Product Advice Care

We stand over the quality of our products and provide a comprehensive after sales service to our customers. Our technical team are available to answer any questions or demonstrate how to operate equipment to your team. We also provide equipment servicing as part of our service offering.

See below for specific care advice for some of our product range.
Throughout the AV Direct brochure, you will find a wide range of products manufactured from aluminium.

Here are some AV Direct tips for your Aluminium products:
   
  • Aluminium is a softer metal than stainless steel and requires a greater level of care, both in use and during washing.  
  • All of the aluminium products in the AV Direct range are of the highest quality and should be free from any impurities that could be of detriment to its performance.  
  • Aluminium is a fantastic conductor of heat and is used within the majority of our cookware ranges (including a layer within the base of our stainless range), as it is by far the best material to provide even heat distribution. 
  • All products manufactured from aluminium are not dishwasher safe. Dishwashing will cause the product to become discoloured due to the caustic nature of detergents.  
Look after your Black Iron Cookware by following AV Directs care advice below:

  • Black iron cookware is suitable for use in all heat sources including induction.  
  • Black iron products are supplied with a coating of protective lacquer that should be removed by washing in hot soapy water prior to use.  
  • The products should then be seasoned before use; this is best done by gently heating about 1cm of oil in the base of the pan. After heating the oil, allow it to cool before disposing of the oil; wipe the pan with kitchen paper.  
  • This seasoning starts the beginning of a naturally forming ‘patina’ on the surface. The patina will develop with regular use and the surface of the pan develops a natural non-stick layer.  
  • After cooking with black iron, the pan should only be carefully wiped out with kitchen paper.  
  • Always store the pan in a dry place to avoid the pan rusting. If light rust spots do occur, they can be carefully removed with a scorer. The seasoning process should then be repeated before further use.  
  • Black iron products are not dishwasher safe.
Storing
  • Placing rubber or plastic mats on large stainless steel surfaces usually found in industrial kitchens can help reduce metal marking to ceramics.
  • Rubber or plastic mats can also be placed in stacking areas, trolleys or sinks to further reduce the chance of metal marking.
  • Replace or repair any plastic coated racks that may have become worn and the metal underneath exposed, as this again could cause damage to your ceramics.

Using
  • Don’t scrape off leftovers – wipe off with a paper towel or a plastic/rubber scraper.
  • AV Direct ceramics are suitable for microwave use, however, be advised that any decorated item that includes metal will not be microwave safe.
  • Use cutlery that is a high-grade steel as a minimum requirement, as some cutlery in use today is made from low-grade steel, which is soft in nature increases the chance of metal marking.
  • Using metal utensils against ceramics can also cause metal marking, try to keep this to a minimum or use plastic utensils.

Washing
  • AV Direct's products are specially designed to withstand the rigors of the Foodservice and Hospitality trade, including automatic dishwashing found widely in most businesses. To ensure the quality level of the product is it important to take note of the following:
  • Strictly follow recommended dishwashing procedures set out by the manufacturer and use the correct dose application of the detergent.
  • The use of an approved detergent is recommended.
  • For effective cleaning, we recommend that the dishwashing temperature and the final rinse be set between 55 to 60°C. Operating at higher temperature levels in order to wash crockery ‘properly’ is a definite case of overkill and detrimental to all tableware.
  • Repair or replace any plastic coated metal in the dishwasher that may have worn away as this may result in metal marking.
  • Stack ceramics separately to other crockery in the dishwasher such as cutlery or pans and ensure items do not vibrate against each other during the cycle.
  • Overdosing on detergent or using excessively high temperatures will cause deterioration to the glazed finish or damage any decoration on the product.

Metal Marking
  • Metal marking occurs when a ceramic item comes into contact with metal surfaces or utensils, which can cause metal tracing to be left on the ceramic item due to certain types of steel being softer than the glaze of the ceramic.
  • Despite the unsightly appearance of metal marking, it is not a cause for concern as it can be easily removed by the application of a gentle household non-abrasive cleaner.
All of our chef clothing items and garments are supplied with a label detailing the washing instructions. We recommend following these instructions at all times to ensure the longevity of the product.
Our ranges of chef knives are all manufactured from special types of molybdenum steel, which is designed to be harder than traditional stainless steel. This is required to allow the blade to be made razor sharp. Due to the hardness of the steel, it possesses less resistance to rusting and staining than stainless steel. 
  • This product should not be left with food residue or left wet and should be washed immediately after use.  
  • We do not recommend dishwashing of chef knives
Creative Table includes an array of products all of which require different care to ensure you keep them at their best. See below for information on how to look after you Creative Table products.

