Effective restaurant ventilation is crucial for hygiene, safety, comfort & wellbeing.
It’s already understood that good, effective ventilation in restaurants is highly important. In terms of food hygiene, odour control, fire safety and the general comfort and wellbeing of staff and customers, the maintenance of extractors and ductwork is a key element of good practice within this sector.
Before 2020, very few restaurant owners would have been concerned about the potential spread of a deadly virus via their ventilation system. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced another compelling reason why the cleanliness and hygiene of equipment which is essentially ‘behind the scenes’ is just as critical as any area in full public view.
As we see the much-anticipated reopening of outlets across the country which have had to keep their doors closed for many months, minimising risk is the over-riding concern of everyone involved. We are now all so much more aware of the way we share spaces with other people and subsequently, the quality of the air we breathe has taken a much higher prominence in our thoughts.
The very nature of a ventilation system means that it is constantly removing ‘used air’ from the area where it is operating, and we must, therefore, ensure that there is no potential for it to harbour the virus on its internal surfaces and contaminate the fresh air-flow passing through.
The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) issued professional guidance in their COVID-19 and Air Conditioning Systems Advice Note, in which they say:
“Any airborne contamination can be minimised, if not eliminated, by proper and effective filtration and regular cleaning and maintenance of ventilation systems”
Whilst the main focus, for now, might be reducing the spread of Coronavirus, it’s important to remember that there are many other benefits to maintaining hygienic ventilation systems in the restaurant environment.
The reduction of fire risk is perhaps the most obvious as the build-up of oils and fats on ductwork and in extraction systems can present the perfect conditions for a fire to start and spread quickly within a commercial kitchen.
Employee wellbeing too is an important consideration as this is closely linked to the temperature of the working environment. The minimum workplace temperature advised by the HSE is between 13 and 16 °C and, whilst there is no stated maximum, it is widely agreed that 30°C is as hot as it should get. The heat generated from cooking and from the equipment located within the kitchen makes this value easy to exceed, therefore good, efficient ventilation is essential if conditions are to be kept within the recommended range and employees are to work comfortably and productively.
If you would like more advice on how to ensure that your restaurant is operating safely and providing the best possible environment for customers and employees then get in touch with us today. Clean Air is Our Business and our total solution for ductwork and ventilation can offer the peace of mind you need to confidently welcome your waiting public.
Visit https://www.systemhygienics.co.uk and find out how we are applying our experience to help businesses in these most challenging of times.