Wednesday, 13 November 2013

'Tis The Season to Be Icy – Is Your Ice Making Machine Ready to Party?

We all know that ice making machines are at full stretch over the summer months, and the summer of 2013 definitely tested caterers to the limit; but demand can be just as high in late autumn and winter as hotels and restaurants play host to countless Christmas and New Year parties. To cater for demand, many hostelries take bookings for parties to take place as early as November and some carry on well into January. While mulled wine may feature in some of these festivities, the greatest demand will be for cold drinks – requiring a combination of commercial refrigerators and ice making machines. A shortage of ice will dampen most party spirits, and could even mean a loss of repeat bookings for next year.

So let's take a look at where ice and refrigeration is most needed over the party season...

Commercial Refrigerators – Find out more about our range of commercial refrigerators for catering businesses.

Cocktails – This is the time of year when people are mostly likely to let their hair down and order a cocktail or two, especially as a pre-dinner drink. And the vast majority of popular cocktails involve the use of ice, either as part of the making process (e.g. a Cosmopolitan is shaken together with ice), or as an integral part of the drink (e.g. slushy Margaritas). Cocktails take some time to prepare compared to other drinks, so any waiting around for more ice to be made can result in unacceptable waits for customers. If you are planning to serve cocktails, you need copious quantities of ice on hand, either by using a super fast vertical plate cuber, or by making ice in advance and storing it in handy ice cube storage bins. You may also need access to specialist ice makers, such as flake ice making machines, which produces smaller pieces of ice that is suitable for putting into blenders.

Wine – Still white wine, if pre-chilled in suitable commercial refrigerators, may be acceptable to serve as it is - directly onto guests' tables, or perhaps placed in a wine cooler. But with large parties it is all too easy to run out of pre-chilled stock, resulting in a need to quickly chill down bottles prior to serving. Access to plenty of stored ice and a good number of wine buckets can quickly avert this problem. Sparkling wine and champagne are traditionally served colder than still wine, and so require wine buckets with plenty of ice to keep them cold at the table. A single wine bucket can require a couple of litres of ice cubes to ensure thorough chilling, so fast ice production combined with large storage capacity is essential.

Bottled Drinks – A bottle of lager or ready-to-drink alcopop is a popular alternative to wine for many partygoers. Although few people want to put ice directly into such drinks, often drinking them straight out of the bottle, they nevertheless expect them to be very well chilled. Large glass door refrigerators can go a long way to meet demand here, but a festive alternative is to present bottles in large troughs of ice. As well as looking attractive, this chills the bottles quickly and allows guests to help themselves, taking the pressure off bar staff; but it does require large quantities of ice, for initial presentation and to keep the trough topped up over the course of an evening or even into the early hours.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks – There will typically be a significant number of designated drivers in any Christmas or New Year party – and providing these guests with suitably iced refreshment is just as important as catering for the drinkers. Still or sparkling water, soda water, cola, ginger ale or tonic, will all feel that more festive if served chilled with plenty of ice and perhaps a slice of lemon, than at room temperature. And if you are serving non-alcoholic wine or beer, it's important to serve these chilled, just as you would their alcoholic versions.

Seasonal Liqueurs – A liqueur, or perhaps a cognac, is a perfect way to end a festive meal, and the modern trend is to serve many after dinner drinks over ice. In fact, may well known brands of liqueur feature ice in their advertising, such as certain coffee flavoured or whiskey and cream based products; so your guests are very likely to request ice as part of their order. If you've already used up large quantities of ice serving cocktails and wine earlier in the proceedings, you don't want to have to disappoint your customers with a lack of ice just as they are finishing their evening.

Porkka's range of commercial ice makers ensures that bars and restaurants of all sizes can easily cater for demand at peak times – from small ice making machines designed to sit on a countertop and able to produce up to 12,000 cubes per day, to large floor standing machines which can make nearly 33,000 cubes per day.

Ice Making Machines – Find out more about our ice machine and storage range.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Choosing Laboratory and Medical Refrigerators

It is essential that all types of refrigeration cabinets perform well and reliably, but this is even more crucial for medical refrigerators and freezers being used in a clinical setting. Here, precision is vital as these units are often used to store products such as blood samples, which must be kept at an exact temperature to preserve them in perfect condition.

Laboratory refrigerators and freezers also require highly accurate controls for their role in storing chemicals, potentially flammable substances and a whole range of other materials used in scientific research. For all these reasons, the specialist standards set for laboratory and medical refrigerators are still more rigorous than those for other types of refrigeration equipment. Also, their designs incorporate a number of features geared to their specialist functions.

Porkka manufactures a range of medical and laboratory refrigerators and freezers, all made to the highest standards and with the emphasis on energy efficiency, which can be used in a number of different settings. Here we will look at which types of products are most appropriate for various scientific and medical uses.

Medical refrigerators – Click here to browse our product range.

Pharmacies and Chemists

Pharmacists have the vital role of dispensing medicines, many of which must be stored at exact temperatures. Porkka manufactures specialist pharmacy refrigerators, which are the ideal solution for keeping these drugs in optimum conditions. These cabinets come with a glass window and LED lighting as standard, allowing a pharmacist to select the required medicine in advance before opening the door, and so save on energy. However, a full stainless steel door, or a full glass door, is available if preferred.

Our pharmacy cabinets have a whole range of safeguards built in, such as a digital temperature display, high/low temperature alarms and tamper protection for their keyboards. Each includes three drawers which can be pulled out, as well as three shelves for storage of larger items. Our PC 520/720/722 GW models are all 2030mm in height, but have different storage capacities, ranging from 291 litres right up to 447 litres. All these cabinets are built to high standards of energy efficiency.

