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Why Kitchen Extraction Cleaning Should Not Be Overlooked

25th Apr 2023
Written by: phs Interclean

If cleaning your kitchen extraction system is just a tick-box exercise, it’s likely you’re not taking it seriously enough.  

Despite being mostly hidden from sight, commercial kitchen extractors can become very dirty places. And when they’re dirty, it’s not just a hygiene risk – it can be a matter of life and death.  

Fire and Rescue Services report that as many as 70% of fires in commercial kitchens originate in faulty extract ventilation systems due to the build-up of fat and grease. Therefore, if kitchen extraction cleaning is not regularly undertaken, you’re putting your organisation at a very real risk of fire which damages property and can endanger lives. This alone should be enough to prompt action but when you also consider that dirty kitchen extractors can also risk becoming an environmental health hazard and can even invalidate insurance policies, this cleaning exercise suddenly becomes indispensable.  

So, join us at phs Interclean in taking a closer look at kitchen extraction cleaning and the benefits it can deliver for your organisation.  

Why do I need a kitchen extraction system? 

If you run a commercial kitchen, you’ll undoubtedly have an extraction system. We’d be surprised if you didn’t  because it is a legal requirement of your business to do so. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 stipulate employers provide effective and suitable ventilation in enclosed workplaces, including kitchens. In its guidance on ventilation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) cites mechanical extraction (such as that of a canopy hood installed over cooking appliances) as necessary to remove the fumes, vapours and heat produced by catering and cooking, discharging them safely.  

What does a kitchen extraction system do? 

An extraction system will keep kitchens cleaner and safer by removing smoke, gas, grease and toxins produced, replacing them with clean air. It also helps to manage the temperature of the kitchen.  

What happens if you don’t clean kitchen extraction systems? 

As so much greases passes through kitchen extractors, it’s inevitable they will become dirty. Over time, grease builds up to a point it can inhibit the effectiveness of the extractor. This can mean that the air quality in the kitchen drops and the system is working harder to little avail, using more energy. Inside the extraction system, the build-up of grease can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and pests with the potential of becoming an environmental health hazard. And what’s more, it is a serious fire risk. As extractors can be exposed to flames or high temperatures generated within kitchen environments, these can ignite the grease with fire able to spread rapidly through the duct – not only risking damaging the kitchen but the entire property too. 

What are the benefits of kitchen extraction cleaning?  

There are several benefits to ensuring your kitchen extraction system is cleaned regularly and thoroughly. These include:  

  • Reducing the risk of fire: By tackling the build-up of grease, you’re removing a potential fire hazard and fire fuel source which can not only save your property but could save lives too. 
  • Improve hygiene: Just because the dirt is hidden from view, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there and that it’s not a hygiene risk. By cleaning extractors, you’re keeping your premises more hygienic and helping to meet health and safety standards. What’s more, cleaning will remove foul odours which can result from dirty, greasy extractors.  
  • Enhancing air quality: By removing grease deposits and ensuring kitchen extractors are not blocked, you’re ensuring they continue to play their role in removing fumes and toxins – including carbon monoxide – from your kitchen. In addition, an effective system will ensure smoke and steam is cleared quickly which creates a cleaner, safer working environment.  
  • Saving energy: If your kitchen extraction system is able to operate effectively, it won’t use as much energy overworking to compensate against the grease and grime – saving money on your energy bills.  
  • Meeting insurance criteria: Your insurer will often require you to maintain a clean extraction system – and may even want proof that this has been done.  
  • Meeting TR19 standards: These regulations relate to the cleaning of ventilation ducts, with minimum cleaning frequencies.  
  • Extend the life of your extractor: Keeping your extractor clean and in good working order will help it to last longer; lowering long-term maintenance and repair costs and reducing the risk of early replacement.  

How often should kitchen extraction systems be cleaned? 

The frequency for the cleaning of kitchen extractors depends on how often – and long – you use your kitchen for. TR19 standards require extractors to be cleaned a minimum of once a year for light use (2-6 hours a day), every six months for moderate use (6-12 hours a day) and at least every three months for heavy use (12-16 hours a day). Depending on the nature of the kitchen and how busy it is, kitchen extractors can benefit from being cleaned as often as monthly.   

How do you clean kitchen extractors?  

As kitchen extraction cleaning can be a complicated job requiring specialist equipment, it’s best to employ the services of a professional cleaning service such as phs Interclean. We conduct a comprehensive deep clean of your kitchen extraction system and guarantee our work meets or exceeds the current industry standards and regulations as well as meeting strict food hygiene standards. Our grease cleaning specialists remove all grease, dirt and grim from extraction systems, including ducting, filters and housing.  

How do you provide evidence of a kitchen extraction clean? 

As insurers may require evidence of kitchen extraction cleaning, phs Interclean provides certification to demonstrate the work has been completed – including photographs where necessary.  

phs Interclean provides cleaning services nationwide, around the clock. Our highly qualified cleaning technicians use market-leading technology to deliver the gold standard in hygiene services.  

To book in your kitchen extraction cleaning, get in touch today. Or for more details on our other commercial deep cleaning services including interior cleans, exterior cleaning, floor cleaning and specialist services from site clearances to decontamination, visit our website.

Get in touch today!