Replacing Refrigeration – What You Need to Know

MBF 2 DOORKitchen refrigeration is one of the key items of equipment of the foodservice industry. Without correctly working refrigeration, it would be nearly impossible for any business to keep its food safe and preserve the quality of its food. When it is time to replace a refrigerated appliance however, there are certain steps that should be taken.

1. Factor in the Size
The first consideration that needs to be made when replacing a fridge is assessing the size and capacity of the model. There is a huge variety of options when it comes to choosing the right equipment, and knowing which one matches a specific business is important. Cabinet refrigeration can range from small under-counter 60cm by 60cm models of 100 litre capacityMGF 1 DOOR to massive 150cm by 80cm uprights that can provide up to 1500 litres of refrigeration. However, the external dimensions of these fridges have declined slightly as efficiency grows, and new models may be able to provide additional storage capabilities through economy of scale.

2. Choose the correct temperature
But all refrigeration keeps food cold I hear you say – well yes, it does, but horses for courses! Do you have house rules for food temperature? If not check out the Food Standards Agency guidelines here. You should all be aware that it is recommended practice to operate refrigerators and chillers at +5°C or below. Meat temperature refrigeration controls the temperature of the contents at between -1°C and +1°C. Freezing of food at temperatures of -18°C or below will prevent bacteria multiplying.

3. Importance of Maintenance
In some situations, replacement of a refrigerator is necessary because it was never maintained. New models can last longer than ever, but proper maintenance can save energy too. Fans get clogged up with dust and evaporators become blocked. When combined with the increased efficiency and capability of new models, a replacement can provide an important cost benefit for the average foodservice business.

In maintenance work, a fridge or freezer should be cleaned thoroughly once a month, while fan blades and condensing units2012-12-16_124344_kelvimator_n660 should be given special attention. Door hinges, as well, are an often-overlooked aspect of the product in question. If they don’t have a secure seal, the unit itself can become overworked, which will harm its long-term lifespan. In addition, having the equipment regularly checked may be able to find important issues like blockages. When buying new refrigeration – ask about the seals and how long they are expected to last.

4. Proper Ventilation and Treatment
Certain rules should be applied to the treatment of a refrigerator to ensure it remains effective. For instance, proper ventilation is vital to ensure the system does not overheat, which can vastly harm its performance. In addition, electrical requirements should be considered, and defrosting frequencies should be set as low as possible. Keeping unit lights off often can also have benefits, as they can reduce heat. Also is it time to replace that high wattage lamp in the cold room with a low energy (and low heat emitting) lamp?

Replacing a refrigerator doesn’t have to be frustrating. Operators should pay attention to a number of key considerations from size to the type of maintenance required. By keeping these concerns in mind, foodservice personnel will find that new models can actually offer great improvements in their operations.

Ask the experts for their advice at, telephone them on 0500 008075 and ask which manufacturer they would recommend for your application.

Buying Guide: Griddles and Grills

GS7-N_310_210Despite the change to colder weather the demand for lighter, healthier food is on the increase. It is good news therefore that griddles, grills and chargrills allow outlets of all sizes to meet that growing demand for lower fat options.

But it’s not just about offering grilled rather than battered or fried fish, burgers, sausages and steaks. Griddles and grills are great for crepes, flat breads and even fruit. It is even possible to stir fry directly onto the griddle plate, for example to produce Mongolian-style dishes.

Investing in a griddle or grill can therefore help you to widen your menu offering for a relatively modest outlay. And here are our tips on choosing the right equipment for your business….


  • Consider your present and future requirements and always buy the size to suit this need, allowing for future expansion.
  • Always talk to your friendly foodservice dealer about your requirements; we will be able to offer impartial advice on the best griddle or grill for your particular needs.
  • Check that capacities and output quoted are like for like.  For example, is the output of burgers per hour for frozen or fresh product?  If output is quoted for steaks, what size and degree of cooking?
  • Buy one made by a reputable manufacturer to be sure of compliance with all relevant regulations and to ensure ongoing service and spare parts availability.
  • Choose equipment which is easy to clean.


  • Griddle plates should have no gaps to allow grease to seep into the body.  Look for gully welded plates or one-piece castings. Splash guards should be integrated for the same reason.
  • Larger units should offer the flexibility and energy saving capacity of a dual heat zone. This allows just part of the griddle to be used in quieter times.
  • Major manufacturers offer a wide range of griddle plates including machined steel, ribbed, half-ribbed and chrome.  Chrome griddles radiate less heat into the atmosphere and so are more energy efficient than steel plate models.  This contributes to a more pleasant working environment.  Their attractive, easy-to-clean cooking surface is also ideal for theatre-style cooking.
  • Check the drainage channel – will it be easy to use and keep clean?

Chargrills:OE7406 propped

  • Choose a chargrill with power to spare, rather than running the unit flat out to achieve the heat you need.
  • Lava rock can be messy to use. That’s why Lincat’s chargrills use innovative heat transfer profiles to achieve controlled flaring, to give chargrilled food its distinctive taste.
  • If gas is not an option or, if adequate ventilation is an issue, chargrilling is still possible with Lincat’s Silverlink 600 electric chargrill. This features a water bath to retain humidity which makes it a good choice for all kinds of meat and fish.


  • Safety of operation should be a key issue in your choice of salamander grill. For heavy-duty models is there a branding plate lifting mechanism (like the EasiLift mechanism from Lincat)? And is this included in the price, or is it simply available as an optional extra?
  • Choose heavy duty, cast aluminium reversible branding plates.  These offer high heat retention and both sides can be used for grilling and branding.
  • For additional flexibility consider buying and adjustable salamander. The grill hood of Lincat’s AS3 adjustable salamander can be moved up or down to offer supreme cooking flexibility. Of safe, ergonomic design, with an easy-lift action and wide grab handle, it is perfect for grilling and gratination.