GP Surgeries and Health Centres

A GP surgery or health centre is likely to need a medical refrigerator to store items such as vaccines and medicines which need to be kept at a certain temperature. Our specialist range includes smaller refrigerators which would be ideal for many surgeries of this type, with our smallest model being the M70. This has measurements of just 595 x 460 x 720mm. Like all our medical and laboratory freezers and refrigerators, it meets the European standard ISO 8561.

A potentially important feature for health centres is the fact that all our cabinets allow temperature to be remotely monitored and recorded. This means that if they have to store items which are then passed on to other organisations, for instance when carrying out medical tests, they can provide evidence of proper storage. All our fridges for use in medical conditions also allow USB stick temperature recording.


Hospital staff require access to different types of medical refrigerators, depending on the particular department. All the medical fridges and freezers in our range, from the smallest to the largest, are designed to suit hospital conditions, including those of operating theatres, and meet the highest standards of both security and hygiene. Products available vary from large medical freezers or fridges to smaller bench-top models.

For larger departments, the MC 520/720/722 range of refrigerators provides storage of up to 575 litres, while the MF 520/720/722 freezers have the same dimensions. Another option is the MC/MF 722 Combi, a combination medical fridge and freezer. And, for circumstances where frozen plasma needs to be stored, our plasma freezers, storing at temperatures as low as -32C, are the answer.

All our equipment is made from hygienic and easily-cleaned materials, while another feature we include is specialist bacteria-proof systems to collect condensed water from the refrigeration process and prevent it being a source of potential contamination. As well as precise and accurate temperature recording, our medical fridges all have lockable doors, which are obviously vital for security. Our product range also includes non-refrigerated secure medicine cupboards, which can incorporate narcotics lockers.


The needs of research laboratories are often different to those of health centres and hospitals, and they require laboratory refrigerators and freezers providing specialist features geared to their requirements. For instance, staff at any lab storing hazardous chemicals must be alert to the risk of them exploding if they are not kept at the right temperature. Porkka's spark-proof Lab Line models, Lab 300 and Lab 75, protect sensitive contents like these, and prevent danger to staff. These are available in a range of sizes, similar to our medical fridges.

The temperature range in a lab may have to be much wider than in a medical environment, so the RC520 and RC720 lab fridges can keep contents at anything between 2 and 40C. Our laboratory freezers, RF520 and RF570, can reach temperatures as low as -30C. Our range also includes large incubators for labs and scientific institutes and specialist chromatography refrigerators.

Whatever type of laboratory or medical freezers or refrigerators you require, Porkka's range features state-of-the-art equipment which will meet your needs and achieve guaranteed quality for many years to come.

Laboratory Refrigerators  –  Follow the link to see our range of products.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Choosing the Right Refrigerated Display Cabinets for Your Business

There is a reason that there is so much choice when it comes to the design of refrigerated display cabinets. Each design is intended to work for different types of produce and different types of business environment – so picking the right one for your particular situation is important.

The Purpose of Refrigerated Display Cabinets

Refrigerated display cabinets serve three primary functions:

  1. Keeping produce fresh, at a consistent temperature, which means the food will have a better shelf life. Hygiene is also vital and Porkka’s chill cabinets all meet European hygiene standards, with all shelves and visible surfaces being made from glass and stainless steel to ensure easy cleaning.
  2. Ensuring produce is ready to serve; for instance, in the case of chilled drinks or snacks such as yoghurts and pots of pre-prepared salad which can be quickly picked up by your customers and eaten on the go.
  3. Presenting produce attractively, and making sure that it is easily visible to retail customers – for instance by using glass doors or open shelving, with or without lighting.

Porkka Display Cabinets – click here to view our range of products

All Porkka's fridge display units are designed to carry out all the key functions, but they achieve this in slightly different ways, with a number of specific design features which may influence your decision about which model to choose.

Available Space – Even if your space is limited, for instance in a small corner shop or newsagent, Porkka have cabinets which will fit your needs. The Grandioso has a footprint as small as 898mm wide x 742mm depth, with a choice of two heights, 1430mm or 1690mm, making it an ideal choice for a business which requires a smaller chilled display cabinet.

Storage Capacity – Will your chosen chilled display unit meet your usual rate of sales without running out of stock between deliveries? Porkka's Service Line Showcase cabinets include under-counter storage beneath the main display units, which will hold extra chilled goods so that your stock can be replenished when necessary. The units have sliding doors at the back which make it easy for staff to restock shelves as required.

Energy Efficiency – Porkka's Future cabinets are designed for energy efficiency, so by choosing from this range you will be helping the environment as well as saving on your own costs. These cabinets use evaporator fan motors which automatically switch off whenever the door is opened, to avoid loss of chilled air, as well as efficient new low energy condensers and hot gas defrost systems. Also, to guarantee top quality, our Future refrigerated display cabinets are all manufactured to environmental standard ISO 14001 and EU food safety standards. Our Grandioso display cases come with a roll-over night cover as standard, so that produce can be kept refrigerated overnight at a lower cost.

Range of Temperatures Available within One Cabinet – The Service Line Showcase range cabinets have refrigerated shelves for holding chilled foods, but also feature a neutral top shelf which you can use to display non-chilled items such as crisps, cakes or biscuits, so that customers can pick up a combination of foods at different temperatures.

