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Crouching danger, hidden grease

By October 30, 2013News

In every good horror story, the main characters start off blissfully unaware of the hidden threat that will change their lives – amazingly, the same can be true of commercial kitchens. You can have a spotlessly clean kitchen, yet dangerous grease deposits may have built up within your extract ductwork, posing both a health hazard and a serious fire risk. And you won’t want to fall into the grease trap.

All the best horror stories start with swirling fog – but in a commercial kitchen FOG stands for fats, oil and grease – as perilous a hazard as any you’ll find in a tall tale of terror. No matter how low fat your menu; FOGs will build up on kitchen extract ductwork and in grease traps. These both need regular cleaning or your otherwise spotless kitchen just isn’t a healthy place to prepare food. Unfortunately grease is a great substance on which to grow and multiply bacteria.

Designed to prevent grease from getting into the drains and sewers where it can otherwise form large ‘greasebergs’ and cause blockages, the grease trap within your kitchen must itself be regularly cleaned and degreased in order to prevent it becoming blocked and ineffective, or you could also get blockages in the building’s plumbing. Solidified grease is not easy to shift once it has become compacted, so you could even find that lengths of pipework have to be cut out and replaced; which can be costly and put your kitchen out of action while it’s being done.

Regular cleaning is cheaper and easier – and, not surprisingly, it’s a legal requirement too – as is cleaning your kitchen extract ductwork.

Allowing FOGs to build up on your extract ductwork is also allowing a major safety threat to build up too. Fire. We know from forensic experts that 25% of all commercial fires are made worse by the presence of grease deposits in extract ductwork – even if that isn’t where the fire started. The heated grease deposits provide fuel for the fire to spread, and the ductwork itself can act as a chimney, giving the flames and smoke a route through which to spread to other parts of the building.

Ductwork must periodically be cleaned thoroughly to the TR/19 standard, at intervals which depend how heavily the kitchen is used. Our teams can handle this for you expertly and without fuss. It isn’t something you can easily tackle yourself as extract ductwork is often inaccessible and may even need access doors to be fitted so the job can be completed properly. For our operatives, it’s all in an expert day’s work. They will also certify the work and ensure that you have all the documentation you need to prove that you’ve complied with the legal requirements.

Not having that certification can be another horror story – if you can’t prove you’ve complied you could be accused of negligence, and if that’s proved against you, you can face criminal charges both as a company and also as an individual.

Let Swiftclean rescue you from all that; call us today on 0800 243 471.