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Practical Solution to a burning issue

Practical Solution to a burning issue

June 4, 2007
Source: NACUFS Newsletter

With Proper Fryer Management, University Kitchens Can be Safer and More Efficient.

Serving three meals a day, few kitchens are as busy as those of college cafeterias. Students parade through for breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every day of the week, and for most, fried food is what is on the menu. From hash browns, chicken patties, popcorn shrimp and everything in between, commercial deep fryers bear the burden of activity in these kitchens and require the most maintenance.

Corrin Beechum, manager of Sodexho Campus Services at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., knows this all too well. Lacking any filtration method, she and her 12 employees had grown accustomed to replacing the deep fryer oil every few days. Between two kitchens and four fryers, this task became a hassle they didn’t want to waste the time or money on.

This task is also a hazardous one, as the most frequent source of burn injuries that occur in commercial kitchens are related to hot cooking oil. Eighty-eight percent of these grease burns are associated with the use of deep fryers and more specifically the cleaning and filtering of the fryer. So last year, when Orlando FiltaFry franchisee, Scott Humphries, introduced FiltaFry to Sodexho Campus Services, the choice was an easy one.

FiltaFry provides a quick, safe, clean and cost-effective program to maintain deep fryers without interrupting day-to-day operations. The micro-filtration and vacuum cleaning removes small contamination particles that cause oil breakdown, resulting in cleaner and longer-lasting oil, hygienically clean fryers and improved food quality. FiltaFry visits Sodexho Campus Services once a week, and now replaces the oil every other week, as opposed to every other day.

Beechum had been looking into purchasing a filtration system for the four fryers for some time, but she was concerned about safety issues associated with filtering. “Yes,” she said, “the financial savings and difference in time spent on changing the oil are significant and the food actually does taste better, but I am most impressed with the safety and security FiltaFry provides.” The duty of changing oil typically rests on the shoulders of the lowest employee, and is done late at night once the kitchen has closed and employees are anxious to go home. “That’s why there are so many burns,” Victor Clewes, president of FiltaFry said. “Oil retains heat very well and no one wants to wait as long as is necessary for it to properly cool down.”

FiltaFry’s mobile onsite cooking oil filtration and fryer management service greatly reduces the constant threat of accidents, burns and other injuries in a commercial kitchen’s frying operation by assuming all fryer cleaning and maintenance tasks, resulting in reduced accident and insurance claims and lower labor costs because employees have more time for other responsibilities.

Sodexho Campus Services is very pleased with their choice to use FiltaFry for their deep fryer maintenance and can’t believe how they got along without it. Said Beechum, “My kitchens are safer, my employee’s time is being better spent, and the quality of food we are able to provide for students has increased.


The care and maintenance of commercial deep fryers isn’t a favorite pastime of many kitchen employees because bad things seem to happen far too often. “If you imagine it, they do it,” says FiltaFry President Victor Clewes.
However, there are some telltale signals that can alert kitchen management that they might be well served by using a fryer management service such as FiltaFry to improve the operation, safety and cost-effectiveness of their commercial fryer operations.

1. Increased insurance claims during the past year.
A long-lasting effect of kitchen injuries such as burns caused by fryer mishaps is their impact on worker’s compensation premiums paid by restaurants. If a business has a poor safety record, its premium is likely to increase.

2. A detectable odor of oil.
Depending on the type of restaurant and food being fried, cooking oil lasts for different periods but in the end, it always needs throwing away. Oil that tastes as though it is burned can spoil the flavor of whatever is being fried. Using “good” oil allows food to fry totally at lower temperature, allowing for more positive taste profiles

3. High turnover among fry-staff personnel.
Teenagers employed in restaurants as fry cooks are at special risk for burn injuries. Burns usually occur when workers are disposing of oil because they ignore safety rules, are unfamiliar with proper procedures or take illadvised shortcuts to save time.

4. Unusually high fryer operation costs.
Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford was able to trim its oil usage in half with a cost benefit of hundreds of dollars after using FiltaFry. An added benefit is that employees have additional time for other duties because they are no longer responsible for cleaning, filtering and changing cooking oil.

5. Fried food that is either burned or soggy.
Fryer thermostats that are not properly calibrated can result in inaccurate temperature readings that are either too high or too low and result in fried foods that are either undercooked or overcooked.

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