GREASE BUILD-UP Kitchen oil and grease build-up starts in the metal filters then travels through the hoods and ducts all the way to the roof. It’s an ongoing problem that needs an easy cost effective solution. Regular metal kitchen exhaust filters only capture between 18 - 20% of airborne grease.
EXPENSIVE COSTS Many commercial kitchens do their kitchen exhaust cleaning nightly, weekly etc amounting to large labour costs. Repairs and maintenance call out fees can be high due to grease hood cleaning and in the ducts and on rooftops etc. Yearly water accounts can be exorbitant due to constant kitchen exhaust cleaning. Chemical cleaners are not only expensive but can be toxic to humans. Cleaning products that are flushed down the drain can have a serious impact on the environment.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS CLEANING YOUR FILTERS IN-HOUSE CAN BE A PROBLEM? Kitchen exhaust cleaning for staff can be risky with injuries that occur while cleaning kitchen exhaust filters and equipment can be damaged when used to stand on to reach the grease filter hoods.
If the kitchen grease filters are not re-installed correctly this can lead to duct work contamination which can result in higher risk of fire/repairs. Kitchen exhaust cleaning with hot water and chemicals can create an unsafe work environment for your staff and used with out correct procedures can result in injury and damage to equipment. If staff are not trained with the correct procedures, you risk the potential for your insurance claims to be denied.
Shepherd Filters disposable kitchen grease filters are your best defense against a restaurant exhaust inspection infringement or fine. Insurance claims are commonly rejected if grease hood filters, canopies and the exhaust system have not been properly cleaned and maintained. FIRE RISK Most fires in food premises are known to have started in the kitchen hood system. Fire statistics from Australia, UK and the US show that fires in restaurants predominantly occur in kitchens. The ignition of cooking materials account for almost half of all commercial kitchen fires and all most all of these (90 percent) get into the kitchen exhaust system. Grease, dust and oil from cooking activities can build up in the grease hood filter if it is not regularly maintained with thorough kitchen exhaust cleaning, creating odour problems as well as a fire risk. It only takes 1/12 inches or 2 mm of grease build up to burn down an kitchen exhaust system.
A grease fire can burn through a typical fast food style restaurant in as little as 5 minutes. When kitchen hood filters are full of grease, it is transferred to the kitchen hood and released into the gutter for cleaning out, but when too much grease is in the kitchen hood it can travel up the duct and spill out creating an environment issue and fire risk. Many restaurants never re-open after suffering a fire loss and insurance policies may exclude claims related to uncleaned or grease laden exhaust ducts.
When a restaurant is located in a larger building or complex, such as a Hotel, Hospital or Shopping Centre, Airport or Multi-storey complex the risk increases exponentially. A fire in a kitchen exhaust system in Heathrow Airport shut down three terminals, delayed or cancelled hundreds of flights and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in losses that far exceeded the physical damage bill. That fire spread through 200m of exhaust duct work to a plant room before it was extinguished.
FIRE RELATED HAZARDS IN THE KITCHEN INCLUDE: Flames, sparks and hot gasses from food prep can ignite residues in exhaust ducts Food preparation equipment left without supervision during operation Failure to switch off equipment, especially at the end of activity Overheated oils that can lead to spontaneous combustion Food preparation equipment based on solid fuels Gas blowtorches used for browning some foods Poorly operating thermostats or lack of thermostat or fault defecting equipment Faulty or overheating electrical equipment Metal exhaust flues that conduct heat and ignite nearby material or debris Ovens without igniters/pilot lights (lit with burning pieces of paper) Lack of kitchen exhaust cleaning and maintenance