Safe cellar a top priority

Failure to keep storage area in good order can cause serious problems

• Cellar temperature is “crucial” to a quality pint, with poor management leading to beer fobbing.
• Cellar temperature is “crucial” to a quality pint, with poor management leading to beer fobbing.

POOR cellar management can cause wider problems than simply impacting on beer quality.

In fact, failure to keep a storage area in good order can pose a serious health and safety risk.
That was the warning from cellar management firms contacted by SLTN last week, who said by following a few simple steps licensees can ensure their cellar is a safe environment.
Carl Goode of gas supply firm BOC Sureserve said using a reputable supplier of dispense gas is “vital” to meet industry safety standards.
By law, all cylinders should carry all the information a publican requires, including the size, quality standard, nominal weight, nominal pressure, safety advice, dangerous goods information and the supplier’s contact details, including an emergency telephone number.
In terms of the licensee’s responsibilities, they are required by law to carry out a confined space risk assessment. Operators should then develop an ‘action plan’ to minimise the risks highlighted and keep a record of actions taken, said Goode.
Awareness of safety procedures shouldn’t be limited to the licensee either, with Goode recommending training for the staff handling gas cylinders.
“The ability to spot tell tale signs of gas leakage, such as condensation build-up on a cylinder, or loss of pressure on regulators when the cylinder is turned off, will help ensure a safe environment,” he added.
Beyond health and safety, good cellar management can have a major impact on the quality of beer served in an outlet.
Hance McGhie of beer line cleaning system manufacturer Cellar Bright said cellar temperature and the cleanliness of beer lines are key when it comes to quality.
“Cellar temperature is crucial, between 11 and 13ºC, anything out of this will result in fobbing, bad tasting beer and low yields,” said McGhie.
“Beer lines must be cleaned every seven days, it’s a false economy stretching it to ten to 12 days.
“Basically it’s correct temperature in the cellar, clean beer lines, couplers and sparklers.”