Compatibility with Food Production Equipment – With all our Service Line Showcase display units, it is easy to take GN trays straight from your kitchen to the chiller without the need to lose time by first transferring them to different types of container. The cabinets can take standard GN 1/1 sized components both in the chilled cabinet below the display area and on the lowest shelf. For added flexibility, you can also adjust the bottom shelf depending on the size of the products it needs to hold.

Ambient Temperature of Your Space – If you need a refrigerated cabinet to stand in a hot environment, for instance in a commercial kitchen, then it is important to choose a model which will withstand the heat and still keep your food cool. We at Porkka have designed our glass door cabinets in the Future range so that they can operate within ambient temperatures of up to +32C.

Needing Multiple, Connectible Units, for Larger Premises/Canteens –The Service Line Showcase cabinets have been specially designed for use in locations such as canteens, complete with a tray shelf at the front where customers can rest their trays while choosing products. If you choose from this range, you can connect multiple units together so that a wider range of food and drinks can be put on display.

Porkka have refrigerated cabinets for every purpose and setting and can advise on your needs and the best choice for your individual business. Whether you need a chilled cabinet for a small shop or a restaurant or canteen, we can provide you with the right equipment to help you grow your business and give your customers a great service.

Refrigerated Display Units – click here to view our range of products

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Five Reasons for Small Food Businesses to Consider Blast Chillers and Freezers

If you are setting up your own catering business, then blast chillers are a great way to guarantee consistent quality and hygiene. Catering is one of the UK's fastest-growing sectors for small businesses, with many people turning their cookery skills into a way of making an income.

When you are first starting out, then you may well find that a small kitchen with basic refrigeration and freezing equipment is enough for you. However, once the business takes off and you start to serve more customers, it won't be too long before this basic equipment is likely to  prove inadequate, for a number of reasons.

1. Demonstrating Hygiene Standards
If you are selling to other retailers, such as supermarkets and restaurants, these retailers will want proof of compliance with hygiene standards. This especially applies to the larger companies, who are keen to ensure quality.

Major stores and cafes are regularly audited to ensure top standards of cleanliness, and they will want to make sure that all their suppliers live up to these levels  in order to give their customers the best quality and to maintain their own reputation. This means that, as well as making sure that your premises are spotlessly clean, it is also vital to ensure that your products are properly and quickly chilled in line with the best hygiene practice.

Blast chillers and freezers – Click here to view our range of products.

2. Keeping Up With Demand
As your business grows, you may find that you need increased production, but can't afford a move to a bigger kitchen. In this case, blast chillers are the answer, because they increase your capacity by cutting the amount of chill time needed to prepare each new batch of freshly-cooked produce to be sent out to your customers.

So, after investing in a chiller, you will no longer have to keep your customers waiting while food is chilled to the right temperature. Commercial chillers also have a holding mode which means that it is possible to keep chilled food safely until it is required, increasing your storage capacity.

3. Longer Shelf Life
At first, you may only be providing food to customers in your immediate area, but as word travels this is likely to change. Once food is travelling further, or being displayed in stores before being bought, then shelf life becomes increasingly important. It is essential to prevent food wastage, which can often mean lost income if you only get paid for what you sell. 

Chilling food more quickly can add significant time to your product's shelf life and so increase your sales and profitability. It will also please customers when they find that the food they have bought lasts well.

4. Food Inspectors
All businesses preparing food are subject to regular food hygiene inspections, which are carried out by environmental health officers from their local council. These inspections are a fact of life for any food business, regardless of size.

However, smaller businesses can be especially vulnerable and as a result owners need to take particular care to keep up their standards in all areas, especially if they are new and still establishing their customer base. Using a chiller/freezer with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) monitoring is a way of helping to demonstrate your professional hygiene standards.

5. Meeting Deadlines

If you have a deadline to meet for a specific order,  it may be impractical to leave food to chill or freeze overnight in order to be sure it has reached the required temperature. Another problem is that when using a static chiller/freezer, you cannot be absolutely sure when the food has reached the target temperature and therefore when it is ready and safe to send to a customer.

However, with Porkka blast chillers and freezers you do have that certainty, because indicators on the outside of the unit show when  the target temperature has been reached. As soon as you see the indicator, food can be sent or collected immediately, cutting out the need for time-wasting delays. This results in greater productivity/efficiency, and makes a small catering business able to be more responsive to larger customer orders.

If you have decided that the time is right to invest in blast chillers for your small catering business,  the Porkka range is bound to have one which will meet your requirements. The company produces a wide range of models, all using the latest state-of-the art technology. All the chillers have probes which ensure precise temperature control and built-in automatic defrost systems.  If space is an issue,  the smallest blast chiller, BC 720SH, has a footprint of just 850x750, meaning it will only take the same space as a normal-sized fridge-freezer.

Porkka's blast chillers all meet all DHSS and Codex standards and combine great performance with guaranteed quality, making them the perfect choice for your catering business.

Blast chillers and freezers – Click here to view our range of products.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Six Must-Have Features for Laboratory Refrigerators and Freezers

Laboratory refrigerators and freezers are used to store a variety of samples and specimens and these can range from tissue samples, blood plasma and other blood products, to vaccinations, viruses, bacteria, chemicals or flammable materials – and each and every one of these needs to be kept in a carefully controlled environment. 

At Porkka we manufacture cold chain equipment and commercial appliances, including high grade laboratory freezers and refrigerators suitable for a variety of environments from blood banks to chromatography applications (a process which involves the separation and analysis of the contents of gases and solutions). 

