The UK food industry is extensive. It is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and represents around 15% of the country’s total manufacturing output. As a site engineering /technical manager one of your main concerns will be compliance to customer technical and product specifications. Food safety is paramount in production areas so the regular inspection and cleaning of oven extract and production line ventilation systems is vital. Moulds, dust, grease and other harmful substances can accumulate and contribute to poor air quality and may also exacerbate fire risk. Your HACCP analysis will have identified Legionella as a potential hazard and not only should measures be in place to monitor for and prevent Legionella but, in order to meet the BRC and customer inspection regimes, an audit trail must be identifiable and contain appropriate and relevant data. Our job at Swiftclean is to understand the issues unique to food processing and provide you with a package of services that will help you to comply with both legislation and the stringent requirements of major customers like Tesco.
Your Legal Responsibility
To prevent fire, general kitchen extract ductwork must be cleaned efficiently and effectively at regular intervals, in compliance with the leading industry guidance document TR/19 section 7. Kitchen extract systems in heavy use (12-16 hours a day) should be cleaned at least quarterly, moderate use (6-12 hours a day) should be cleaned half-yearly, light use (2-6 hours a day) should be cleaned at least once a year. Factory food production extraction systems which may be subject to a greater throughput of grease laden air, compared with a general kitchen extract, may need tailor made regimes to minimise fire risk. We can assist in monitoring and developing appropriate fire safety cleaning regimes for such extract systems. Contact us for more information.
Water storage tanks that are not regularly inspected and cleaned as required in compliance with L8, BSRIA and CIBSE guidelines are a potential breeding ground for legionella and failure to do all you can to control legionella can, in the event of a death from Legionnaires disease, result in prosecution of organisations for corporate manslaughter and managers responsible for Health & Safety management. Find out more about Legionella Compliance and Legionella Control.
Another very important passive fire prevention measure is the regular testing, cleaning and maintenance of fire dampers. These are metal louvres which can open and close and are installed across the ductwork to form a temporary barrier when closed but allow the free flow of air when open. You may not even be aware that your ventilation system has fire dampers, but they fulfil a very important function, so you must be sure that they are in working order.
In the event of a fire travelling through ductwork, the fire damper must close, to restrict the oxygen supply to the fire and create a barrier which slows the spread of the fire. This buys valuable time in which to safely evacuate staff and visitors, especially the more vulnerable and less mobile.
There are different types of fire damper; some are spring operated, some have fuseable links and there are other designs which are remotely operated. All types must be regularly tested, using a method known as drop testing, cleaned and maintained. According to recently updated guidance, BS999:2017, all fire dampers must now be tested at no more than twelve month intervals.
We can help you locate your fire dampers, create access to inaccessible fire dampers then drop test, clean and maintain them for compliance. More information can be found on our fire dampers page.
Swiftclean Services for the Food Production Sector
Swiftclean can offer Kitchen Extract Cleaning for fire safety and Duct Cleaning to Section 7 of TR/19 requirements to provide compliance with all Fire, Health & Safety and Workplace regulations. Contact us today to speak to one of our expert advisors and find out more about our Food Production Sector services.