Estrella Traditional Terracotta:
  • Suitable for traditional ovens, hobs, microwaves & freezers.
  • Terracotta is naturally fragile and should be handled with care.
  • Terracotta is naturally porous; soaking in water should be avoided.
  • Terracotta is suitable oven to tableware.

Copper Presentation & Copper Barware:
  • Please be aware copper will naturally oxidise over time.
  • To maintain an optimum finish, hand washing is recommended.
  • Using metal scourers or abrasive cleaners will affect the finish of your copper serve ware, to avoid this, wash in hot water straight after use with a soft cleaning sponge.

Stainless Steel Presentation Items/Barware:
  • Not suitable for cooking and should be used as a presentation only.
  • Suitable for dishwashers
  • Not suitable for ovens or microwaves.
  • Galvanised items should always be used with presentation papers.
  • Never leave in a damp environment for prolonged periods of time.

Wire Baskets & Presentation Papers:
  • Not suitable for cooking and should be used as a presentation only.
  • Suitable for dishwashers
  • Not suitable for ovens or microwaves
  • Presentation papers are 100% biodegradable and can be discarded in food waste.

Cast Iron:
  • Cast Iron is ideal for use in the oven and on stoves and withstands temperatures up to 260C.
  • Always use heat protective wear when handling the products – handles will become extremely hot.
  • Never place hot items directly onto unprotected surfaces – it is recommended to use the Acacia Wooden Boards that are available with all AV Direct Cast Iron pieces.
  • For care of the Cast Iron Wooden Boards – follow the ‘Acacia Wooden Board/Tray’ care advice.
  • Always use Plastic/Wooden utensils – metal may damage the surface of the enamel.
  • Abrasive scourers may also damage the enamel surface – to remove tough residue soak in hot soapy water.
  • Ensure completely dry before storing or stacking.

Natural Woods:
  • Store away from direct heat sources and direct sunlight.
  • Hand wash with warm soapy water
  • Do not soak in water
  • Dry immediately
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Bamboo drink paddles are suitable for glass washers – always follow the recommended dishwashing procedures outlined by the manufacturer and use the correct dose application of detergent.
  • Sourced from a sustainable wood source
  • Darwin, Acacia, Olive and Fir Wood will vary significantly in size and shape as these are natural cuts of wood.
  • Restore Natural Woods with a wiping of olive oil

Slate:
  • Being natural stones – our slate items may vary slightly in size and texture.
  • The characteristics of slate are that the edges can naturally chip and create sharp points – care must be taken when handling these items.
  • To clean wipe down with a damp cloth and mild detergent.
  • For Slate – any scratches can be treated with natural oil and this should be followed from time to time to keep the product looking its best.

Enamel:
  • Oven proof and Dishwasher safe
  • For best results, after use soak in warm water, then wash gently with a liquid detergent
  • Do not use abrasive cleaning pads or powders
  • Items will chip if handled roughly

Plastic Black Non-Slip Trays:
  • Always ensure trays are stacked on flat surfaces to eliminate accidental damage.
  • Not suitable for dishwashers – wipe down with a clean damp cloth after each use.
  • Do not leave submerged in water.
  • Do not stack whilst damp.
  • Do not overload trays, may cause accidental damage or injury.

Fast Food Trays:
  • Always ensure trays are stacked on flat surfaces to eliminate accidental damage.
  • Fast Food Trays are suitable for dishwashers – always follow the recommended dishwashing procedures outlined by the manufacturer and use the correct dose application of detergent.
  • Fast Food Trays have stacking lugs to accelerate drying and can therefore be stacked straight after washing without prior drying.
  • The surface can become slipping when wet, extra caution needed.
  • Always stack separately to other crockery in the dishwasher to ensure items do not damage each other in the cycle.
Stainless Steel, though its name suggests otherwise, it is not completely ‘mark proof’. It is much more resistant to staining or marking than other metals, however, contact with certain substances will start the process that leads to staining and pitting. Simple measure to reduce this and help maintain the quality of your cutlery:

Storing: 
  • Never store cutlery where it can become damp, as this can cause corrosion.
  • Store out of direct heat, as this can cause the metal to mark.
  • Never leave cutlery with food on as many corrosive substances are found in food, such as acids, like vinegar and lemon juice, mineral salts found in tap water, fats and meat juices.
  • Other corrosive substances are bleach and harsh detergents, so ensure your cutlery is not left to soak.

