Commercial kitchens are where food is made in large quantities. Although it may serve a number of reasons, the health and safety of those that are working there are at stake. Because of the tremendous amount of heat produced and the resulting by-products, these places of food production can turn out to be dangerous. That is why every kitchen needs a kitchen ventilation system. But, you may wonder what are these systems and if they are really necessary. And would also want to know what good they do. Well, you will get answers to those questions by the time you finish reading this blog.
What Is A Kitchen Extraction System?
A system that helps in maintaining the quality of air inside a commercial kitchen by improving ventilation and eliminating harmful particles is known as the kitchen extraction system. They help in removing particles like grease, dust and fumes. It also makes sure that adequate ventilation is supplied to the building or kitchen. Even though it may sound to be simple, the commercial kitchen extraction systems are complex and are made of several important elements. First, it has stainless steel made kitchen extraction canopies. These help in extracting gases and other particles from the kitchen atmosphere. The canopies have proper filters that can be frequently removed, cleaned and replaced. Secondly, it has ducting that helps in discharging fumes. Commercial extractor fans are placed within the duct. These fans help in extracting the fumes from the hood and then expelling them through the duct system. The fan is carefully placed on the right side to ensure adequate ventilation. In kitchens where a lot of frying is done, carbon and grease filters are also used within the duct.
Why Do You Need A Kitchen Extraction System?
Commercial kitchen extraction systems should be a staple in every kitchen, as they perform important tasks. Which are:-
- Extracting grease, air, gas, and smoke from the kitchen. They also remove the harmful carbon monoxide gas from the premises.
- They help in maintaining the temperature in the working environment.
- It replaces the contaminated air in the kitchen with clean air.
- It helps with odour control.
What Good Can Kitchen Extraction Systems Do?
Ensures safety of the area
In commercial kitchens, gas cookers are widely used. These and the burning of wood and coal leads to the emission of combustion gases. Therefore the people working in it may feel suffocation and intoxication. In worst-case scenarios when the gases are not correctly diluted or evacuated, it may lead to explosions. Moreover, if grease gets accumulated, it may cause fire accidents as well. All these may become serious threats to the life of both the staff and customers. To eliminate all these risks and ensure safety for all, it is more than essential to install a kitchen extraction system.
Comfort is something that is really necessary for those in a working environment. Only when they feel comfortable, the chef and other staffs can be efficient and productive in their job performance. Kitchen extraction systems offer just that level of comfort by maintaining the air temperature in the workplace. It filters the injected air and the air inlet units with built-in air treatment modules to ensure that the entering external air is at a temperature of no less than 14 degrees Celcius in winter and no more than 28 degrees Celcius in summer.
Helps in maintaining good hygiene
Hygiene is one of the most important factors to be considered in the food industry. Many prevention programmes warn about food contamination. Because these can cause diseases among consumers. So to maintain that level of hygiene in the food you prepare, it is important to consider the environment it is made in. With a kitchen extraction system, you can achieve that as it will filter out the other particles from entering the kitchen premises and other parts of the building. In addition, it will also supply the correct amount of air to ensure a contamination-free environment.
Is Kitchen Extraction System A Legal Requirement?
Yes, having an extraction system in your commercial kitchen is a legal requirement. This means you would not get planning permission from the local planning authorities without an extraction system in your plan. Even after your business starts to run, you will have regular health and safety inspections. During those visits, if your extraction system is not well maintained the visiting health safety executive will demand the closure of your kitchen, which may result in huge financial losses.
Down below, find some of the laws that demand a kitchen extraction system in your workspace.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
This is one of the main commercial kitchen extraction regulations. According to this law, employers are legally required to provide proper ventilation in every enclosed workspace, including the kitchens. The HSE also recommends having a mechanical extraction system to achieve effective kitchen ventilation. It requires the installation of canopy hoods over every cooking appliance. These will help in removing fumes, vapour and heat that would damage the health of employees.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
This law applies to all the gas appliances in the kitchen. Based on this, some appliances require a flue, which is a duct. They remove smoke, vapour and heat that is produced by gas cookers or fires. In some cases, just the extraction system alone can be considered as a flue that complies with this regulation. You must ensure that the system is put in place and well maintained. It will make sure that the employees stay safe at all times.
The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 Under this regulation, employers are legally required to provide and maintain safe working conditions for their staff. The working atmosphere should be in a way that it does not pose any threat to the health or life of the employees. So as a responsible business owner you are required to put reasonable measures to ensure that the environment is safe to work in for the workers.