News from WhitCo

Getting kitchens back to work after the Covid shutdown and beyond….

When the lockdown ends, you need to know that your kitchen is safe, clean and ready to start working again. 

For the good of your business, your team and your customers – and because it’s good to finally sleep well at night – you need a safe certified solution that offers peace of mind.

Whitco are professionals in the equipment maintenance sector and we have added a cleaning and sanitising regime to enable you to get back to work with the minimum of fuss and delay. Our teams are made up of qualified personnel, fully equipped with PPE and operate safely within government guidelines. We will be issuing comprehensive RAMS shortly to all our clients so that you can check them before we attend site.  We’re used to working in high-risk areas within the public sector: hospitals, care homes, prisons and schools. 

What we will do for you depends on what you need. We begin with a pre-clean assessment. From there our approach, which is backed up by our qualified risk assessment, can include any or, all of the following:

  • Pest control,
  • Deep clean
  • Extraction cleaning,
  • Maintenance, and
  • Sanitising.

When attending to routine service breakdowns and installations of single items of equipment all the way through to complete turnkey projects, all our activities will include Covid-19 protection.

“Our people are now already out on the road carrying out initial assessments, as businesses prepare for the lifting of restrictions and regardless of that we will maintain the highest levels of safety and infection control possible for our clients and our staff,” says Vita Whitaker of Whitco. 

“Much of our response may be tailored to the condition of the kitchen immediately prior to shut down. Some premises will have been thoroughly cleaned. In others, there may have been large amounts of food left in freezers and fridges.

“Beyond a deep clean and an extraction clean, businesses will most probably need a maintenance visit to ensure that everything is still in good working order checking that gas, electric and water connections are safe”.

“We predominantly service cost sector clients, however once we have a fully equipped team we will be opening up this service to the food and hospitality sectors which will be a vital part of getting the country back to work and adjusting to our new normality.

“We’re keen to do all that we can to get businesses back working which is why we have invested so much time and care in developing a methodology that is certified as safe and efficient. Our risk assessment that gives us a state-of-the-art approach to delivering a 360-degree solution that takes business through from assessment to cleaning, and on to a clean kitchen.” 

Recommissioning a mothballed kitchen

The Whitco team, including a Gas Safe registered catering equipment engineer, will carry out a structured series of steps to bring your kitchen up to scratch. These include the following; a comprehensive list of maintenance procedures across a wider range of appliances is available upon request to 

Warewashing equipment 

There could be potential problems regarding cross contamination from any build-up of bacteria within the machine or any water that might have remained in it, so we advise the following:

Before the machine can be ready for operation, we:

  • Check that the machine and filters are clean and in the correct place,
  • Ensure that there is a sufficient supply of chemicals (detergent & rinse aid) attached to the machine,
  • Fill and heat the machine,
  • Put the machine through a minimum of three complete wash and rinse cycles, and
  • Drain the equipment and recheck filters and clean if needed.


  • Check door seals,
  • Clean and sanitise.  Remove sanitiser with clean water before loading food products,
  • Check temperatures before loading food products.  We recommend them being on for 24 hours to avoid losing any stock.

Ventilation canopies

  • Check all filters (grease filters and input air filters) and clean them thoroughly, where necessary,
  • Check that the fans are working correctly.

Cooking equipment

Gas Appliances

  • Check for gas leaks. Joints and seals on unused appliances may settle and weep gas. 
  • Individual appliances should be checked to ensure that they are working correctly.
  • Where a gas interlock is fitted, check the operation by switching on the ventilation and then lighting an appliance before switching off the ventilation. At this time, the interlock should turn off the gas supply.

Electrical Appliances

  • Check for rodent damage to supply cables before reconnecting electrical appliances. 
  • Any damaged cables should be replaced by a qualified person.
  • Undamaged appliances can be reconnected to the supply. 


Perished or damaged door seals should be replaced by a competent person.


  • Check that the fryer pan is clean, and that the drain valve is fully closed before refilling with oil.  
  • Heat the oil to normal frying temperature (175/190°C) and carefully check this with a suitable thermometer to ensure that the thermostat is working correctly.

Appliances using water

Water softeners

  • Turn the water supply back on, add salt to the brine box and plug the appliance back in or switch on the electrical supply.  
  • Reset the timer for regeneration cycles to a suitable time.

Combi ovens and Steaming ovens

  • Before reusing Combi ovens and steaming ovens, ensure that water filters or other water treatment functions are fitted and working.  
  • Appliances should be fully cleaned and sanitised then put on to either a cleaning cycle or on a steam cycle.  Door seals should be checked for leaks or damage.  
  • If a wash down hose is fitted this should be thoroughly flushed for at least ten minutes to remove any build-up of bacteria.

Pre-wash sprays

  • Pre-wash sprays should be thoroughly flushed for at least ten minutes to remove any build-up of bacteria.

Water boilers

Prior to restart, ensure that any filters or other water treatment are fitted and working.  Assuming that the water supply to the appliance had been turned off, it should be turned back on and the appliance refilled and brought up to boiling.

Water systems

  • Where a building, part of a building or a water system is taken out of use, microbial growth including legionella must be appropriately controlled. 
  • Before reusing the water system, it should be recommissioned by a competent person as though it was new (i.e. thoroughly flushed, cleaned and disinfected) before returned to use.

For further information on all of the above and to discuss our PPE and the new Whitco Hygiene Solutions products, please contact our office at Whitco Catering & Bakery Equipment Ltd

Email with your enquiry.