Saturday, June 30, 2012

Extra Business Can Mean Extra Deposits in Kitchen Extract Ductwork

Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers

Hopefully the UK's recent Jubilee celebrations have brought customers into the country's many restaurants, cafes and hotel dining rooms.

But what effect has all the extra cooking had on the kitchen extract system?

An increased quantity of cooking means more steam, more particles and grease dissolved in the steam and all of it has been removed via the extract system.

With another big event and potentially more business coming up, especially during the summer season when more people go out to dine perhaps an inspection of the ductwork is advisable.

The deposits that are extracted from the steamy kitchen atmosphere can clog up filters in cooker hoods and leave residue in the ductwork.

This will affect the efficiency of the system because deposits in the ductwork provide an ideal environment for the proliferation of moulds and bacteria, they can also increase the fire risk especially in kitchens where the cooking involves using oils or fats, and can also reduce the efficiency of the system, which can add to the energy bills.

A regular check will reveal whether the filters are clogged and could do with being cleaned or changed and whether the deposit has built up more than it normally would in the ductwork because of the extra work. If so additional extraction cleaning may be necessary.

Three sets of regulations govern the condition of the extract system and reinforce the need for regular kitchen extraction cleaning. They are fire safety, environmental health and health and safety.

The first is important because it can affect the willingness of the business' insurers to provide cover and to pay out in the event of an accident. The environmental health regulations are designed to make sure that any extracted air discharged into the atmosphere is not contaminated or unpleasant and the health and safety regulations ensure that people working in the kitchen and customers eating at the facility are not at risk of any food-related contamination.

Extract cleaning can be a messy business and is not something kitchen staff can be expected to carry out or have the training for.

Specialist industrial cleaning companies have the trained staff, the right equipment and cleaning products to do the job as efficiently and quickly as possible. They will do a preliminary inspection so that you can be sure that it is actually necessary and will generally schedule it to be done at a time that will cause minimal disruption to the normal working of the kitchen.

The other advantage of using a specialist company is that it will be able to provide a completion certificate verifying what has been done, and this is important for records to show the insurers.

More people may have eaten out in the UK’s restaurants and cafes during the recent Jubilee celebrations, and their kitchens may need additional extraction cleaning as a result. By Ali Withers.

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