Common Restaurant Equipment Certification Guide

We’ve all seen them at the bottom of a description.  It’s important to know what those certifications tell you about your purchases, so we’ve listed our most common ones.  The next time you’re shopping on our site, you’ll have a better understanding of the quality of products you’re considering.

 

NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) An accredited, non-profit, third-party certification group. In simple terms, they’re neutral. They test and certify products to assure they meet public health and safety standards. Products meeting these standards display the NSF mark.
ETL This certification is issued by Intertek, an independent product testing company. Unlike NSF, they are a business, rather than a non-profit. Testing with Intertek is optional, and is a choice made by the manufacturer or designer goes to market. It is, however, a certification which represents meeting independently-tested safety standards. “ETL Listed” is assigned to products they test which meet ANSI (American National Standard Institute) guidelines for safety. “cETLus” indicates that safety guidelines have been met for both Canada and the US. “ETL Sanitation” indicates compliance with NSF sanitation standards. It isn’t better or worse than an NSF certification. It simple means that, while Intertek was testing the product, they tested it in every way applicable, and it passed.
CE (Certified European) These products are in compliance with requirements for import and sale in the countries participating in the European Commission.
UL (Underwriters Laboratory) They’re an independent laboratory which tests and certifies for safety and compliance. They’re one of the oldest, most deeply respected, testing facilities in both the US and Canada. Typically, you see their familiar logo without any alterations, but a small “C” to the left of the logo indicates that the product is certified for use only in Canada, and a small “US” on the right indicates that it’s certified only for the US. Both, naturally, indicates that the product is certified for use in both countries.
FCC (Federal Communications Equipment) These items are certified not to interfere with other electronic communications devices.

Here are some examples our products which have been given these certifications.  Vollrath’s Cold Pan Salad Buffet has been given both UL and NSF certification.  FCC certification is more elusive on our site, but some Induction Ranges have it.  (This one from Admiral Craft is ETL certified as well.)  Eurodib is one of our manufacturers with a higher number or products, like this Juice Dispenser, which have the CE certification.  Now that you know what they mean, you’ll be shopping with greater confidence.

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Kloppenberg, The Shiny New Branch at J.E.S.

One of the biggest things to happen around here lately has been our collaboration with Kloppenberg.  We’ve all been scurrying to get the information on their extensive line posted on our web site so you can see the new branch that’s growing here at J.E.S.  In the midst of all that goes on when you add a company, and not a small one, to your site, we felt it was time to stop and explain to you why we’re doing all of this.

Kloppenberg is a wholly unique company.  First of all, they’ve taken the approach of sensitive fields, such as science, medicine and education needing the best equipment, even if it’s as basic as a sink stand.  Believing that the best equipment is made from the best materials, and the best material for use in environments which can be threatening in known and as-of-yet undiscovered ways is stainless steel, they’ve designed a line of products, from corner cabinets to sink stands to book cases and beyond, which are made entirely of stainless steel.  That alone is enough to make them different.

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There’s a twist.  If what you need doesn’t already exist, they’re willing to customize.  Their goal is that your cabinetry be perfectly fitted, and they’ll go to any length to get there.  They offer the option of outfitting an entire room in stainless steel.  In settings where biological hazards are a concern, this can be a strong safety feature.

As if they weren’t already doing something different, they’re using only at least 95% recycled steel in absolutely all of those cabinets.  With all of us having a much more “green” mindset, most manufacturers are using some recycled steel; at least enough to meet guidelines for use in government buildings.  Kloppenberg, however, has raised the bar, as well as some of the cabinets, to the roof.

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Choosing the Correct Voltage for Commercial Equipment

Voltage concerns are frequently voiced from our customers.  It can be confusing, because there are several numbers mentioned, some more frequently than others, and while we may not know why, we’ve got the basic instinct that says we need to get this right.

Southbend S48EE

48″ Southbend S Series Commercial Restaurant Range

Electric products are built to use either low or high voltage, depending on their intended function.  For newer products in North America, and generally speaking Mexico and Latin America, the standard is that 120 is low voltage and meant for private use.  208 and 240v are high voltage, and designed for commercial use.  You may see either of these, or the two combined, listed as the voltage on a commercial product.  Some older electrical products, using outdated voltage, are still in use.  The outdated lower voltages are 110 and 115.    220 and 230 are outdated higher voltage in the US, but 230 is commonly used in many parts of the world, so if you’re going abroad and plan to take electronics with you, make sure they’re newer products with a small red switch on the back, near where the power cord connects, which allows you to change the acceptable voltage.  Electronic products aren’t so specific that the number for the voltage has to be exact.  They’re compatible with a range of voltage, but it’s typically still either high or low voltage.  A simple rule of thumb is that numbers in the 100 range are low voltage and numbers in the 200 range are high voltage.

