Three steps to clean microbe build-up from a retail refrigerator.
Stop the cause and benefit from massively reduced direct and indirect costs for your commercial refrigeration now!
If a refrigerator becomes clogged with bacterial exopolysaccharide slime, there are three cleaning challenges :
- the biofilm itself
- the microbes that live in it
- the speed with which they grow back.
Any approach that doesn’t tackle each aspect separately could be underestimating the issue.
Stage 1: CLEAN The first challenge is the biofilm itself: it shields the germs, increases biocide resistance by 500% and its long polysaccharide chains are not soluble in water so pressure washing alone leaves harmful traces. We created DrainSafe specifically to dissolve biofilms and bacterial jelly in food-sensitive areas. It’s a powerful drain unblocker that will break up exopolysaccharide – exposing the bacteria – and clear condensate lines, removing the source of flooding and enabling dirt to be rinsed away. It’s available ready-mixed in five-litre bottles or handy 500ml one-shot doses – and is registered with the NSF for food environments.
Stage 2: KILL Now the biofilm has been broken down, you’re ready to kill the microbes it was protecting. But independent studies showed naturally resistant strains of bacteria are common in retail chillers, so a combination of biocides is needed. CoolSafe is unique, because it includes a combination of biocides and surfactants so you’ll wipe out the organisms first time – not just resistant bacteria, but fungi and algae too. It’ll also remove mould and food residues from your cooling coil, making your refrigerator more effective. Importantly, it’s NSF registered as safe to use near food. You can choose great value 5l bottles of concentrate, or pre-mixed Ready-to-Use self-spray bottles.
Stage 3: PROTECT After a conventional deep-clean, microbes can start to regrow within days – causing further problems long before the next scheduled contract visit. Our new, slow-release Jally Strips will keep microbes at bay for six months or more, preventing the buildup that causes condensate flooding, shorted motors and excessive energy use, as well as making the next contract visit quicker and easier – so there’s less downtime. Quite simply, they’re the most effective way to prevent bacteria, mould and algae from growing in your cabinet’s condensate tray. And once again, they’re registered with the NSF so you know they’re safe to use.
How the Safe Range 3-step process came into being
Advanced Engineering and research to create the Safe Range
As the recognised market leader in providing chemical solutions to the air conditioning and refrigeration industry, Advanced Engineering is approached numerous times a year to provide solutions to problems. These can vary from quickly removing hair and dirt from heat exchangers deep underground with little to no rinsing, to breaking down sugar build up within chocolate factories. Around late 2011 we were approached by a commercial refrigeration contractor to come up with a solution to the problem of condensate drains blocking in industrial refrigeration cabinets, due to a jelly build up. To create a solution is a lot harder than it sounds. Most supermarkets only do a deep clean on a cabinet once every twelve months. For the solution to be deemed a success, it had to stop the blockages from occurring during the entire twelve month period, and it had to be safe to use in food preparation areas. Advanced Engineering identified that the first step would be to go back to ‘day one’ condition. So the team developed a drain unblocker called DrainSafe, which would break down the Jelly build up in the condensate lines and more importantly, in the drain line further downstream, which are impossible to clear with a wet dry vac. Secondly, we developed an evaporator cleaner and disinfectant called Coolsafe, which would kill the micro-organisms which cause the problem and loosen the jelly from the coil and plastic case work. Finally we developed StayClean Strips (now called Jally strips) which provide the long term protection and were developed specifically for refrigeration cabinets. This was a difficult product to create, as it had to deal with 5000 litres of condensate running over it during a 12 month period, whilst releasing enough biocide to stop the micro-organisms growing back. Without the first two stages, the Strips themselves would not be sufficient to stop the condensate drains blocking up. This is because they maintain the condition of the refrigerator cabinet, if it is clean and bug free, that will continue for the 12 month period. If the refrigerator cabinet is left with large amounts of micro-organisms still alive and thriving, it will lessen the number of blockages, but will not meet the original objective of 12 months of maintenance-free operation. Once the products were developed, it was time to test them in real world conditions. The refrigeration contractor looked after a large number of supermarkets and we were able to test the solution in a store in central London, which had on average 6 condensate drain blockages a week. After a week of doing night shifts it was then a waiting game, as the solution had to produce long term results to be successful. 12 months later, the store had only suffered 1 blockage, and that was down to a piece of broccoli being physically stuck in the drain. The supermarket was delighted with these results and started to roll out the Safe Range solution to all of their stores. Whilst we were waiting for the test results to come in, we had sent all of the products to the NSF (an independent, accredited organization, which tests, audits and certifies products) for approval. It was important to us that an independent organisation verified the safety and suitability of the products to be used within supermarkets. All of the products within the Safe Range came back with approvals which meant that they are all safe to use in food preparation areas. We were the first company within the HVAC & R industry in Europe to get an NSF accreditation to ensure the safety of our products within food preparation areas – since our success, numerous other companies have followed suit. At Advanced Engineering, we believe in making our products as good as they can possibly be. Whilst the StayClean Strips were working perfectly within UK supermarkets, their relatively low melting temperature made them unsuitable for export to hotter markets. Solving this issue was difficult, as things which have a high melting temperature usually don’t dissolve easily in water. It is important that they do dissolve in water, admittedly slowly, as this is how the biocide is released. With this in mind, we applied to a government scheme which was designed to help manufacturing businesses such as Advanced Engineering develop long lasting relationships with Universities which have compatible skills. This scheme partnered Advanced Engineering with the Chemistry Department at the University of Surrey, and Dr Kajally Jobe was selected to work specifically on this problem. After working on the product for a year, the Jally Strip was born. It will not melt until the temperature hits 90°C (hotter than the highest temperature ever recorded on earth), will last 12 months and take the required 5000 litres of condensate running over it; it will release the required amount of biocide to stop the Jelly causing micro-organisms from growing back. In fact during the development of the Jally Strip, Kajally added an additional feature which wasn’t on the original brief. By using a unique mix of biocides, he was able to create a strip which is impossible for the jelly causing micro-organisms to become immune to.