Washing: 
AV Direct’s products are specially designed to withstand the rigors of the Foodservice and Hospitality trade, including automatic dishwashing found widely in most businesses. To ensure the quality level of the product it is important to take note of the following:

  • When pre-rinsing cutlery ensure all food debris is removed before being washed.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, particularly in relation to adding dishwasher salt as excess salt can cause corrosion.
  • Always wash cutlery immediately, never leaving it with food debris present.
  • It is advisable to place cutlery vertically into dishwashers with the head up; and not too tightly packed together, this assists the water flow at the end of the cycle.
  • Remove cutlery immediately after washing/dry cycle is finished and wipe over with a dry towel. If the cutlery is left to cool in the dishwasher, trace mineral salts and the dishwasher salt residue will settle on the cutlery in the moist atmosphere and start the pitting and staining process.
  • Never mix stainless steel and silver plated cutlery in the same basket of the dishwasher the chemical reaction between detergent and steel can cause the silver plate to mark.
  • Do not use the rinse and hold cycle on dishwashers with cutlery this will leave the cutlery to soak in water which can be damaging.
  • Wood handled cutlery is not suitable for cleaning in a dishwasher.

Types of Metal – What is Stainless Steel? 
Choosing the right type of cutlery for what you need it for can be confusing, AV Direct have tried to simplify this by splitting the ranges into different types of stainless steel 18/10 and 18/0. These ranges can be further identified through the colour coded collections.

Stainless Steel is an iron and chromium alloy containing more than 11% chromium. There are three types of stainless steel used to make cutlery:
  • 18/10 – This is used for contemporary cutlery except for knives; it contains 16-18% Chromium and 8-10% Nickel. This is the only steel that can guarantee against corrosion when properly cared for.
  • 18/0 – This steel is used for value cutlery e.g. Parish, Economy or some value options of Contemporary cutlery. Due to the high % of chromium, it is more resistant than 13/10 but not as resistant as 18/10.
  • 13/0 or Knife Steel – This steel is used to make knives, as it can be hardened to create a sharp edge. The quality used is AISI 420, containing 13-14% chromium. This is the least corrosion resistant form of stainless steel.
Storing
  • Do not put cutlery into glasses.
  • Do not stack glasses that have not been designed to stack.
Using
  • Do not pick up glasses in clusters.
  • Be careful to avoid contact with the beer tap.
  • Do not put cold liquids into hot or warm glasses straight from the dishwasher as this can cause cracks.
  • Pre-heat glasses for hot drinks by running them under the hot tap.

Washing
AV Direct’s products are specially designed to withstand the rigors of the Foodservice and Hospitality trade, including automatic glass washers found widely in most businesses. To ensure the quality level of the product is it important to take note of the following:

  • Always wash new glasses before use.
  • Always use a non-caustic detergent as caustic detergents affect head retention, etch the glass and give the glass a shadowy tinge.
  • Water on the premises should be stored at 60°C. If water is stored at a higher temperature e.g. 85°C, even when this is reduced because of traveling to the machine, it could still be high enough to bake debris onto the glass.
  • Coffee cups should never be washed in a glass washing machine, as coffee dregs can taint the water and stain the glasses – this also applies to drinks that contain cream.
  • If cracks or chips are found in glasses, they should be discarded immediately and never put in the dishwasher.
Flying insects such as flies, wasps, moths, midges, flying beetles etc. are classed as food pests as they carry bacteria and dirt, including E.coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella & many others, which can be harmful to humans if transferred on to food. These insects also pose the threat of ending up in food.                            
Because of this it is a requirement in law that pests must be kept out of food businesses as much as is possible by operating good hygiene standards and showing that they have taken every precaution against contamination from flying insects. As it is practically impossible to keep them from gaining access through doors, delivery points etc. the best way to combat this problem is with Electronic Fly Killers.