Here’s a quick list for review:

    • 110 Volt -Low voltage, out-dated
    • 115 Volt -Low voltage, out-dated
    • 120 Volt -Low voltage, used in US, Canada, most of Mexico & Central America
    • 208 Volt -High voltage, used in US, Canada, most of Mexico & Central America
    • 220 Volt -High voltage, out-dated
    • 230 Volt -High voltage, out-dated in US, Canada, most of Mexico & Central America.  Used widely internationally.
    • 240 Volt -High voltage, used in US, Canada, most of Mexico & Central America

One of the common myths about high voltage is that it causes fuses to blow.  Voltage doesn’t affect fuses at all.  They blow when a sustained electrical current that’s too high passes through them for an extended period of time, and it’s a safeguard against fires.

So why are we paying attention to all of this?  The consequences of using too high a voltage vary from frying your circuitry to burning down your house.   Honestly, the latter is less common, but it happens nonetheless.  (Some of our high voltage products commercial ovens and ranges.)

 

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Look What’s New at J.E.S. (April Fools)

Have you noticed our new products?  We introduce them on our home page.   It’s the Chef-Bot Gamma 9, along with a commercial grade Easy Oven.  If you click on the Chef-Bot’s picture, you’ll be taken to a marvelous, in-depth description of the height of technology, which, as always, includes an optional whisk.   We felt the Easy Oven, being the commercial version of the one you sat in the floor in front of when you were six, needed no explanation.  Your chefs plug it in and watch the light bulb work its magic.  (Taste is optional.  Feed it to your brother.  He eats Christmas ornaments.)

If you missed it; here are the banners from our homepage.

AF2014-chefbot-1 AF2014-easyoven-1

Happy April Fool’s Day!  We enjoyed it, and if you haven’t already, go order a Chef-Bot.  (I ordered two; one for home, and one for work.)  The fun is just beginning.  The discount is steep enough for you to even be able to afford the whisk.  You probably need the whisk…

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How Hot Is It? CDN Thermometers and Timers

Coffee’s hot.   I’m speaking of popularity, but it might burn your tongue.   Sherri Johns of the Ultimate Barista Challenge said, “Coffee is your customer’s first, last and lasting impression.”  The market’s tight, discerning and spoiled.  Gone are the days of serving our grandfathers a hot, dark, indefinable beverage and calling it coffee.   We know what we want.

coffee

CDN, a family owned business for more than 25 years, produces beverage thermometers and timers, not as an accessory to a larger line, but solely.  It’s what they do, it’s all they do, and they do it best.  We’ve all been to our local coffee shop when it was nearly empty, and a barista chatted amiably with us while seeming to blindly make a perfect cup of coffee.  We might be tempted to think of muscle memory, like riding a bicycle, but we’ve been to that same shop when it’s packed, and the drive-thru line is around the building.  No one chats.  Several baristas, all in over-drive, prepare and serve multiple orders simultaneously.   Superior service on a complex, sophisticated level calls for technology over hand-to-eye coordination.  That’s when you need CDN.

Their state-of-the-art thermometers, including the ProAccurate professional line, which is NSF certified, keep heated and refrigerated beverages at the perfect temperature.  Timers and thermometers are offered in either compact or large read out sizes.  Thermometers can be color-coded so you can see at a glance whether or not a product is the correct temperature.  Large read out timers are visible from across the room.   Busy venues might prefer their timers clipped-on or worn around the neck on a rope.  Baristas pay attention only to the timer associated with what they’re making.  That’s more organized and efficient than everyone jumping when any timer buzzes.  Speaking of timers going off, either audio or visual alarms can be chosen.  Extra loud alarms can be heard from a patio or walk-in cooler, and are available as well.  CDN offers private labeling on most of their line so your thermometers and timers can promote your brand.

CDN’s practical understanding of what’s involved in serving multiple beverages quickly and correctly and their commitment to do one thing and do it well makes them the obvious choice for equipment to keep a bustling business on task.

