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Cooling Product in a Small Bakery

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#1 qaccount

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:11 PM

Hi All,

 

I work for a small bakery.  We make small muffins in 36 well pans, stacked on racks.  We need a faster way to cool product.  Currently, the company is using fans to blow air onto the product.  This strikes me as a large food safety risk.  Any ideas?  Any leads on fans with HEPA filters?  The problem we have run into is that anything with a filter seems to lack air pressure and therefore does not cool product efficiently.  Any ideas or advice would be appreciated!  


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#2 Scampi

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:17 PM

Fans shouldn't be an issue as long as you have a positive pressure system in your facility (final product to receiving air flow path) and the fans are part of regular sanitation.  I'm guessing you don't want to use a small blast chiller for some reason?


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#3 qaccount

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:28 PM

hi scampi,

 

We use our 2 refrigerators to further speed the cooling process but need the product to cool a specific amount prior to putting them in the fridge (to avoid condensation).  Blast chillers may very well be the long term solution but we need to change practice in the mean time.  I am not too familiar with blast chillers either as I am new to the bakery industry!  Do they make blast chillers that you can just push an entire rack into?  The fans currently in use seem to get dirty incredibly fast and would need to be cleaned at least daily.  It takes quite a long time to take apart and clean each one.  


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#4 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:38 PM

Cooling is tough. There's going to be a trade off of some kind, you don't just get faster cooling without expense of some kind. Without a huge capital investment, there's a couple things you can try.

 

1. Have you tried keeping the racks in your refrigerator to pre-chill them? Then transfer the cooked muffins to the pre-chilled racks before placing in the refrigerator. Then the refrigerator doesn't have to also cool the room-temperature (or baked?) racks as well as the muffins, and the trays will cool more quickly at the contact points with the racks. Cost: Transfer labor or inconvenience.

 

2. Probably the easiest option, skip every third "row" of your racks to allow for additional space on one side of each tray. This will make existing airflow systems work better and reduce the overall "heat" load of the system. Cost: fewer muffins cooled each batch.

 

2. Use the fans as mentioned. Cost: yes they do get dirty quickly, and you a right to address these as a safety risk. FDA loves to go after dirty fan blades, especially in bakeries. Check the warning letters and use them as examples for management to demonstrate why they'll have to invest the labor to keep them clean.


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For discussions related to food safety, production, and agriculture. Check out my blog at http://furfarmandfork.com/.

 


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