal surfaces with 70% ethanol. Use this solution to wipe down the metal posts of coldroom shelving as well as the walls and floor of your walk-in. You might be tempted to use stronger cleaners to prevent mould growth — don’t! Abrasive or caustic cleaners will damage coldroom panels. Mild cleaners are effective enough.
Do not interrupt the flow of cold air in the coldroom.
It’s important to maintain uniform airflow to keep your coldroom at the right temperature. When storing items, make sure that the coldroom’s fan is not blocked, and do not overload the shelving with closely stacked items. Coldroom shelving is necessary to maximise storage space in the coldroom. Pack items above floor level to ensure that cold air can circulate underneath them. If cold air circulates well in the coldroom, all stored items will be refrigerated properly. Otherwise, the quality of food products will deteriorate, and mould will start to form in warm areas of the walk-in. Don’t store hot items in the coldroom because this will make the fan work harder, and your coldroom will consume more electricity to maintain its low temperature. Warm air rushes into the coldroom whenever someone opens it, so keep the door firmly shut when it’s not in use. In addition, check the gasket regularly to see if your coldroom is tightly sealed. It’s difficult for mould to grow in a coldroom that is dry and kept at a low temperature.
Inspect and clean your coldroom at least once a month.
Clean and sanitise your coldroom at least once a month to prevent mould growth. Remember to use 1:10 dilution of household bleach or 70% ethanol to decontaminate surfaces. Regularly inspect stored items in your coldroom for mould. Throw away contaminated food products and materials immediately. Moreover, try to check the condenser coil and carefully remove dirt from it. Check your coldroom’s temperature with a manual thermometer, and have the coldroom’s thermometer calibrated if it’s not showing the right temperature.
Hiring professionals to decontaminate your coldroom is very expensive. It’s better to spend some time and effort every month to prevent mould growth instead of neglecting your coldroom and paying for it later — just think of the items and food products that will be wasted due to poor maintenance!
Choose durable and corrosion resistant coldroom shelving to help prevent mould growth. Contact Coldroom Shelving Australia for bulk pricing now!