Posted in Bakery Supplies, Bar Supplies, Coffee Shop Supply, Food Safety | 2 Comments

Growing Your Restaurant Business with Chafers

Increasingly busy lifestyles have changed the landscape of dinner time.   Family celebrations which were once a clustered in a large dining room are now commemorated at our favorite restaurants.  We spend time with our friends, conduct business,  date, and sometimes even meet our spouses there.   (I have friends who were married in the restaurant where they met.)  The foodservice industry is more than an industry.  It’s part of our daily existence

Is it any wonder, then, that as we plan our special events, and start to consider catering, we look at the options available, and say to ourselves, “What I REALLY want is…”  You’re a part of our lives.  We think of you when we’re coordinating these things.  This is opportunity knocking.  We want your Crab Rangoons served at our next event.

Polar Ware D-Lux Series Chafer

If you have a solid customer base, you have a catering business ready to launch.  All you need now are Chafers.  You may have never considered them for your restaurant, or if you have a buffet, they might be in use now.   Chafers were created for gently cooking delicate foods which can’t tolerate fierce heat.   Because they’re simple to use, and offer an upscale appeal, chafers have branched out, and are used to bring  fare as diverse as classic Coquilles St. Jacques, or  comfort foods like cheese burger and mashed potato bars, to wedding receptions.   Drying out your foods is substantially less common than with the heat lamps you’re using now.  Heated by the steam of the water pan beneath, they keep your foods moist and fresh.   Catering events introduce your business to new customers, as your diners have friends and family who haven’t discovered you.  You’ll have both the added business of the events themselves, and the secondary business generated by the revelation of your menu at these events.  Invest in a few Chafers, let us know you’re ready to be a part of our dining lives on a deepening level, and we’ll share you, and our favorite foods, with those who mean the most to us.

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American Range Convection Ovens, a Warm Hearted Story

American Range CookwareAmerican Range has a wonderful “how we got started” story!   During World War II Mourad Demirjian , a plumber in his early 20’s, living on a frozen part of the planet with his wife and children in a time when resources were scarce, decided to keep his family warm.  He used diesel fuel and his knowledge of plumbing to work out a constant-drip system of fueling a small heater.   As he saw this was working, he developed flues to release the fumes, and finally learned how to direct air circulation to warm his entire house.  When neighbors visited, they were impressed and wanted this same luxury, so a new career, building space heaters, was born.  He added windows so his customers could watch the flame and a flattop for warming food.   In the 1960’s, his family immigrated to the US, and used his technology to branch into making cooking equipment.   By the early 1970’s, American Range existed, and his son is running the company today.  Those basic concepts of steady heat, even air circulation, proper ventilation and cooking space are still blatantly in practice in American Range’s line of convection ovens.

Majestic Single Deck Majestic Convection OvenConvection Ovens have gone many steps beyond those early space heaters, with stainless steel construction and dependent 50/50 doors, operating together to make it simple for you to open and close a large oven with one hand.  The cavities of these ovens are designed to promote air circulation, reminiscent of a father figuring out how to warm the whole house.  Because this is a company with family ideals at heart, safety features, such as a 100% shut-off valve, protect your business.  The ovens are spacious so your customers will have plenty to enjoy, just like neighbors 70 years ago enjoyed the heat.  Electronic ignition is a nod to the fact that times have changed for the better.  Mr. Demirjian has gone from keeping his family healthy to keeping your business healthy with his realization that gas flow can be regulated.  And yes, there’s still a window.  As you watch your cookies brown, imagine a young boy in the only warm house around on a winter’s day, watching the flame in the small heater keeping him warm, and pondering what made that small flame constantly flicker.  That spark of imagination, both in father and son, is the soul of modern-day American Range.

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Awards Day

Yesterday proved to be an exciting day at J.E.S. Restaurant Equipment.  We hosted guests from Cannon Marketing, for the ostensible purpose of showing them our new stat board and call center.  (The stat board is in the photo over our heads.)  While they were here, they surprised us with an award for being one of their top partners!  You can see by the smiles on our faces that we’re humbled and pleased.  We enjoy our relationships with our vendors, and always welcome their visits, whether they bring awards or not, but it’s still nice when our efforts are recognized.

