Why Continental Refrigeration Is Ideal for School Cafeterias

School nutrition programs face many challenges ranging from budgetary constraints to nutrition guidelines and regulations. Add in the labor shortages in school cafeterias, and it's a recipe for inefficiency. The good news is there are foodservice equipment innovations that can help make school foodservice easier and more successful. Commercial refrigeration equipment from Continental can alleviate many of the challenges that school cafeterias face, allowing schools to serve healthy meals without added expenses.

The Challenges of School Cafeteria Refrigeration

Depending on the school district, there are three primary issues that education facilities can face when managing their foodservice operations: outdated equipment, compliance standards, and storage space. Here's a breakdown of each challenge and what it can mean for administrators and students.

Storage Space: Many schools feed hundreds if not thousands of students daily, meaning they need sufficient refrigeration for ingredients and other food products. Since it's not feasible to get deliveries daily or multiple times per week, these facilities need equipment that offers as much storage as possible while maintaining a small footprint.

Compliance Standards: Schools are not exempt from health safety standards, so all equipment must be able to keep products at the proper temperatures. However, these facilities may not have sufficient budgets for maintenance and upkeep, so machinery can get dirty and work inefficiently over time. When that happens, schools may risk failing health inspections, leading to food waste and unnecessary expenses.

Outdated Equipment: Some districts can keep up with modern technological upgrades, while others may be forced to work with old equipment for far longer than is recommended. Outdated school cafeteria equipment can lead to unsafe temperatures and the potential for foodborne illnesses, along with unnecessary food waste.

Installing Better School Cafeteria Equipment With Continental

Cafeteria operators and school administrators can benefit significantly from Continental refrigeration in schools. Some of the best advantages can include the following:

Low-Maintenance Models: Continental understands that school cafeterias may not have the staff to inspect and deep clean refrigeration units as often as they should. So, these units are designed to work for longer periods without getting bogged down with dirt and debris. Also, each surface is easy to clean, allowing workers to get more done in less time.

Flexible Refrigeration Options: Sometimes, a school may need a milk cooler to store dairy products for front and back-of-house service. In other cases, a school may benefit from deploying a mobile foodservice counter with a prep station, expediting station, and refrigeration units all in one. Move compressors to the left or the right of the unit. Extend the unit's capabilities beyond the base. No matter what a school needs, Continental has the right equipment to always deliver superior service.

Multiple Storage Sizes: Because school cafeterias are relatively limited, operators must do as much as possible with the space they're given. Continental refrigerators can come in various storage options, including smaller coolers that can fit virtually anywhere. With so many devices available, schools can maximize their productivity and ensure compliance every step of the way.

Here are some key pieces of equipment that Continental can provide to help today's school nutrition directors:
Milk Coolers: Continential's milk coolers are designed to help promote milk consumption and nutrition standard compliance. They offer both cold wall and forced air units built on bases that can withstand daily usage from students. They come in both single or double-sided models.
Reach-Ins: Continental has a designer line of reach-in refrigerators and freezers with plug-in capabilities and expansion valves. These features provide school nutrition directors with greater efficiency and more usable storage space, as there isn't an evaporator taking up space in the unit. Airflow descends through a channel on the side of the box, moving across food for more efficient cooling when a reach-in door is opened. Continental's versatility includes one, two, and three-door units.
Heated Cabinets: Continental's heated cabinets efficiently hold cooked products for eventual serving. They're available with shelves or universal pan slides to meet various applications. They are also available as pass-through models for convenient movement from the kitchen to the serving line. 
Undercounter Refrigeration: Undercounter refrigeration from Continental is convenient for storing ingredients for production on the cook line as part of a prep table setup. Compressors can be placed on either the right or the left side to keep coils clean and separate from grease-intensive cooking equipment like fryers. This ultimately extends the life of the units.
Continental offers real flexibility in design with compressors on either side of the unit, a variety of top configurations, and offers local support through High Sabatino and their Bensalem, PA location. Anyone interested in learning more about Continental for school cafeteria applications should talk to a High Sabatino representative to get a personal demo or to set up a visit to the Continental factory.

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