Electronic Fly Killer Units come in 2 types:

1. Grid Fly Killers.


Grid Fly Killers use tubes which emit Ultraviolet Light, (UVA), to attract flying insects, and a high voltage Electric Grid, normally placed behind the tubes, to kill them.                                                                           
All Grid Fly Killers come with a removable tray at the bottom of the unit for collecting dead insects. This tray can be removed by sliding it out….no need for tools.

The electric Grid needs to be cleaned regularly as insect remains can get wedged between the bars and cause arcing, which makes the unit spark continually. This needs to be avoided as it can burn out the transformer. Disconnecting the unit from the mains and using an appropriate brush with stiff bristles to carefully clean off such debris eliminates such problems and also leaves the unit easier on the eye. 

Please note: the unit must be disconnected from the mains before removing the cover to clean the grid or change the tubes. Even if the tubes are not lighting, the grid is still live.

2. Glue Board Fly Killers.


Glue Board units work using UV Light to attract the insects but instead of an electric grid, have a sticky board which traps anything that lands on it. Glue boards also have a pheromone incorporated into the glue that gives off an odour that also helps attract insects. Glue board units are becoming more popular for several reasons…

1. There is no risk of pieces of dead insects falling out of the unit, which can sometimes happen with Grid units. 

2. Dead insects are not visible as most units have the glue board out of sight. 

3. Because there is no need for an electrical grid, the design of the Glue Board units can camouflage what they really are, which is a bonus when being used in places where viewing dead insects is not acceptable, for example Delicatessens, seated areas in restaurants, office reception areas, retail shops etc. There are Glue Board units that look like wall lights and can be placed in eating areas on café & restaurant walls which do an excellent job without intrusion to customers.

Location.

Installing a unit in the correct position is important to get the best results. Try to install between the most likely point of entry of the insects and food.
Fly Killers should never be placed above or close to food or food preparation areas. This is especially relevant to Grid Killers as insect parts can fall from these units and contaminate food and worktops.

Your Fly Killer should be kept on continuously, so to prevent staff unplugging it to use other appliances the unit should be wired to a permanent fused spur or, if plugged into a socket, take measures to prevent it being disconnected.

Light sources can distract insects from a Fly Killer so it is best placed away from bright windows and lights. It is also important to remember that light only travels in straight lines so if the fly can’t see the unit it will not fly towards it.

Maintenance.

Electronic Fly Killers are specialised pieces of equipment and need to be maintained on a regular basis. Dirt, dust & insect debris will block UV output and reduce the effectiveness of them. For this reason they need regular cleaning. If you are cleaning the unit yourself make sure it is completely isolated from the mains. Either unplug it or switch off and remove the fuse from the spur before removing the cover.

UV Tubes deteriorate quickly so it’s recommended that they be changed annually. The human eye cannot detect UV light so although a tube may look fine to us, it will have very little effect on flying insects.

The correct handling and care of your Melamine buffet and tableware will enhance the appearance and longevity of the product in use.
 The following guide will assist you. 
  • Handle melamine dinnerware like any quality dinnerware.
  • Use only plastic pads or plastic type bristle to remove dried food.
  • Pre-soak melamine products, if necessary, in a high-quality pre-soak dishwashing detergent.
  • Do not use melamine products in an oven.
  • Do not use melamine products in a microwave.
  • Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or metal scouring pads.
  • Do not use chlorine bleach.
  • Melamine is a thermosetting plastic that is strong, lightweight and hard with the look and feel of the ceramic product. It is highly break and scratch resistant, but it is NOT 100% unbreakable, it can be scratched and broken.
  • Melamine is often used for dinnerware, mixing bowls and laminated countertops because it resists acids, alkalis, and most food stains.
  • Melamine is hard and smooth and can withstand some fairly warm temperatures, but it does absorb heat and will soften if it gets too hot. While melamine is perfectly safe when it comes in contact with warm temperatures, melamine is not microwavable.
  • In general, melamine products are not designed to withstand temperatures that exceed 100 degrees Centigrade and should not be submerged in boiling water or placed in the oven.
  • Also, be sure to avoid exposure to hot objects or prolonged exposure to boiling water. Melamine is suitable for use over a bain-marie as the water is circa 70 degrees, to hold food above a temperature of 60 degrees.
  • Melamine is dishwasher safe (as long as the water temperature does not exceed the 100 degrees Centigrade guideline). Scouring powder should not be used, as it will scratch the surface, also never use chlorine bleach on melamine buffet ware.
Improved working practices for the use of Polycarbonates will extend the life of the product:

