Reasons Why Bacteria and Mould Can Grow in a Cool Room

03 September 2019

Although restaurateurs would wish otherwise, mould can survive inside a chilly cool room. That’s clearly an unacceptable situation. If a hardy mould strain somehow finds its way towards a rack of cold-stored food, the opportunistic growth could very well cause inventory spoilage. And that’s the least of a walk-in unit’s worries, for contaminated foodstuff constitute a significant health risk. Using a know-thy-enemy mindset, though, we can subdue this pernicious threat.

Know About Mould-Friendly Conditions

If a cool room engineer were to sit down with an HVAC worker, they’d probably share tales about their worst jobs. Right away, they’d discover they shared common ground. In both walk-in cooling chambers and heating and ventilation work, humidity issues can get out of control. They’d also agree on this one dismal fact, the notion that mould and bacteria growths love humid conditions. Alas, cool rooms produce condensate films, so they’re regarded as naturally damp enclosures. As a side note, a humidity level of 70% or above will cause mould patches to flourish and spread.

Growth Terminating Preventative Measures

In other rooms, that troubled HVAC engineers can introduce a heater, one that’ll dry out a wet air stream. Okay, so that’s not a workable option inside a chilled cold room, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck for solutions. First things first, is the inventory wet? Fresh flowers and seafood both produce water, so use the following moisture reducing measures to keep the humidity level low. With a sharp-eyed staff member inside the chamber, have this alert individual check for patches of standing water or condensation build-ups. Using an absorbent cloth, one that’s not contaminated, wipe up the wet patch. As part of a staff training seminar, standard operating procedures should also be driven home. For example, enclosure doors must be kept closed, not ajar and certainly never left wide open for several long minutes.

At least half of the humidity triggering causes can be laid at the feet of incautious staff members. Spills must be cleaned up immediately. Even if the wet puddle is water, it must be washed up straight away, for mould and bacteria colonies use wet conditions to accelerate their spread. If the above measures don’t seem to make any impact whatsoever, perhaps the problem is closer at hand. In this case, a phone call to a professionally accredited refrigeration service is the answer. Dispatched to find the source of the humidity, the technicians clean the condenser and evaporator coils, plus the fans that draw in the chill airflow. Just in closing, special sanitation mists are now available. They reach into inaccessible spaces to sterilize cool room corners and cavities.

Mark Connelly
C&M Coolroom Services
Mobile: 0412 536 315

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