When it comes to biological problems in a restaurant or foodservice operation, most operators will worry about pests and rotting food. While these are certainly things to be mindful of, mold growth can be one of the most pervasive issues in a walk-in cooler. Mold spores can spread and contaminate entire walk-ins full of valuable food products and ingredients leading to massive food waste and revenue loss.
Fortunately, combating mold doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Understanding the problem is half the battle, and the other half is using high-tech devices like Bluezone to eliminate spores at the source. Here’s a breakdown of how foodservice operations can eliminate mold in walk-in coolers.
Mold 101 for Restaurants and Foodservice Operators
Mold is a common problem all around the United States, not just in restaurants and walk-ins. Unfortunately, mold spores can grow in all kinds of conditions. All mold needs is a little dampness and oxygen, and it can quickly spread out of control. The other primary issue with mold is that it can exist in cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach places. So, once it establishes a foothold, it can spread without one’s knowledge until it’s too late.
While it’s relatively easy to clean up a mold problem as soon as it starts, once it spreads, cleanup can be a costly and time-consuming process. The best way to prevent this issue is to ensure that mold doesn’t have moist spots on which to grow. That’s why walk-in coolers can be such hotbeds for mold growth.
Defining the Problem of Mold in Walk-Ins
Walk-in coolers are mold magnets for a few reasons. First, they’re cool and damp, making them ideal environments for mold spores. Second, since these coolers contain food that can also harbor mold, it’s easy for these spores to get inside. There are also many cracks and crevices where mold can avoid sanitizers and other cleaning solutions that workers may use to wipe down the interior. Finally, the cooler blows air around the unit, so spores can hitch a ride and land on many wet spots, leading to faster spread.
Unfortunately, most walk-ins have mold already. In fact, some units may be severely contaminated to the point where it might be cheaper to replace the whole unit than to eliminate the mold. A professional cleanup job could cost up to $50,000 for these high contamination levels.
Tips to Help Minimize Mold in Walk-In Coolers
The best way to prevent mold growth inside a walk-in cooler is to kill spores before they have a chance to land on a moist spot. Fortunately, technology like Bluezone works well to combat this problem by trapping mold spores and killing them on contact. Fewer spores in the air means fewer chances of spreading, leading to less cleanup and mitigation. Also, since employees may not get into every crack and crevice, Bluezone can make their jobs easier and more efficient.
Check out the video below to see how Bluezone works to eliminate mold spores and other factors that can lead to costly food waste.