How to Prioritize Appliances During an Outage: Food & Beverage Industry
Posted by Kristopher Schwind
If you’re in the food and beverage industry and you’ve ever experienced a power outage, then you’re familiar with the danger they pose.
Power outages cost American businesses billions of dollars each year in lost production, food, inventory, and security. What’s more? Not only do they threaten companies’ bottom lines, they also put both employee and consumer safety on the line.
In short, power outages are costly.
And they are steadily increasing. In fact, the United States officially has more electrical outages than any other developed nation.
The rising frequency of power outages makes it essential for food and beverage leaders to be proactive to avoid losing sales and supplies or threatening the safety of both employees and customers.
That means having an emergency backup power plan—that is, prioritizing your most crucial equipment and appliances—as well as an adequate, reliable emergency power supply.
A Closer Look at Key Appliances in the Food & Beverage Industry
It’s no secret that most processes in the food and beverage industry simply require a good deal of energy. Extreme temperatures are often necessary to properly store and prepare food and drinks, and the equipment used for food preparation and storage naturally consumes a lot of power.
Restaurants are especially energy-intensive, using roughly 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings.
While there is a wide range of important equipment in the food and beverage industry, there are a number of prominent appliances that are essential for commercial businesses to remain open during a power outage. The food and beverage industry is required to have the following equipment (and more), though regulation may vary state by state.
Cooling, Heating & Holding
It’s important to keep potentially hazardous foods either below 41° F or above 135° F for safety. That means your refrigeration units, heating units, and holding equipment should be a top priority to minimize loss of product.
Whether you produce, distribute, or prepare food and beverages, you risk serious contamination without a proper ventilation system. The build-up of smoke, heat, steam, grease, contaminated air, dust, and particulates can bring operations to a halt.
Without proper lighting, you put your team, customers, and establishment in danger. If you’re in food and beverage preparation, you risk improper ingredient preparation that, worst case scenario, could lead to contamination or injury. If you’re in distribution, your processing is put in serious jeopardy. It’s important to keep safe and adequate lighting in your facilities at all times.
If you run on well water and you rely on an electric pump, you’ll want to be sure your emergency power supply can adequately support it. Sewage pumps are also critical for the food and beverage industry.
Without water, you’ll be left without the means to maintain the level of sanitation, hygiene, and proper food/product preparation you need to stay compliant.
The only commercial establishments that are allowed to keep operating during a power outage are those that create an approved emergency operating plan. In the event of an outage, it’s important for anyone in the food and beverage industry to have—and follow—a documented plan, and to determine which appliances are critical to operations.
Determine whether your emergency power plan will allow you to continue full operation or limited operation based on the power of your system. The best way to prepare for an outage is to install a commercial standby generator that has a greater amp rating than the total electrical loads in your facility.
If you have a retail food business, here are the appliances you want to prioritize during an outage to stay compliant and keep consumers safe.
Luckily, you’re in the best place to get started.
Our team of experts is here to help you choose the right generator for your business to help prevent lost product and productivity and to ensure your employees and customers stay safe, comfortable, and satisfied in the event of a power outage.
Kristopher Schwind is the proud owner of National Standby Repair.