Wednesday, 2 January 2013

What The Law Says About Ventilation in Catering Kitchens

Catering kitchens must be adequately ventilated and are as such governed by legislation covering both their initial specification and their ongoing maintainence, including duct work cleaning.  The three most important regulations are summarized below.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require that employers provide effective and suitable ventilation in every enclosed workplace, including catering kitchens.

Catering kitchens need to be adequately ventilated to create a safe and comfortable working environment. Catering and cooking can produce a lot of fumes and vapours as well as heat. Installing a mechanical extraction system such as a canopy hood over cooking appliances can remove these fumes safely.

To ensure ongoing safety for kitchen staff and diners alike, extraction systems need to be regularly inspected and cleaned to avoid the buildup of deposits which can pose health and fire risks. Duct work cleaning needs to be carried out at least every two years (more often in busy kitchens or those where fatty deposits are prevalent). Regulatory obligations are enforced by a combination of government inspections and insurance companies who will generally insist on there being evidence of regular duct work cleaning as a condition of fire insurance.

Additionally kitchen gas appliances are governed by Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Some gas appliances need a flue to comply with the regulations therefore when considering ventilation requirements for any catering kitchen you must consider those appliances. Remember a Gas Safe engineer should carry out all work on gas appliances.

The third major piece of legislation concerning ventilation is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The Act places duties on anyone responsible for a commercial kitchen to ensure that the premises and equipment are safe and without risks to health. Duct work cleaning plays an important role here too, preventing the risk of spreading microorganisms that may be present in duct work that is not regularly cleaned. As well as protecting the health of vital staff on which your business depends for its everyday operations, regular duct work cleaning, along with a daily cleaning schedule and regular kitchen deep cleaning, also minimises contamination of food and surfaces which could result in customer illness.

Fortunately, adhering to ventilation legislation is straightforward, and is as simple as calling Ingot to carry out the necessary servicing and cleaning work required for your premises. Duct Work Cleaning (links to – click here for full information on our commercial cleaning services.

More detailed guidance Further guidance can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website. (  

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