Thursday, 31 January 2013

Why You Need to Clean Your Grease Extract Fan

Grease extractor fans in commercial kitchens need cleaning on a regular basis. If commercial deep cleaning is not undertaken it can result in grease build up and the system can be damaged.  Built-up grease and other deposits will affect the airflow efficiency and it leads to a greater use of energy. More importantly excess grease is a fire risk - over 70% of fires in commercial kitchens originate in faulty ventilation due to fat and grease build up. This can have a devastating effect on your business and on your employees and customers. 

As an owner of a commercial kitchen you have a legal duty to prevent such a fire occurring as stated in fire safety legislation of 2006 (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO)) but in 2007-08 the London Fire Brigade recorded 166 fires in restaurants alone (including cafes and takeaway food shops) in the Capital.
Consequently many insurers now insist that grease extractor systems undergo regular ventilation and duct cleaning and testing by professional contractors.

So What Next?

Ingot Services – Specialists In Grease Extract Cleaning and Commercial Kitchen Cleaning.

With over twenty years of deep cleaning commercial kitchens and grease extract fans you can be sure that Ingot Services will clean your system to the highest standard.

Find out more about Ingot Services and your Grease Extract Cleaning options.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Role of Kitchen Deep Cleaning in Food Hygiene Ratings

Kitchen deep cleaning used to be something a food business could carry out in the background when it was convenient. But with the advent of the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme kitchen deep cleaning looks set to take on a much higher importance and become, hopefully, a much more regular occurrence in Britain's restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

What is the Food Hygiene Scheme?

If you have eaten out in the last year or so you may have noticed the little green ratings stickers displayed in the front windows of pubs, restaurants and cafes.  What do they mean and do they affect your business?

The Food Standards Agency is rolling out the national Food Hygiene Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in conjunction with local authorities.
The scheme is designed to make it easier for consumers to choose places with good hygiene standards when they are eating out or shopping for food and includes restaurants, hotels, pubs, cafes, takeaways, supermarkets and other food shops.

Businesses are rated on the standard of their hygiene from 0 to 5, where 5 is very good and 0 means that urgent improvement is required. The rating shows how well a business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law. It lets the consumer know what is going on behind the closed kitchen door, allowing them to choose whether to eat at that restaurant. The scheme also encourages businesses to improve hygiene, the aim being to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness.

Who will inspect my business?

If you own a business that sells food then you can expect to be visited by a food safety officer from your local authority. At a planned visit the officer checks that you meet the requirements of food hygiene law.  The officer will check:

·       How hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
·       The condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
·       How the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe

During the visit the officer will explain to you or your manager what improvements need to be made and what actions you can take to improve your rating.

Any business should be able to reach the top rating and the rating is not a guide to food quality. You can let your customers know how good your hygiene standards are by displaying the rating sticker or certificate given to you by the inspector in your window or door.

How can kitchen deep cleaning help?

Kitchen deep cleaning can play an important role in achieving and maintaining a Food Hygiene Rating that your business can be proud of.

The cleanliness of your premises and especially your kitchen play a major role in a how an inspector will perceive and rate the hygiene of your business. It doesn't matter how carefully your staff handle and prepare food if the surfaces and equipment they are using are not adequately clean.

Daily cleaning is important of course, but over time dirt can build up in areas that can't be easily accessed – such as under appliances, in worktop edges and crevices and in equipment where there is inevitable grease buildup such as deep fat fryers and kitchen extraction systems.

Only kitchen deep cleaning can ensure proper cleaning of these areas. And only regular kitchen deep cleaning can ensure that dirt and grease never build up to a level that could compromise your Food Hygiene Rating.

While it's important that kitchen deep cleaning happens, it's also important to have a record of when it was carried out and, even better, to be able to show that you have kitchen deep cleaning scheduled in for the future. And that's where choosing a professional cleaning company is so valuable. As well as being able to carry out cleaning to areas and equipment that isn't possible in a daily cleaning schedule, professional cleaning provides you with independent documentary evidence of your efforts. Being able to show a history of regular deep cleaning and evidence that this history is set to continue, all helps to build confidence that what an inspector sees is more than just your business on a good day, but is your normal way of operating.

What if I am unhappy with the rating?

You have 14 days to appeal to your local authority if you think that your rating is unfair or wrong in that it does not fairly reflect the hygiene standards found at the time of inspection.

Additionally you have a ‘right to reply’ if you’ve improved hygiene standards since your inspection or if there were unusual conditions at the time of the inspection and you wish to explain this to your customers. This should be submitted to your local authority and it will be published with your hygiene rating at

You can also request another visit to get a new rating if you make the improvements to hygiene standards that the safety officer told you about at your last planned inspection. This needs to be done in writing and evidence of the improvements made must be supplied. Having documentary evidence of deep kitchen cleaning being carried out by an accredited professional cleaning company will clearly be helpful in this process.  The food safety officer will re-assess hygiene standards and give you a new rating – this could go up but it could stay the same or it could go down.

