13Jun2017

Breakfast dispensers: a secret world

Medium to large facilities often rely on vending machines to dispense certain breakfast drinks. 

Medium and large Hotels often rely on vending machines to dispense some breakfast drinks.

There are modern and aesthetically appealing dispensers which, thanks also to the use of good quality soluble products, efficiently produce drinks even for large numbers.

In my opinion it is a valid alternative to jugs, thermos and solutions not really pleasing to the eye (I have often seen camping-style "bins" placed on breakfast buffets).

 

In particular, some have the possibility to dispense freshly milled coffee avoiding the use of soluble coffee: the result in many cases is a good compromise between practicality and product quality.

However, let's not forget that these machines, designed to help us with our work and cost control, need maintenance to avoid periodic breakdowns and disappointed expressions from our guests at the first sip of coffee.

The enemies of these machines are basically three: limescale, neglect in terms of cleaning and low maintenance.

Especially if our facility is in an area with "hard" water and if there is no softener, the solenoid valves will periodically be subject to failures that, perhaps in the middle of a breakfast service, will make us curse the day we put them on.

Tip: Make sure you always have a "B" plan available and in any case ask the company supplying the dispensers to install a water softener.

But we come to the second enemy, the most fearsome: dirt!

During Food & Beverage audits, if there are breakfast dispensers, I always ask to open them and often, too often, the situation is as in the photo: solubles have the terrible habit (aided by humidity) of sticking to the internal parts of the dispensers and, over time, occlude the passages to the mixture.

But there's more.

There is a not-so-cute little animal to see at breakfast whose scientific name is German Cockroach that likes to live in warm and humid environments, with food available (it is omnivorous).... what better place than a coffee dispenser?

Believe me: I've often found when opening the dispenser that I saw something move.

The problem is also of a sanitary nature: unfortunately these cute little animals, through their "residues" can spread diseases such as dysentery and salmonellosis.

Are you currently drinking coffee dispensed from a dispenser?

Well, maybe you're lucky and the staff at that hotel knows that the basic rule of thumb for avoiding insect infestations is always hygiene.

The parts you see in the picture should be cleaned every day at the end of the service, to avoid leaving a nice table set for unwanted guests (the containers of the product are normally hermetically sealed).

Periodically, even the rubber tubes inside which the drink runs must be cleaned and disinfected for the health of our guests and to ensure the proper functioning of the machine.

Last issue. Maintenance.

If you have the mixture in grains remember that the millstones must be replaced: the flat ones every 300-400 kg, the conical ones every 800-1000 kg.

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