The operating requirements for laboratory freezers and refrigerators are notably different compared to standard food storage equipment, and also to the fridges and freezers used for medical and/or pharmacy applications. In this blog we shall look at the six design features that laboratory refrigerators and freezers must have to meet these specialist requirements including security alarms and data logging, and high accuracy temperature control.

Laboratory Refrigerators – Click here to view our range of products.

Spark Proof

Laboratory freezers and refrigerators are often used to store hazardous materials such as flammable and explosive chemicals. If sensitive materials are stockpiled in a refrigerator, it is important that the appliance is designed in such a way that it does not become the source of sparks and present a fire hazard.

Porkka have a line of spark proof models (our Lab Line models) specifically for laboratories that require the storage of gases or combustible materials.  Spark proofing not only protects the actual appliance, but also safeguards its contents...and more importantly, eliminates any risk to laboratory staff.

High Accuracy, High Stability Temperature Control

Specialist laboratory appliances require accuracy to  within 1 degree as chemicals, bacteria and other substances need to be kept in a controlled environment. Any variations in temperature will upset the biological or chemical make-up of samples used in highly controlled research and test environments, and the consequences of this are both significant and costly – as some sample stocks are irreplaceable. Our appliances provide the vital, high accuracy required in a laboratory environment.

Fridge doors are opened frequently in some laboratories and it is essential that even despite this,  the chemicals and samples are kept at a steady temperature, to reduce any wastage and to ensure longevity of the product. With Porkka appliances, fans mounted inside and at the top of the laboratory refrigerators will automatically deactivate upon the door opening, which serves to minimise any temperature changes and to prevent cold air escaping.

High Temperature Range

Laboratory freezers and refrigerators need a much wider temperature range than appliances used for food applications. The temperature on some of our laboratory appliances can vary from -10 C up to + 40 C.  Porkka’s line of RF 720 and RF 520 (freezers) for example, have an operating range from -10C to -30C and the RC 520 and the RC 720 (refrigerators) have an operating range from +2C to +40C.

This temperature range is vital for laboratory appliances so they are suitable for a variety of businesses and organisations, from life sciences to laboratory and research sectors. Samples and compounds need to be kept at a precise, even temperature throughout the chamber, to ensure accuracy.

Alarms and Data Logging

Alarms and data logging are important features, to warn if temperature or security is compromised.

As well as alarms on the units themselves, Porkka’s line of laboratory refrigerators and freezers are available with the ability to connect to a general building alarm if required. In addition to this, data logging provides evidence of accurate temperature control, and warns of any time periods where this may have been compromised.

Clean Room Compliant

Specialist laboratory fridges and freezers must meet the high standards required in operating theatres as they are used for a variety of research applications, such as pharmaceuticals, pathology, etc.

Porkka appliances are made from hygienic materials such as stainless steel, polyester coated sheet steel, transparent PVC (shelving) and glass, so they are easy to clean both inside and out. Our appliances are moveable (with castors), or have good clearance from the floor (witth legs), to gain access underneath and behind units for cleaning.

Other features to look out for in a laboratory fridge are smooth surface back walls to prevent the accumulation of dust or bacteria.  Internally, specialist lab refrigerators and freezers should have no internal protrusions so as to minimise the opportunities for contamination.


If security is compromised in any way, the effects of this are considerable – in terms of cost and time, and the fact that some samples can never be replaced. Laboratory appliances should therefore have lockable doors to prevent unauthorised access.

Porkka offers different levels of locking security, such as coded locks, for ease of use, or electronic key locks, for precise logging of the time the appliance is opened and to reveal the identity of the person who has opened the equipment.

All Porkka laboratory models meet our strict criteria of security, cleanliness and accuracy, including the LAB 300 and 75 models, the RC 520 and RF 520, the RC 720 and RF 720 and our chromatography refrigerators such as the CT1422 GD and the CT722 GD.

Laboratory Refrigerators – Click here to view our range of products.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cold Room Units – Which Type Is Right For Your Food Business?

Cold room units are an essential piece of equipment especially in the food industry. Whether it is food preparation, storage or you run a restaurant or hotel, cold room units provide a safe, hygienic and efficient solution for keeping your food fresh, safe and easily accessible. They provide stability of temperature and help minimize wastage. In the catering industry there are many different types and sizes of business and each will have a different cold room unit requirement. Some smaller food based businesses, such as cafes, would not require larger cold room units, but for those with volumes sufficient to be clearly beyond the cabinet option they are an excellent choice.

Here we will show you which type of cold room unit is best suited to each type of food business and suggest solutions for their cold room unit requirements. 

Space available:

The first thing you need to consider when purchasing cold room units is how much space you have available.

Modular cold room units are often the most popular choice for commercial needs. These come in flat packs for assembly on the premises and are often available in a vast array of sizes. They comprise of standard sized panels that interlock easily to construct the floor, walls and ceiling of the cold room unit. You can build any size of modular cold room unit you like using these panels, to fit in with your business. Modular cold room units offer the most convenient option for most food businesses, as they are cost effective and quick and easy to install. Most restaurants or food packaging companies would choose this option especially if they had a reasonable amount of space in which to locate the cold room unit.

If space or money is not an issue then you could commission a made to measure cold room unit to be built for you. This bespoke option is more expensive than a modular flat packed cold room unit but does offer a better variety of sizes for businesses where the space available may be an unusual shape or awkward to fit a standard cold room unit into. These would be ideal in older hotels where rooms are not a standard size or shape.