Ingot Services – Specialists In Grease Extract Cleaning and Commercial Kitchen Cleaning.

With over twenty years of deep cleaning commercial kitchens and grease extract fans you can be sure that Ingot Services will help you attain a “5” star food hygiene rating.

Find out more about Ingot Services and your kitchen deep cleaning options.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Are You Exempt From Health and Safety Inspections?

Back in September 2012 Vince Cable the Business Secretary announced that pubs and clubs along with other types of businesses could be exempt from health and safety inspections. The purpose of this initiative by the government is to reduce the amount of red tape faced by small businesses. 

From April this year businesses will only face health and safety inspections if they are operating in high-risk industries such as construction, or if they have had an incident or a track record of poor performance.

However this does not mean that as a business you should forget about health and safety and risk assessments. As an employer and service provider you have a duty of care towards your employees and customers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

One area in your kitchen that must be regularly maintained and cleaned is your grease extract system. Call Ingot Services today to arrange your deep clean.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Extract Cleaning by Ingot - Video

Recently we took some some video footage of one of our team members cleaning a grease extract system, as you can see it is dirty, difficult work, however for health and safety and fire safety reasons it must be done regularly.

For more information on Ingot Services specialist kitchen cleaning services visit or call us free on 0800 731 7892

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

How Does Your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Work For You – Your Energy Efficiency, Duct Work, Cleaning And More

As a duct work cleaning company, we understand Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, or HVAC systems (as they’re more widely known) very well. But asking many people what they think an HVAC system can achieve, we often find that while most can tell you that it involves pumping hot or cold air around a building, many don’t realise the benefits and haven’t thought about cost implications.

In fact, for a lot of businesses HVAC systems have some very useful benefits that may well outweigh the costs involved in installation and maintenance.

What Is A Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System?
A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system does just what it says on the tin. Combining the warming, cooling and dehumidification of the air within a home or commercial property into one system, using structured duct work to distribute it throughout a given area.

The system may be powered via central air conditioning units, alongside which a gas or oil furnace sits, the pair providing cool air or heated air flowing through the same duct work, depending on demand. Alternatively it may work as a heat pump, combining both functions within the same system.

Both of these options will generally be made up of a condensing unit which sits outside the building, and another unit (the evaporator coil) which is placed within the building. These work by moving air between each other, either extracting cool air from the warm air outside on a hot day – literally by pumping it away from the warmer air it is sitting with, through refrigerant – to distribute around the building. Conversely, with a heat pump, the unit extracts the heat from the air outside (even on a cold day) to circulate through the duct work around your premises.

From Raised Energy Costs to Professional Duct Work Cleaning
If you have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system within your premises, what are the ongoing costs?

In the UK the cost of heating our buildings probably accounts for nearly half of our energy bills, and with our planet warming and the demand for air conditioning increasing, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will likely be running almost all year around. And electricity and gas prices are ever on the up.

Add to these rising energy costs the cost of maintaining your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as the potentially increased water consumption if your system is using water cooled air conditioning equipment. Of course, with the raised profile of environmental considerations, especially within the commercial world, raising your electricity, gas and water consumption is even more of a barrier.

Legislation also demands that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is regularly maintained including duct work cleaning at least every two years – and by a professionally recognised company. This could be seen as an additional cost that is a step too far, but in actual fact, regularly carrying out duct work cleaning can make your system more efficient, reducing your HVAC running costs. And it can help reduce the possibility of having to cover the costs of damage should something go wrong, and take away the probability of fines for not carrying out your legal requirements.

So why choose a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system over heating or cooling each room within your property separately?

Clean Air, Ambient Temperatures and Enhanced Productivity
The popularity of HVAC systems is going from strength to strength, and this can be attributed to a number of aspects:  from global warming, giving us much more extreme external temperatures, advances in technology allowing for more energy efficient systems to come onto the market, and added concern for employee wellbeing.

And the benefits of having a heating, air conditioning and ventilation system within your commercial premises are many. It offers workers clean, fresh air, as well as an even, regulated temperature all year around – with the air conditioning working during the summer and heating taking over during the winter – helping employees to feel more comfortable in the workplace. The result of this most often leads to enhanced productivity and a positive impact on the bottom line.

By choosing  one of the newer, more energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems available today,  you may also benefit from reductions in your heating costs, as taking a ‘whole premises’ approach to your heating and regulating it with a programmable thermostat, can often be more efficient than piecemeal heating and cooling systems which can end up competing with each other and being more wasteful in terms of energy usage.

Ingot Services – Specialists In Duct Work Cleaning For Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems
With a sound understanding of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems – their workings and their maintenance – you can be sure that Ingot Services will help keep your HVAC system working as efficiently, and as safely, as possible.

Find out more about Ingot Services and your duct work cleaning options.