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The Caterer

CESA guide: maintenance checklist

12 February 2010
CESA guide: maintenance checklist

Look after your kitchen equipment and it will pay you back by rewarding you with many years of service.

Checking equipment daily ensures everything is in proper working order. Taking action when something needs attention will save money, maintain a safe working environment and provide a quality product.

A typical checklist might include:

• In refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, etc, check all seals (gaskets) are intact and fitting correctly and all filters are clean, properly in place and well fitted.

• Check thermostats and that all temperatures are correct.

• Make sure vents are not obstructed.

• Smoke given off by fryers is a sign that the thermostat is broken and needs replacing.

• Check the flame from cooking ranges is blue and not yellow. A yellow flame indicates incomplete burning and the release of unhealthy gases in the kitchen.

• Modern equipment may be fitted with detectors that provide valuable warning information, such as the build-up of limescale. Do not ignore these messages.

• Listen to kitchen staff - they work with the equipment day in, day out - so if they raise an issue about performance, deal with it.

A regular service plan (known as planned preventive maintenance) improves efficiency and extends equipment life. Most equipment needs at least one service per year but equipment in busy kitchens may require up to four services a year.

The CESA Service Provider Accreditation Scheme is designed to give caterers in every sector, big and small, an easy way to find reliable, professional and cost-effective service providers. For a list of accredited service providers, visit

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