If space is short but you have a mixture of foods to keep at different temperatures, for example some chilled and some frozen, then a Combi cold room unit would be for you. Combi units are split into two sections. The first is the chiller area for keeping stock cold. This then leads into a freezer area. The different rooms have their own refrigeration units and temperature controls but as they are joined they take up less space than two separate cold room units.

For large scale catering operations an industrial cold room unit would be ideal. These are often vast warehouses purpose built for the refrigeration of foodstuffs. They can store large quantities of stock and have easy access for forklift trucks. Their internal features will have been especially designed for the businesses needs often with storage on racks for pallets and wide doors to assist with stock flow in and out of the cold room unit.

Required temperature:

The temperature you need to store food stocks at is vital for health and safety and the freshness of your products. Wasting stock by keeping it at the incorrect temperature is costly and inefficient. Choosing the correct cold room unit to maximise your stock turn around and storage of goods is vital.

Different foods need to be kept at different temperatures. Pre-prepared meals, dairy items and fresh vegetables can all be stored at +6C.  Meat and fish need to be kept at between 2C and 5C and frozen goods of any kind can be stored at -20C.

Catering businesses often need to store their stock at different temperatures. If you have the space and need a lot of storage then separate cold room units for chilled and frozen goods would suit your needs. A combination cold room unit will do the same but take up less room.

Modular cold room units are primarily used just for the storage of chilled food but they can also be used for freezing your food stock too.

Type of food processing:

The type of food processing your business does will also determine which type of cold room unit would be best for you.

If you prepare and cook food on your premises, which needs to be chilled down ready for long term storage in freezers, a blast chiller and freezer cold room unit is exactly what you need.  A blast chiller brings the temperature of the cooked food down quickly to a safe level avoiding any multiplication of bacteria. Once the food has reached a chilled state it can then be frozen for use later. This is perfect for companies that supply pre-prepared meals for hotels, restaurants or supermarkets.

In restaurants and hotels where meals are cooked on the premises ready to serve, a modular or combi cold room unit would be your best choice. Both of these can store a variety of raw ingredients or cooked foods such as meat, fish or dairy. Combi cold room units have the ability to hold pre-frozen food such as ice cream, or freeze previously chilled stock.

If your business is processing or distributing food on a commercial scale then an industrial cold room unit that people can work inside, is what you need.  Businesses that might benefit from this type of cold room units are retailers, wholesalers, hotels, restaurants and suppliers for hospitals, large canteens and cruise ships.

Requirement for trolley access:

Trolleys or cages are often used in the catering and food preparation industry for carrying trays of food before and after cooking. Rather than loading and unloading these trays individually, it is more efficient if they can be left in the trolleys and the trolleys taken in and out of chillers and cold rooms.

Although an insulated floor in a cold room unit gives you better energy efficiency, which in turn leads to lower fuel bills, having a floor creates a step in the doorway that can be troublesome when it comes to moving trolleys in and out. A floorless cold room unit will grant easy access for trolleys to enter and exit.

However a floor in a cold room unit doesn’t mean you cannot use trolleys at all. Installing a ramp at the entrance to allow access for trolleys can surmount the problem.

Ambient temperatures and frequency of access:

Two other important factors when choosing cold room units are the ambient temperature and the amount your staff will need to go in and out of the unit.

The ambient temperature is the temperature outside the cold room. The higher the ambient temperature (e.g. in warmer climates, during the summer or if located close to cooking areas) the more warmth will enter the cold room whenever the door is opened, and the harder the cold room has to work to maintain required temperatures. This affects the energy efficiency of your cold room unit and may eventually compromise the temperature within the cold room.

If ambient temperature is high and the frequency of access by staff is also high, then your cold room unit may need additional insulation by having a thicker wall, or even an insulated floor. This will add to the installation costs, but should be offset by energy savings over the longer term.

Insulated floors are often required in chiller and freezer cold room units to maintain the correct temperatures. For medium  cold room units, insulated floors are not necessary. Remember, an insulated floor does impede trolley access so you have to weigh up the pros and cons for your particular food business.

If you have a business where staff need to enter the cold room unit several times in the course of a working day then a walk in cold room is a good solution. Walk in cold rooms mean personnel can walk directly into the cold room unit and shut the door behind them whilst they unload a delivery or select food stocks for cooking, chilling, freezing or defrosting. Unlike a chiller cabinet, where stock is stacked on top of each other or behind other items, walk in cold room units hold the products on shelving. This makes all your stock easy to see and easy to get to.  This means goods are not forgotten and left at the back of the cold room unit and stock rotation is easier to manage, resulting in less waste.

It is important to select the right type of cold room unit as its volume, temperature range and other features will determine and limit the type of operation that a food business can support. It is important to find a manufacturer who can help you determine your requirements and give you the type of cold room unit your business really needs.

About Porrka

Porkka are experts in creating and making commercial refrigeration products such as cold room units Our refrigeration units, cold rooms, chillers and freezers are used worldwide in commercial kitchens, restaurants, and hotels and throughout the catering industry.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Commercial Freezers – 6 Signs You May Need to Upgrade

Commercial freezers and commercial refrigerators are the backbone of any food manufacturing catering company or food retailer. At Porkka we make and sell a variety of high grade, quality refrigeration products fit for a wide range of environments where food and drinks are either made or sold by hotels, supermarkets, corner shops, restaurants and food manufactures. In this blog we look at 6 telltale signs that your commercial freezer provision may not be quite up to the job and how this may be having a detrimental impact on your business.

1. Customers Can't Access Product Quickly

If your business is dependent on the sale of refrigerated foods or even has a refrigerated concession as part of your overall retail offering, then you may be losing revenue if your customers are unable to see or reach your range of produce easily. If freezers or refrigerators are poorly stacked with items fighting for space then it can put customers off making a purchase.

