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What Are The Commercial Kitchen Extraction System Regulations?

Generally, cooking processes produce heat, vapour and grease which is hard to manage. If we say normal home cooking in itself is a tedious task, needless to say about professional cooking for business purposes. The heat it produces and the pollutants caused by cooking may cause working in commercial kitchens an unpleasant and dangerous experience. That calls for the need for commercial kitchen extraction systems. An effective extraction system will provide proper ventilation while also expelling the fumes and pollutants from the kitchen area and safely redirecting them to some other areas.

Therefore a Commercial Kitchen Ventilation System is more than a luxury. It is a necessity to every kitchen and so considering its importance they are subject to extraction regulations. Having a ventilation system in your commercial kitchen is a legal requirement in the first place and without one, you may not even get planning permission from your local authority. The safety regulations ensure that the working environment is safe and comfortable for all your employees.

Commercial extraction and ventilation systems reduce fire risk and prevent a lot of health ailments. Therefore local authorities and fire inspectors regularly inspect catering establishments to review their extraction system and maintenance programme to ensure the highest level of safety. So it is always better to know these regulations beforehand so that you do not miss anything.

What Is A Commercial Kitchen Extraction System?

A commercial kitchen extraction system consists of several key elements. First, it consists of kitchen extraction canopies that are made of stainless steel. It helps in extracting gases and particles from the kitchen atmosphere. These canopies have the right filters that can be easily removed to be cleaned or replaced. And then it has a duct that discharges fumes. It also has commercial extractor fans within the duct. The fans help in extracting fumes from the hood and through the ducting. For adequate ventilation, the right size and type of fan have to be carefully chosen. Carbon and grease filters within the duct are essential for most extraction systems, especially in kitchens where a lot of frying takes place.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

According to the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, providing proper ventilation for every enclosed workplace, including the kitchens are a legal requirement that every employer should follow. It is one of the most important kitchen extraction regulation. Mechanical extraction is recommended by the HSE to achieve effective kitchen ventilation. Therefore a canopy hood has to installed over all the cooking appliances. It will ensure that the fumes, vapour and heat released during cooking are eliminated from the space, which would otherwise be detrimental to the employees’ health.

The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974, demands the employers to provide and maintain a safe working environment for their staff, which does not cause any threat to their health. Hence, a person who is in control of the premises bears the responsibility to take all the possible measures to provide a safe space to work in for its employees.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

All the gas appliances in the kitchen premises come under the Gas Safety Regulations. A flue is a necessity for some appliances because this duct helps in removing vapours, smoke and heat that is produced by fires or gas cookers. Whilst, in some instances extraction alone, is considered as a flue that complies with this regulation. A flue needs an interlocking system that connects the airflow to the gas supply. And so to keep the employees safe at all the time, it is important to ensure that the flue is put in place and maintained properly. Furthermore, you should also consider how your ventilation and extraction system will affect the use of gas appliances in the kitchen area.

What Should An Effective Kitchen Extraction Do?

An effective kitchen extraction should do the following things:-

  • It should be capable of removing cooking fumes at the very source- the cooking appliances.
  • Inadequate ventilation in a commercial kitchen can cause serious problems. It may result in heat stress and laziness in the staff, thereby it will result in an unsafe system of work and cause high staff turnover.
  • A good extraction and ventilation system will also see to it that the air movement in the kitchen will not cause discomfort.
  • An efficient extraction system will provide sufficient air for complete combustion at fired appliances.
  • An extraction system will prevent the accumulation of the hazardous carbon monoxide gas in the kitchen, which is usually produced during frying.
  • An efficient ventilation system will be easy to clean as it will avoid the build-up of fat residues and blocked air inlets. These may cause loss of efficiency and increased fire risks, but with a good system, you can stay worry-free and enjoy having more efficiency.
  • A good and efficient system will not only be quiet during usage but will also be free from vibration.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Kitchen Extraction System?

While there are several benefits of having a commercial extraction system, let us consider a few:-

  • As an extraction system will eliminate all the fumes, grease and other hazardous particles and gases from the kitchen atmosphere, it will reduce health risks in the staff and visiting consumers. It will reduce the likelihood of employees experiencing eye or skin irritation. They will also be protected from contracting respiratory ailments.
  • Creates a comfortable temperature in the kitchen. Thus, your works will always be satisfied and happy to be working in your space. And so you can increase productivity.
  • During the frying process, the grease will evaporate and then still on the ceilings or walls. Apart from being an unpleasant sight, it is also unhygienic, posing a serious threat to food safety. But with extraction systems, you can prevent the grease from adding up.

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