The high humidity environments in restaurants make them vulnerable to mold, which can ruin food quality and create red alerts during health inspections. Storage equipment and food preparation, in particular, are highly susceptible to mold growth.
Since mold grows in dark, undisturbed, and neglected areas, surfaces around the sink, microwave, behind the freezer, pantry and so forth must be checked thoroughly for mold. Some of the first signs of mold are musty odors, muddy patches, damps, and leaks.
Let’s discuss the ways in which you can prevent mold growth in foodservice environments:
1. Maintain Ventilation
Surfaces that aren’t aired out are the ones to look out for. Make sure you have a proper ventilation system in place that reduces the amount of moisture in the air along with other contaminants that encourage mold-growth.
Modern buildings are more energy-efficient, which means they’re more air-tight and insulated, thereby increasing the environment’s humidity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommendations, it’s best to keep your restaurant’s indoor humidity levels between 30 to 50%.
2. Keep Food Fresh
A restauranteur’s main concern is to prevent mold on food, and the best way to do this is to ensure all food storage areas are clean and regularly stocked; cycle out old stock as early as possible.
Plus, mold can cross-contaminate improperly stored food items, so make sure to inspect every food item before you store it, whether you receive it from an interstate truck or a local market. Your chefs must be trained to recognize signs of mold, especially when dealing with dairy.
3. Clean Appliances Regularly
Dedicated staff members should be in charge of cleaning silverware, appliances, and countertops as frequently as possible. The refrigerator should be cleaned once a month. Don’t abandon hidden places like air conditioning ducts and nooks and crannies underneath sinks and around refrigeration units.
Additionally, clean off all sponges, mops, and towels every day and look out for any musty smells indicating mold growth.
4. Invest in Mold-Resistant Building Materials
Building materials often take up moisture from their surroundings, and hold on to it, creating a highly humid environment.
Construction materials made from advanced MgSO4 chloride-free sulfate technology are emerging as a safer and environmentally friendly solution to prevent mold and mildew growth.
MgO boards and subfloor panels provide high moisture-resistance, making them ideal for humid climates and environments. MagMatrix MgO boards prevent swelling of the board even after long-term exposure to moisture. Thus, they maintain excellent dimensional stability even in damp conditions.
Additionally, they offer outstanding fire-resistance properties that prevent the fire from engulfing the building quickly.