Monday, 25 February 2013

Duct Work Cleaning - The Rules and Regulations Governing Commercial Kitchens

The food manufacturing and hospitality industry is highly governed by strict regulation and legislation through authorities like the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and industry watchdogs like the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Cleaning contractors who specialise in duct work cleaning are also represented through organisations like the B&ES (The Building and Engineering Services Association) previously known as the HVCA (The Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association) who rebranded on 1st March 2012.

These governing bodies have been set up to help independently safeguard industry workers and the general public against potential negligence. Commercial operators and contractors who service or clean kitchen machinery, in particular ventilation ducts, through duct work cleaning must also show they follow the health and safety protocols and procedures and have a solid understanding of it.

However, given this level of regulation, it is surprising to learn that up to 80% of commercial kitchens have never had their ventilation ducts cleaned. These ducts, if left uncleaned, become a potential breeding ground for some seriously nasty bacteria which in time can become airborne giving rise to potential health problems.

It is for this reason that there is strict legislation surrounding the cleaning of commercial kitchens. But if followed correctly, it leads to best business practice and a healthy environment in which staff can work and customers can dine in the knowledge that they are eating in a safe environment.

Whilst there is strict legislation there is in fact no specific law clearly stating how clean your duct work needs to be. However, cleaning companies that carry out deep commercial kitchen cleaning must follow or comply with the B&ES TR/19 standards as set out in their best practice guide. Any contractor who employees staff to carry out duct work cleaning must be trained in accordance with the B&ES green book training scheme, previously known as HVCA certification.

CHAS registered contractors such as Ingot Services have undergone the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme. This registration can only be awarded once a contractor has passed the B&ES inspection and assessment and is evidence that  they have the knowledge to comply with all relevant Health and Safety legislation.

A scheme such as CHAS goes a long way to help provide the hospitality and FMCG industry with the confidence that any contractor employed to carry out duct work cleaning in particular, has all the necessary training, qualifications and competence required by the regulations.

To find out more about how Ingot Services can help  ensure you fully meet all the rules and regulations governing commercial kitchens and in particular the health and safety around duct work cleaning call today on 0800 731 7892.

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