Health and safety in commercial kitchens

Health and safety in commercial kitchens is an issue that constantly evolves, but new guidance on preventing exposure to carbon monoxide in commercial kitchens could mean a big shake up for many kitchen managers.

Health and safety in commercial kitchens

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A report in PSAM explains that the guidance is particularly relevant for establishments that use solid fuel appliances such as tandoori ovens, pizza ovens and charcoal grills. Without correct ventilation, these type of appliances can give out high levels of this dangerous gas and because it has no smell or taste, by the time it becomes clear that there is a problem it can already be too late. Here is a breakdown on some of the best ways to meet the suggested guidance from the HSE.

Know Your Appliance

Do your research when choosing a solid fuel appliance so that you know exactly what expectations there are in regards to keeping it safe. Installation, extraction, ventilation and maintenance are just a few of the factors you should know inside out. Understanding how the design of a unit can affect how it runs can also help to determine how safe it will be. For example, galvanised steel is more prone to corrosion than stainless steel and this can make it more likely to leak gas. If you opt for a galvanised steel appliance you may need to take extra precautions.

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Adequate ventilation and extraction systems are essential in a commercial kitchen. Ideally the flue should be on the exterior of the building and designed in such a way that gases can be discharged at a safe atmosphere. If you are in any doubt about your ventilation system then speak to a specialist engineer. Regular maintenance should be carried out to extraction systems and they should be thoroughly checked by an expert once a year. They can be tricky to clean due to the amount of flammable grease that can collect in them. Visit Grease Traps Direct for advice on getting rid of your unwanted grease.


One of the most effective ways to monitor any dangerous leaks is by installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm which will sound when dangerous levels are detected in the air. If this happens, it’s important to evacuate staff immediately and fully ventilate the area until the gas has been safely discharged.


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