Items that are stored in commercial freezers or refrigerators with solid doors make it more difficult for customers to see your product range and fails to encourage them to select and buy.

Most customers rarely want to guess what is behind a door -they are more likely to buy food and drink that is attractively displayed and where brand, price and best before dates are clearly visible.  This can only be achieved if you have the correct commercial freezer or refrigeration units on the shop floor. Glass door and open fronted freezer and refrigerator units give you the opportunity to maximise storage and display produce along with strong point of sale messaging; making it all far more appealing for customers to buy.

The Porkka Display Line range is comprehensive enough in style and design to suit all sorts of food and drink produce and fit for use in almost all retail situations no matter how big or small. Glass fronted or open fronted commercial freezers and refrigerators that are well lit  generate a far greater number of sales which minimises the risk of products going out of date and being wasted.

2. Current Freezer is Regularly Overfilled

Freezers that are often overfilled can cause problems with temperature evenness which can lead to problems with food quality and even, in extreme cases, potential food poisoning. Overfilled freezers also make stored produce harder to reach, especially those items stuffed towards the back.  Food that is poorly stored may be in breach of health and safety regulations and it is more likely to be left to go out of date and increase wastage which puts pressure on your operating costs.   If this sounds familiar it is a sure sign that you need to increase your freezer or refrigeration space.  

3. You Run Out of Frozen Stock Too Quickly
This can happen if customer demand has grown but your order levels are the same, simply because you can only take delivery of and freeze or chill a certain amount of stock at a time. This is a definitive sign that you need increased freezer space to reflect your actual demand. A freezer isn't just for long term storage space, but is also for storing produce that will be used within a day or two of purchase; this is especially likely for a restaurant or takeaway which cooks from frozen.  By not upgrading to a larger freezer you could be limiting the turnover of your business.

4. You Need More Freezer Space but Can't Spare Any More Floor Space

In tough economic times, all businesses are looking for ways to increase their customer base and find new streams of income. Previously "static" food businesses like restaurants which were operating out of specific premises often expand their business by diversifying into outside catering services to cover functions, weddings and festivals.  This drastically changes your refrigeration and freezing requirements. The Cold Line cabinets known also as the Arctic Counters are the most versatile in the Porkka range as they are designed to enable you to chill or freeze, prepare and then display food. These commercial freezer and refrigeration units are also extremely mobile as they come with castor feet and come in a variety of heights and with a worktop height of 900mm in order to easily prepare food on site. All of these features make outside catering and business expansion far more possible. 

5. You're Actively Exploring New Ways to Expand Your Business

If you are a business which is expanding its throughput but isn't in a position to move to bigger premises then you may need to change your commercial freezer and refrigeration set up. This can be done with the use of upright cabinet freezers which make better use of your available floor space.  Our Future Plus cabinets are perfect for all food related businesses and are designed for heavy duty usage and maximising space.

6. You're Looking for Stricter Ways to Ensure Food Hygiene

Food Hygiene Ratings are now being displayed publicly on business premises and published on the Food Standards Agency website. This is making the food industry at large take a harder look at its food hygiene practices. Food manufacturers, hotels and restaurants are not just looking at their everyday hygiene practices, but at inventive ways of being able to demonstrate and report on their practices. This is of particular use when being inspected by the Food Standard Agency Hygiene Inspectors who are looking for detailed data which can be time consuming to produce if done manually. All commercial freezers and refrigerators must be maintained in accordance with the European HACCP food safety regulations. This involves regular checking and recording of refrigerator and freezer temperatures to ensure any fluctuations are not detrimental to the foodstuffs stored.

Manual monitoring is not always as safe or as thorough as automated real time monitoring like Porkka's XWEB system, which not only provides comprehensive reports but also has the capability of reacting to climate changes within the commercial freezer or refrigerator as soon as they are detected. The system is so effective that it can then automatically adjust the temperature and bring it back in line - and if this is not sufficient then XWEB sends further alarms or alerts to staff advising them to take further action.

This real time monitoring and reporting facility goes a long way in helping you maintain strict hygiene measures and reduce operational costs and energy consumption.  XWEB is also able to tell you how often the doors are opened and indicate particularly busy periods of the day. Fridges and freezers made by Porkka with automatic HACCP monitoring and recording are an easy way to demonstrate how safely you store you produce and products and will help you maintain your food hygiene ratings.

Commercial Freezers – Click here to view our  range of freezers

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Growing a Business with Refrigerated Display Units

Running a food or convenience store business from small premises may at first appear to limit the income that can be generated from that business. However even the smallest space can be transformed and revenue increased, with the right use of refrigerated display units.

Refrigerated display units provide the safe and hygienic storage of fresh food and drinks for customer selection in a retail environment. They come in a range of types to suit different businesses  and are designed to maintain product at a consistent temperature so food and drink is kept in optimum condition,  making it attractive to the consumer, tempting them to buy, and generating more money for a small business.

This article will focus on the use of refrigerated display units in small shop premises to expand the range and the quality of what they can offer.

We will present two possible scenarios in which the right choice of refrigerated display units can lead to business expansion and improved returns, particularly for a small premises business. Each scenario will focus on the use of a particular type of Porkka display unit and show how it can be appropriate to the setting and what products can be sold using it.

From Newsagent to Convenience Store

If space is tight in your premises then refrigerated display units take up little space along a wall and allow the sale of a variety of chilled foods. In newsagents this could mean expansion into a variety of chilled drinks, snacks and sandwiches, as well as the ability to chill chocolate items in the summer.

