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Restaurant risky business: critical safety and maintenance items often overlooked

Restaurants need to maintain a certain level of cleanliness just to stay in business.

However, all too often there's one part of the restaurant--one of the most important facets of the business--that gets overlooked: the kitchen exhaust duct.

In restaurant kitchens, food is usually cooked underneath an air exhaust duct but, in many cases, owners are totally unaware of the importance of cleaning these exhaust ducts on a regular basis.

Duct cleaning in restaurants is very important for many reasons with fire prevention at the top of the list.

Many flammable contaminants, including oil, grease and dust, find their way into the exhaust ducts. 

Even a small spark, flame, or just heat buildup could be enough to start a catastrophic fire.

Another reason for the necessity of restaurant duct cleaning is the food itself. Clogged ducts can affect temperatures of the cooking surfaces, making them irregular and causing some foods to be undercooked.

Heat could also build up in the kitchen, bringing chilled food ingredients up to dangerous temperatures where they could be susceptible to mould, fungus, and bacteria.

Regularly power washing with an industrial duct cleaner will remove all of the contaminants that can lead to a clogged kitchen exhaust channel.

This should be part of a restaurant’s regular cleaning schedule, so that it is not overlooked.

Generally, duct cleaning in a restaurant every three months is often enough, but optimally it should be done monthly in restaurants that cook high volumes of food, such as those in the fast food category.

Even beyond keeping exhaust ducts clear, it’s also important to keep a restaurant facility neat, inviting and aptly valued.

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Source: Hospitality Magazine - Feb 2013