Visit with Cannon, March 13, 2014

Visit with Cannon, March 13, 2014

That would have been enough to make our day, but it wasn’t the only honor given.   We received another award from Hoshizaki as well, for making it into their Million Dollar Club.  We’re likewise delighted in our strong relationship with them.

Not every day is a two-award day, but when it happens, we are reminded that we do business with exceptional companies and deeply appreciate our loyal customers, without whom the awards would not keep coming.   Thank you again, to Cannon, Hoshizaki and all of you!

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Health Inspection How-To’s (Five Friendly Tips)

Health inspections for commercial dining venues are a fact of owning such a business, and thank goodness for them, because we’d never want to eat out if there weren’t any guidelines.  The experience can, however, be unnerving to the point of downright terror if you allow it to be.  There are some common sense ideas in preparing for a health inspection that can make it less painful and more successful.

  1. If you don’t already have one, make sure to obtain a copy of the form being used for your inspection.   If you’re an existing business, make sure you review the forms from your last two inspections, and that you’ve corrected any violations cited on those, because a part of the inspector’s job is to see to it that you correct known problems, and if you haven’t, you can’t reasonably expect a good inspection.
  2. Have a painfully honest friend join you in walking around and into your restaurant, starting from the outside, going all the way through.  Pay careful attention to the “curb appeal” of your restaurant.  Does your business look like it’s neat, clean and well-maintained?  (The friend is more likely to notice the things you’ve learned to ignore.)  Enter your business, allowing your neutral observer to walk through with you offering their impressions of your maintenance and cleanliness.
  3. Walk through your food prep area.  Is your lighting good?  Are there crevices in your walls or floors where food could be lodged?  Correct any issues you find.   Check your equipment temperatures.  Do they meet guidelines?  Also, check the seals and gaskets on your equipment to ensure that they’re in good repair, clean and sealing tightly.
  4. Review local health codes.  Make sure you’re up-to-date on any changes.  Don’t assume you know.   Laws change, and ignorance of the law is not a defense.
  5. Finally, relax, but not too much!  Take your inspection seriously, treating the inspector respectfully.  Make polite conversation, but not so much as to create distraction.  Nervous people look like they’re hiding something.   Ask the inspector if he prefers that you walk through with him or let him work privately, and comply with his wishes. If he prefers to work alone, go about your business normally.   If you’re with him, don’t stand in front things you know he wants to inspect.  Answer questions honestly, instructing your employees to do the same.  If he mentions a problem that can be immediately fixed, fix it!

We all come with personalities, and some might seem intimidating, but at the end of the day, your inspector is a person, just like you.  He’s just doing his job.  Let them see that their inspection is important to you and treat him like any other guest.  It helps.

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J.E.S Matriculates…How We can Help with School Equipment Purchasing

Equipping school cafeterias can be a daunting challenge.  There are federal guidelines to consider, and ever-shrinking budgets for meeting those guidelines, and yet, the fact remains, you feed hundreds or even thousands of children every day, and that requires heavy-duty equipment which will be in constant use.  Determining what you need is only the beginning of facing this challenge.

If you’ve looked around your school cafeteria, you’ve noticed that most of your equipment has different brand names on it.  There’s a good reason for this.  Manufacturers may produce more than one product, but they tend to specialize in one or two, and they’ll often have good pricing on those products.  If you’re on a public school budget, you need the best pricing on every product, and that frequently means checking out all the options available.

Do you know about every company currently making commercial refrigeration?  We do.  Once you’ve compiled your list, bring it to J.E.S. by filling out quote form and we will assign a Customer Service Representative, who you can contact with any concerns,  to walk through the entire process with you.  Their knowledge of federal regulations will prove to be priceless as they research the needs on your list, find the best pricing available, but also make you aware of your options, if you want something more upscale.  This saves you the time and stress of ferreting out all this information on your own, and still leaves the decision making process entirely in your hands.

Many schools have tight schedules for implementing upgrades, so for that reason, we offer delivery options.  You may have consolidated delivery which would have all of your equipment being delivered at the same time.  This would allow you to launch a very swift make-over.  If you prefer the more staggered approach to delivery, we can do that as well.  We’ll work with whatever remodeling schedule you may have.

Whether you’re working with a public or private school, your time is packed and valuable.  If you’re working with a public school, you’re understaffed on top of this.  We can make the process of change, in an environment that naturally resists it, as painless as possible.

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