When you head to your fave local restaurant for dinner, you might be interested to know that rubber is one ingredient the restaurant relies heavily upon. In fact, it benefits the establishment in a number of cool ways.
Here’s how rubber’s usefulness and versatility is making it a key part of many eateries.
Rubber Floor Mats
If you look behind the counter or back inside the kitchen at your favorite diner, chances are good you’ll find black mats on the floor. Standing on your feet for a full shift can be hard on the body, so restaurant owners typically install floor mats to help cushion their employees’ feet. As Amazon notes, these heavy-duty mats are made from rubber, and in addition to helping to prevent fatigue, they feature drainage holes for safety and are easy to clean.
Refrigerators and Coolers
The commercial fridge that keeps that delicious non-rubber chicken fresh also contains rubber, both in the gasket that goes around the door as well as in the o-rings that are located inside the unit. In the case of the gasket, this rubber seal helps to maintain the fridge’s internal temperature, and it also helps provide an air-tight seal between the food in the fridge and the outside air. Interestingly, when it comes to o-rings, they are not created equally – some are better for withstanding cold temperatures, like you’ll find in the refrigerator, while others do better in hot temps. Still, other types of o-rings can handle a wide range of temps with ease. For example, one type of o-ring that is quite versatile and commonly used in the restaurant industry is the Viton fluorocarbon o-rings. As Apple Rubber notes, Viton is a type of synthetic rubber that can withstand temperatures of -13 to +446 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for a commercial refrigeration unit.
Food Storage Containers
To help keep a number of ingredients fresh, restaurants typically store them in containers that have a food-grade rubber seal inside the lid. This will help to create an airtight barrier and keep the food inside – whether it is flour to make cakes or lettuce for salads – fresher for longer. These storage containers are then stacked inside a walk-in cooler, refrigerator or pantry storage area.
FDA Rules About Rubber
In case you are wondering if the rubber that is used in the restaurant industry has to be of a certain grade and quality, the answer is definitely “yes.” The FDA has very strict rules about the rubber articles that are used in packing, preparing, holding and other uses for food. For instance, the rubber articles must be prepared from natural and/or synthetic polymers, and the quantity of substances used to make the rubber should not exceed the amounts reasonably required to make them. In addition, the rubber must be food safe. In general, the rubber seals that are used in the restaurant industry fall under the “indirect food additives” category and they are also listed as “Generally Recognized as Safe.”
Rubber: Versatile and Highly Useful
Rubber is one of the most useful products in the food and restaurant industry. Without it, employees would experience more fatigue from prolonged periods of standing, appliances like fridges would not have doors that seal tightly and internal parts that will not work as well, and it would be difficult to properly store food to keep the air and bugs out of containers.