Taking it one step further and using chilled display units to hold items such as milk, yogurt, cheese and prepacked meats immediately transforms the business into a convenience store, attracting a far wider range of customers. If space allows then additional units could also house ready meals, pizzas and deli items.

 Alternatively, a  chilled display unit can be used to stock chilled beer and wine, offering added value compared to unchilled supermarket products.

Wherever footfall is high but floor space is limited refrigerated display units offer the opportunity to maximise business. The ability to be able to move and tilt the shelving units gives you the flexibility to show products to their best advantage. It’s also best if the unit has an open front so a variety of products can be displayed. An open fronted display unit also means the customer can choose the item they want easily and the unit is quick to clean and keep hygienic. Units may need to be moved around the premises for cleaning, maintenance, or for a shop move so castors are a good additional feature along with lighting in the top or sides of the unit to highlight the products on offer. To keep food and drink chilled overnight a night cover is essential so that a constant temperature can be maintained but running costs for the business are kept down.

The Porkka Grandioso chilled display cabinets are ideal for this small retail environment. Grandioso units chill the items on display by forcing cold air onto each shelf. This gives consistency of temperature in the whole unit  keeping waste to a minimum  and giving perishable foodstuffs a longer shelf life.

The Grandioso chilled display cabinets come in a standard 900mm width, a choice of 2 heights (1430mm and 1690mm) and a depth of just 742mm, making it a very feasible option for a small space.

From Bakery to Takeaway

In a business where food is your primary concern then a different type of refrigerated display unit may serve your purposes better. In bakeries, take-away outlets and sandwich shops multi-shelf units allow readymade sandwiches, baps, rolls, wraps and other baked goods to be displayed and for customers to help themselves. As well as the increased appeal to a wider range of customers, selling prepared food carries a higher premium and profit margin than unmade rolls or bread.

Of course, with any perishable food item freshness of the product is extremely important. A refrigerated unit that uses a method of distributing the chilled air evenly is required so that baked goods, sandwiches and bread do not dry out whilst being stored. Increasing the shelf life of products increases revenue and cuts down on wastage.

 Allowing customers to help themselves to the food on display also helps to keep staff costs down. A self service style refrigerated display unit is best for this and if your bakery or takeaway offers a seated area you would need a rail at the front of the unit where customers can rest a tray whilst choosing their food and drink.

Porkka’s Service Line Showcase cabinets come in 2 widths (600mm or 1500mm) and can be connected together if you wish to have several display units in your premises.

These units have an open front for easy selection and at the back of the unit are sliding glass doors so staff can access the unit to re-stock. The internal shelves are refrigerated and will hold a variety of take-away items in addition to baked goods, such as fruit, yogurts, drinks, salads and savouries. Shelves are lit which adds to the presentation of the items on offer. Non-chilled items, such as crisps, biscuits and crackers can be displayed on top of the unit.

For additional storage chilled cabinets underneath the main display cases will hold extra stock at the correct temperature ready for stock replenishment.

Both Porkka’s Grandioso and Service Line Showcase refrigerated display units are easy to use, maintain and keep clean and all Porkka’s products meet European hygiene standards for the storage of chilled items. These units are also hard wearing and long lasting, making them an ideal investment for any small food or retail outlet.

Refrigerated Display Units  – click here for more information on our range of products

Friday, 22 February 2013

Choosing Cold Room Units - Standard or Bespoke?

When a commercial kitchen is choosing between standard or bespoke cold room units there are many considerations such as size, efficiency and capacity to consider. However, it is usually the cost of cold room units that is the main factor in the final decision. The biggest deliberation when thinking about the cost of cold room units is choosing between affording the upfront investment versus thinking about long term usage and efficiency.

In this article we will examine the appeal of going for standard sized cold room units versus a bespoke design and discuss the advantages of both.

Cold Room Units - click here to view our main web site.

Advantages of Standard Cold Room Units

Standard cold room units have many advantages. Their modular design means that they arrive at your premises flat packed, this makes delivery easy and convenient. It also means they can be quickly and easily installed on site. This fast installation means they can be up and running on the day of installation and your business can get back to work straight away.

Another advantage of a standard cold room unit is that they are usually more economical to purchase than a bespoke version. This is due to the way they are manufactured as a mass produced product in standard sizes. However that doesn’t mean that the choice is restrictive. Standard cold room units have various types to suit different premises, like commercial kitchens, restaurants, food preparation units, hotels, fast food restaurants, storage for perishable non food items such as plants and flowers and laboratories for medical supplies. They can fit into lots of different spaces within a business and come in a whole range of volume capacities. This means your business has the choice, within a standard cold room units range, to find an almost tailor made solution to your needs.

For example, in standard modular design cold room units, there are a variety of installation options such as having the refrigeration unit on the left or right hand side of the door and because doors are hung in situ they can be hung so they open to either the left or right hand side too.

Advantages of Bespoke Cold Room Units

In some circumstances a standard cold room unit won’t suit the needs of a particualr operation and a bespoke option may be necessary.

A cold room unit is not only used in the food and catering industry: many different types of operation prefer or need bespoke cold room units such as cruise ships, hospitals, mortuaries and research centres.

