Ventilation cleaning industry experts and enforcement officers joined forces to tackle the risk of commercial kitchen fires.
Professionals from the National Association of Air Duct Specialists UK (NAADUK) shared their knowledge on Kitchen Extract Cleaning with the officers who inspect and enforce regulations across food establishments.
During a day-long seminar, Environmental Health Officers from Westminster City Council gained a vital insight into all aspects of kitchen ventilation systems and how they should be cleaned from eight NAADUK members.
The 20 officers learned about accessibility issues, what’s involved in a proper clean and the problems, such as fire risk, which can arise when systems are not properly cleaned during the Kitchen Extract Cleaning Awareness Training Day.
Peter Reid, President of NAADUK, said: “It was a wonderful opportunity of collaboration between experts in the industry and enforcement officers.
“NAADUK were able to provide plenty of information to help the officers go about their daily inspections of food establishments, such as restaurants, cafes and fast food retailers, and ensure the owners are upholding the right industry standards.”
The day opened with a presentation from Jonathan Brennan, Chairman of NAADUK, who gave an overview of Kitchen Extract Cleaning.
He was followed by experts speaking on a variety of topics including types of filters to use, a case study of a kitchen extract fire, accessibility problems and the reports and standards an Environmental Health Officer should be aware of.
The seminar also heard from organisations which have a working partnership with NAADUK including London Fire Brigade whose representative, Watch Manager Michael Richardson, highlighted the importance of proper kitchen extract cleaning to ensure systems are clear of grease build-up and reduce fire risk.
Meanwhile, the Catering Equipment Distributors Association (CEDA) gave a presentation on wood burning pizza ovens and their potential risks.
NAADUK’s Peter Reid spoke about the legal obligations of building owners and facilities managers to ensure they are the right side of the law and gave delegates a full list of the legal standards which should be adhered to. These include the LPS 2084 – Standard for Inspection, Cleaning and Maintenance of Ductwork Systems and the TR19 Guide to Good Practice – Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems. He also noted how proving competency in cleaning Kitchen Extract ventilation systems is now a major requirement for many insurance companies.
Regina MacHale, Senior Practitioner of the Health and Safety Team, Licensing and Regulatory Services at Westminster City Council, attended the seminar.
She said: “We had a mixture of managers, senior practitioners, food officers and health and safety officers – all of whom are involved in enforcement activities – at the session and they all found it very useful and informative.
“It was interesting to hear from the different speakers who were very professional and experts in their field. They gave us some good insights into issues such as accessibility to ventilation ducting, how it should be cleaned and the correct reports that should be provided.
“The practical information given will assist us in our enforcement work and we would recommend the programme to other Environmental Health officers.”
Following the event, the officers were given CPD certificates to show their continued development and knowledge.
NAADUK provides the first register for qualified maintenance technicians who have been taught by an accredited training provider in the UK.