Refrigerant regulations you need to Know as a Food service Owner!Sep 21, 2018
It is a well-known fact that refrigerators were introduced for storage purposes. If cooked foods are kept at room temperatures for a prolonged duration, then the conditions become favourable for bacteria development on the food, which is considered unfit for consumption. Therefore, foods are kept under refrigerated conditions for maintaining their freshness.
However, different foods have varied requirement for keeping them fresh and hence, the use of cooling appliances such as chiller, freezer and refrigerator are common. As per the varied features of the different appliances, they are utilised.
Commercial Refrigeration Systems
Businesses offering food services are required to have sufficient know-how about the usage of refrigeration systems for maintaining the food quality.
In the below-listed details, you can find information on the several types of refrigeration systems that are used in the food service industry to further your knowledge on the same.
At restaurants, food and beverage items are stored in the fridge for retaining their freshness. The refrigerator operates on the principle of refrigeration and evaporation; the heat of the objects is transmitted to the surrounding areas. The optimum refrigeration levels are pegged to be between 34–40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Freezers are known to operate on the principle that is similar to refrigerators. Nevertheless, cooling gases are used in the freezers for the evaporation of heat from the objects. Also, the freezer-only units can store food at temperatures of -34 degrees Fahrenheit; whereas, in refrigerators, food cannot be stored at temperatures lower than -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Your foods can remain fresh in freezers having the temperatures set between -10 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chillers are used in the refrigeration industry for preventing the growth of bacterial elements in foods as well. By keeping foods at low temperatures in the chiller, the food can be considered safe for consumption.
As a business owner, you are required to learn about the refrigerant norms. Also, the regulations keep changing and you have to remain updated on the latest food storage standards. This is because businesses have a responsibility towards protecting the environment. The rules are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Refrigerants can be described as substances (mainly fluids) that are used in refrigeration systems. Commonly, those gases having low evaporation points that are condensable under pressure for cooling the air are used in refrigerants. Due to repeated cycles of evaporation and condensation of the gases, the heat is extracted from the air and the temperatures inside the refrigeration systems are reduced.
In recent times, the class I and II refrigeration systems are being phased out and the hydrocarbon and flammable varieties are gaining popularity.
Why are Refrigerant Regulations Important
Refrigerant regulations are introduced with the purpose of reducing the use of those substances that produce greenhouse gases. Some chemicals are considered harmful for the atmosphere because they cause the depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, refrigerants have to be monitored for the EPA to determine whether they are safe for the atmosphere or not.
Over the past few years, the flammable refrigerants have been approved by the EPA as they serve as suitable substitutes to the refrigerators having high Gross Written Premium (GWP). Also, on the basis of their energy-efficient features, their extensive use is being considered.
The R290 refrigerants come under the category of flammable refrigerants and are recommended by the EPA for their non-toxic features. Moreover, they are cost-effective, climate-friendly and contain a low GWP. You can reduce your overall energy expenditure by 30% through their use. Furthermore, they rate low in moisture content and hence, will not cause damage to your refrigeration systems. Also, they do not contain a high percentage of propane. However, you can use them only on new equipment; they cannot be retrofitted as they are flammable in nature.
As seen in the following details, the food service industry has to invest in appropriate types of refrigeration systems for food storage purposes. Being in the food service industry, you are advised to study the refrigerant regulations and comply with the set standards for gaining an understanding on the effects on your business; and for contributing towards saving the environment as well.