Busychef currently offer a large range of griddles, grills and chargrills from most major manufacturers. For griddles look here, for chargrills look here and for grills look here.

Busychef would like to thank Lincat for their help with the above

For person to person advice from a foodservice expert phone Busychef free on 0500 008075

Keeping The Nation’s Dishes Sparkling Clean

Busychef are grateful to Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq for his insight into ware washing manufacturer Classeq. The Classeq range of dishwashers and glasswashers are available at or by clicking here.
Classeq began life as a family firm back in 1977 and has gone from strength to strength, producing their core products, commercial warewashers here in the UK ever since.
As Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq explains, “We have always had a great workforce who we can rely on to produce the goods in the United Kingdom and one of the best things about manufacturing here in Staffordshire is that we are able to keep any eye on all aspects of the manufacturing process to ensure that we produce quality products and have a close cooperation with R&D.  We are truly proud to be a manufacturer in the UK today.”
Classeq manufacture a wide range of dishwashers and glasswashers for use across the hospitality sector with machines widely used in schools, restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes and so forth.
As Nick explains, “With such a wide range of products we are able to cater for the needs of establishments of all sizes and working through our distributor network are able to source the right machine for each and every venue.”
“Our machines perform well, look smart, use relatively low levels of energy to help keep costs down, are reliable and give great value for money all  supported by our distributors and after sales team too, ensuring excellent back-up and technical service.”
Classeq’s glasswashers and dishwashers are available in a variety of sizes, ideal for small, medium and large scale operations.  The Duo 400 is the smallest front-loading dishwasher and is perfect for the smaller outlet that still want to reap the benefits of having a commercial machine being small, affordable and running at only three minutes per cycle.
At the other end of the scale, the Alto 280 rack dishwasher is aimed at larger establishments which have greater quantities of crockery and dishes to clean, coping with 280 racks per hour whilst only using one litre of water per rack due to its unique operating system.
As Nick concludes, “Classeq provide the affordable warewashing solutions for business across the spectrum and because the machines are made in Britain, there is the knowledge that you are buying British and helping the UK economy too.  We are proud of our role in keeping the nation’s dishes sparkling clean!”
Look at the busyCHEF range of dishwashers here. We are pleased to stock the Classeq range of dishwashers and glasswashers. Classeq manufacture a wide range of dishwashers and glasswashers for use across the hospitality sector with machines widely used in schools, restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes.


First Impressions Count…………..

There’s no doubt about it, beautifully prepared food, attractively displayed, can prove to be irresistible. So choosing the right servery and food display equipment is a key issue for any catering business.

The choice however can be bewildering, with a vast array of manufacturers and models available – offering heated, ambient and refrigerated solutions. Here are some general guidelines and points to consider…

First and foremost you should always choose a reputable manufacturer to be sure of compliance with all relevant regulations, and to ensure ongoing service and spare parts availability.

Another sound piece of advice is to think about your future needs as well as your present needs. Try to buy the best unit that funds will allow, providing you with extra capacity as your business expands.

But what else should you look for?


  • Ensure that units look stylish and modern, especially if they will not be fully stocked all the time. However, the design should not detract from the products you are trying to display.


  • On refrigerated units, ensure that temperatures meet all food legislation requirements and that they have automatic defrost and water evaporation functions. Good units should have a digital temperature display to enable you to check the cabinet temperatures.


  • Heated units should have good heat distribution and may have a humidifying feature to prevent foods drying out.


  • Consider the layout of the units; for example, you may need to specify self-service or back service options. Refrigerated units may offer a choice of compressor on the left or right or even attached to the underside, out of sight; they should not be too loud or generate too much heat.


  • Units should be easy to clean at the end of the day without any hidden dirt, crumb or water traps.


  • The back service units should have double glazed glass to the rear to help retain heat within the cabinet.


  • Does the unit have internal illumination to show your products off to their best advantage?


  • Finally, you can always talk to us at! We offer the benefit of 30+ years in the foodservice industry,  and will visit you on site to see how the unit will be used.

With thanks to Lincat for their advice. We recommend Lincat Seal merchandisers and you can view the full range here at

Do you double hand wash?

imageTip of the Week: Did you know that when restaurant and other food service employees use the toilet, they should wash their hands before leaving the toilet and again in the kitchen before they return to their duties. That’s right – a double hand washing! Double hand washing is excellent practice for all restaurant and kitchen staff before they go back to their duties.

In the United States double hand washing is compulsory as legislated by the FDA, their equivalent to our Environmental Health section of the local authority.

There are 3 essential reasons for this hand washing policy:

1 – It is a simple yet very effective tool in reducing the possibility of a foodborne illness occurring in a food establishment.

2 – Customer perception should be a concern. If an employee comes back from the toilet and continues to take food to tables or serves drinks (and how many times have you seen this happen?), without going back to the kitchen first to wash his/her hands again, how many customers might conclude that the server didn’t wash his/her hands before handling food again?

3 – The easiest way to impress an Environmental Health Inspector is for the Inspector to witness many staff members washing hands periodically through an inspection.

Managers should train staff to wash their hands properly and effectively before leaving the toilet, and again before handling food or drinks.

All food business must have an accessible designated wash hand basin with hot and cold water, soap and hand towels for use by staff. You can buy wash hand basins from busyCHEF by going to