  • Polycarbonate drinkware is supplied with the verified CE Mark or Lined and Stamped exactly like Glassware.
  • Polycarbonate Barware is dishwasher safe to a temperature of 60 degrees C.
  • When using glass washers, it has been suggested that the use of detergent without rinse aid is preferred.
  • To maintain the product in its best condition, it is recommended that a low-temperature wash cycle below 60oC for both wash and rinse temperature is used. The combination of detergents and raised temperatures can lead to environmental stress cracking in the plastic surface. If washer temperatures are above this then it is recommended to hand wash the plastic barware.
  • It is important to make sure that the Polycarbonates are not rubbing together during the rinse cycle in a glass washer.
  • It is safe to use Liquid Renovate. This will enhance the visual presentation of the product where needed.
  • Regular checking of Polycarbonates to assess scratching is needed so as to offer the customer a perfect drink.
  • It is important that Polycarbonates are not stacked tightly together as the inside of the product will scratch. 
  • Polycarbonates are quite often found on the floor and on hard floors they will scratch. Where possible Polycarbonates should not be left on the floor.
  • Polycarbonate is a tough transparent thermoplastic that has many applications, which demand high-performance properties.
  • Polycarbonate drinkware is almost indestructible, hard and rigid and in many cases virtually identical to glass. It is the preferred product for Police Forces and Local Licensing Authorities where drink-related violence is an area of concern.
  • Although the product is virtually unbreakable it is subject to considerable wear and tear, unlike glass, which would simply break and then be replaced, regular checking of polycarbonates to assess scratching is needed as to offer the customer a perfect drink.

AV Direct Tableware supply Plastic Barware in four different types of plastic:

  • Polystyrene – our plastics shots are Polystyrene, these are glass washer safe up to 100 washes.
  • SAN (Styrene-acrylonitrile) - is stronger than Polystyrene and can take a high amount of usage but will break under heavy pressure. This product is glass washer proof.
  • Polycarbonate – is a very strong and virtually unbreakable plastic, the strongest plastic of all. Our polycarbonate glassware is glass washer safe up to 500 washes.
  • MMS – is a transparent copolymerization primarily composed of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and styrene monomer (SM).  This is glass washer safe up to 100 washes.
Professional non-stick bakeware should be cared for in the same way as our aluminum cookware and bakeware listed earlier in this section, with following additional precautions:

  • In order to maintain the non-stick coating, metal or abrasive articles should not be used in, or to clean the product.  
  • We recommend the use of heat resistant plastic utensils.  
  • The product is oven safe to 240°C/ 475°F/ Gas mark 9.Overheating this product may cause damage to the non-stick surface.  
  • Professional non-stick bakeware is fridge, freezer and dishwasher safe.
Stainless steel cookware is fast becoming the material of choice for hotels and restaurants because it is relatively easy to keep clean and hygienic. It is more durable than aluminum and is dishwasher safe.  
See below AV Directs Care Advice for your Stainless Steel Cookware products:

  • Stainless steel cookware is suitable for use in all heat sources including induction.  
  • Once the product has been used, we recommend the removal of any accidentally burnt on foodstuffs and also washing the product immediately to reduce the risk of corrosion.  
  • When using stainless steel cookware, always keep any flame or heat source to the base of the pan. Never allow flames to reach the side of the pan, as overheating can cause discolouration.  
  • The use of metal utensils may scratch or damage the surface of the products.  
  • Ensure that all items are dry and clean before storing, to ensure a long life for your product.
Stainless steel vacuum beverage servers are a great way to keep beverages at their optimum temperature, for some up to 20 hours if cared for correctly.

Here are AV Directs Care Advice for your stainless steel vacuum beverage servers:  

  • Vacuum beverage servers are not dishwasher safe. Dishwashing may cause the product to lose its vacuum properties.
  • Handwashing in warm soapy water with mild detergents is recommended.  
  • Spare lids are available for a number of products in this range and can be used to prolong the life of the product for many years.

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