Now that you own a restaurant, you must have realized it’s not as easy as you thought it would be. You don’t get free food (you’re paying for everything), you can’t just open the fridge and eat all the chocolate cream you want. No. It might have killed the dream you have had since you were 9, but you have to admit owning a restaurant is fun. You must also know by now that there are still things you need to learn, always.
Out of these things, that you must learn there is one that is always neglected and never given the importance it deserves: your kitchen exhaust system.
While cooking, grease can evaporate and stick to the walls and ceiling which despite being unhygienic can cause a fire hazard. Your exhaust system prevents that from happening, and it’s important to clean your exhaust system regularly.
Here are four things you should know about cleaning your kitchen exhaust system.
How Often Should You Clean It
The NFPA-96 Standard Section 11.4 states that entire exhaust system shall be inspected for grease buildup by a properly trained, qualified, and certified person(s) according to the type of food the restaurant serves. For example, Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations must clean it once a month but systems are serving low fuel cooking operations like churches can get it cleaned once a year. You can also check on your own and know when to clean it.
To clean the exhaust system well, you need to access all the parts. To reach these parts even the horizontal and vertical ductwork, openings or doors must be installed. These openings must be large enough to ensure thorough cleaning a minimum of every 12 feet of horizontal ductwork and on every floor of vertical ductwork. Companies often attach doors, but they’re rarely big enough to get it cleaned right, so you now see why we insist that you install them on your own.
What is Clean?
You will know that a surface is clean if there is no grease is accumulated on it. For a more precise measurement purchase the Grease Gauge which is a tool developed by IKEKA, it measures fuel accumulation on a surface to see if it’s clean or not. You can also always use the old fashioned way and rub your finger against the surface to see if it gets oily or black.
Know the Right Way
Your kitchen exhaust consists of mainly three parts: the fan, the hood, and the ducts. You need to know what kind of material it is made of. If it’s made of stainless steel, then you must use warm soapy water if it’s vinyl or plastic try an all-purpose cleaner but you can also use soapy water, for copper buy a copper cleaner. You should also check for signs of corrosion if you’re using metal. You must try to focus individually on all parts and clean them well.
For a restaurant to not shut down, it needs the approval of a health inspector, and for that, it must keep every nook and cranny clean. It might be a little difficult, but if you’re on a budget, you can clean it yourself with right things.