A bespoke cold room unit is ideal when you need an exact fit or need to use every inch of available space. If you only have an awkward shaped or sized space available for your cold room unit then a bespoke design can maximise this space to its best advantage. Getting exactly the space required is essential to the efficiency and smooth running of your cold room unit. Too little space and you will either not have enough room to store everything you need to, or the unit will end up being overfilled. Too much space in your cold room unit and shelves will be empty. In both cases having a cold room unit either too full or not full enough can compromise the consistency of the temperature and the energy efficiency of the unit.

With bespoke designs there are lots of options for individual requirements and there is complete adaptability with the design. A bespoke cold room unit can be built either within or outside a building, they can have doors that are hung to open either to the left or the right and the internal space configuration and shelving can be designed to your specifications rather than the 4 tier shelving in the standard modular designs.

All this can all result in better ongoing efficiency. Lower energy bills are critical in business and certainly a factor when calculating the lifetime cost of owning and running a cold room. A cold room that is economical to operate can be better value in the long run even if the initial buying cost is higher.

Porkka’s Cold Room Units

Porkka’s have over 300 different types of modular design cold rooms to choose from. This vast choice means that it is possible to find an almost bespoke option for your business within our standard range giving you the best of both worlds. Our large number of configuration options and volume capacities in the standard models in a modular design combines the advantages of both the standard and bespoke options.

As a result, very few customers will require a truly bespoke solution, but this can also be provided if required.

With both a standard and bespoke cold room unit you can be assured of the highest quality product that is energy efficient and easy to maintain and clean. All our cold rooms comply to all food safety regulations and have temperature controls to give you a consistent temperature for your goods, keeping them safe, hygienic and in the best possible condition.

Cold Room Units - click here to view our main web site.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Choosing Cold Room Manufacturers - A Business Critical Decision You Can’t Afford to Get Wrong

All catering businesses depend on their refrigerator and cold room manufacturers to keep their business running. Without adequate cooling equipment most catering businesses simply can’t function. When a catering business realises just how dependent they are, it is suddenly extremely clear that making the right choice between different refrigerator and cold room manufacturers could be a business critical decision. Here we look at just how dependent a commercial kitchen is on their choice of cold room manufacturers, the types of disruption that can occur and why choosing Porkka minimises and avoids this type of disruption.

To help you make an informed decision about competing cold room manufacturers, here are 5 key aspects for you to consider:


Installing commercial refrigeration or a cold room often means having to close your business down whilst the work goes ahead. This can be costly and your time out of action needs to be kept to a minimum, so you are able to be up and running again as soon as possible. You therefore need to choose cold room manufacturers who can do the job quickly and efficiently.

Porkka can have a cold room installed in a day. Firstly a thorough site survey is conducted to establish where and when the cold room will be erected. This means there are no sudden surprises or delays on the day of installation.

Porkka’s modular design means that pre-insulated panels are used to construct your cold room and keep the time needed to finish the job down to a minimum. There are 81 different standard options to choose from so we can help you find the perfect cold room for your needs. Even the doors are pre-mounted to the insulated panels so everything can be assembled on site and is ready to use straightaway.

Automatic Monitoring

Keeping a consistent temperature is vital to the efficient running of your cold room. You don't want to have to spend valuable time manually monitoring your cold room temperatures so you need cold room manufacturers that supply a cold room with an automatic monitoring function that can also record temperatures.

Cold rooms from Porkka have this automatic monitoring facility. They also have an alarm that can alert you both audibly and visually immediately if there is a major change in temperature that may cause a problem. By constantly monitoring the temperatures, the control unit on your cold room does all the work for you. It can even be linked up to your computer or laptop so you can keep accurate records for inspections and safety regulations.

You also need the information to be clear and easy to understand. The control panels on a Porkka cold room can show you how it is performing instantly without any irrelevant data. There are 9 display functions to choose from along with a manual defrost function, standby and power off switch, an internal light and temperature control.

Our cold rooms also have indicator lights for various functions so you can see at a glance if the unit is defrosting, that the evaporator fan is running or the compressor is working.

Food Safety Regulations

Having food inspectors doubtful about whether you are meeting food safety regulations can be time consuming and extremely disruptive for your business.  Cold room manufacturers who can provide a product that takes all that stress and worry away, gives you not only safe and hygienic cold storage, but also peace of mind.

Porkka’s cold rooms have stringent levels of safety and meet all food safety HACCP regulations. The temperature food is stored at is critical to meeting food safety standards. Our cold rooms have a temperature and information display including the mandatory HACCP (hazard analysis critical control point) and they can record maximum and minimum temperatures so food safety inspectors can see that consistent temperatures have been maintained and all regulations adhered to.

As well as food safety and hygiene regulations other safety features include an emergency entrapment release so you can override the lock from inside the cold room if necessary and heaters over the doorframes to stop them freezing over making them unable to open.

Easy to Clean

Cleaning is essential but does take time, so anything which makes this job easier means less disruption to your business. Porkka cold rooms are designed not only to be convenient to use, with good accessibility to stock and trolley access, but also easy to clean floors and shelving systems.

Our 4 tier shelves give you optimum storage space but then slide out easily for maintenance and cleaning. The steel supports and polypropylene hurdles can also be removed so every part of your cold room can be thoroughly cleaned quickly and efficiently.

Warranty and Ongoing Support

As one of the UK’s leading cold room manufacturers, Porkka know that peace of mind is important to their customers. If something does go wrong you need it to be attended to quickly to get your business up and running again.

Our extensive range of cold rooms, freezer rooms and chillers all have a good warranty and ongoing support from a team of engineers who are highly trained in all our products and can deal with any problems or queries quickly. We are 100% committed to complete customer satisfaction.

Cold Room Manufacturers - click here to view our main web site.