Extractor hoods are there to protect health, but they’re among the most neglected of all appliances. If they are not clean, they pose fire, health and hygiene risks and can even get a commercial kitchen closed down under hygiene, employment or fire safety regulations.
Five factors determine if your extractor protects you:
- Properly located
- Sufficient span to catch steam and smoke
- Enough power for the size of the kitchen
- Clean ducts and filters (if re-circulating the air)
- Safe flues (if expelling it)
- Properly used and maintained
Wiping the hood with a cloth doesn’t cut it; everything needs cleaning the proper way, with all the procedures recorded – and that requires training.
Without an extractor, grease, smoke and odours foul the air that your family, staff or customers breathe, promoting asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer. Moisture condenses on cool surfaces throughout the building, causing damp and mildew. Grease and soot stick to walls, ceilings and kitchen units, damaging the décor and providing a breeding ground for bacteria.
70% of fires in commercial kitchens are caused in part or entirely by grease accumulations inside extractors and ducts. If ducts and flues aren’t fitted and maintained in accordance with building regulations, they could become blocked, causing carbon dioxide or even carbon monoxide to accumulate.
Grease and odours signal food to bacteria, insects and vermin. Then contaminated sludge from the canopy-chimney and ducts can dribble back onto your work surfaces, contaminating the food. Needless to say, that’s bad news for human health or the future of a business.
Cleaning ductwork is complicated so many restaurants have to hire professional contractors. A busy kitchen should be cleaning the hood at least weekly and ducts every few months, so trained staff are a major asset.
Our comprehensive extractor hood cleaning training classes at our training centre in Gateshead, include a full breakdown of extractor components, fitting access panels, safe use of ladders, chemicals, steamers and scrubbers and all BESA and COSHH standards.