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Hygiene is a key issue when it comes to properly disposing of food waste in any context, but in a retirement home it's even more important. Yet cost considerations are never far from a catering manager's mind when weighing up the costs and benefits of a new piece of equipment, says Hiller. "Having the WasteStar CC means we no longer need to store the food waste in bins which have to be thoroughly cleaned – and that saves us a lot of time. It also means we don't need any extra cold storage space for the waste bins. The crushed-up waste is piped into the collection tank where it forms a biological substrate, and this tank is then emptied by a disposal firm. Once the machine has done its job, it's a simple matter to clean it."
This system was the missing link which was recently added to make the kitchen complete, as Hiller explains: "We serve three meals a day – including a set menu at lunchtime with a choice of dishes – and we normally cater for around 400 residents. Obviously we need a reliable and hygienic method of disposing of any food waste. We used to collect it in small bins in the kitchen and then transfer it to bigger bins."
The new WasteStar CC food waste disposal system can handle scraps and leftovers from up to 900 meals a day, yet it comes in a compact format similar to that of a domestic dishwasher. And if a knife or fork gets caught up in the food waste by mistake when the plates are being cleared, the WasteStar CC's magnetic surface makes sure it doesn't end up inside the machine. The powerful grinding mechanism can even cope with bones, mussel shells and crustacean exoskeletons.
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