top of page

How grease extractor cleaning services aid air hygiene

For any organisation dealing with hot food, it’s vital to think about grease extraction cleaning to maintain health and safety

Grease extraction cleaning forms part of HVAC and air duct cleaning by REACT Specialist Cleaning
Keeping commercial kitchens compliant with regulations requires specialist cleaning services

We’ve all got more used to thinking about air hygiene over the past three years. When faced with the spread of an airborne virus, we’ve been forced to focus on fresh air flow throughout a building. But one particularly critical area of air hygiene is kitchen extract and ducting systems. In any organisation dealing with hot food, there’s a legal requirement to install and maintain a suitable grease trap. Poorly maintained kitchen grease extractors can severely undermine air hygiene standards. And they present a fire risk: it’s not uncommon for systems laden with grease to ignite. In this blog, we’re looking at the importance of grease extraction cleaning, and what sets REACT apart when it comes to this service.

What are the standards that regulate this cleaning?

Dealing with hot food in a commercial setting requires ventilation and ducting systems that include a suitable grease trap. Understanding your responsibilities, where your business stands, and fully complying with legislation on installing and maintaining these systems will avoid any costly fines and penalties. Broadly speaking, there are two elements to compliance cleaning. On the one hand, it’s about keeping your workers safe from fire and other risks under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. On the other hand, in accordance with the Food Safety Act 1990, any build-up or blockage caused by fats, oils and greases in drains fails to comply with food hygiene regulations.

Many cleaning companies comply with TR19 standards. However, there are new more rigorous standards now in operation. The National Association of Air Duct Specialists (NAADUK) has launched its new comprehensive guidance document NAAD21, a world-leading guidance document in air conditioning. This in turn allows professional cleaning companies to meet BSEHV11, the new National Occupational Standard for cleaning industrial and commercial ventilation systems. This ensures cleaning companies have robust practices and procedures and can demonstrate their professional competency when it comes to planning and undertaking the work.

What can go wrong if you don't get it done properly?

Make no mistake: a failure to undertake grease extractor cleaning is a serious business. There are obvious implications if uncleaned systems in commercial kitchens cause a fire, such as fatality or serious injury for people on site at the time. There are also attendant legal and financial consequences for directors and senior management under health and safety regulations. And buildings insurance would be invalidated if it’s shown that an affected site has failed to carry out regular inspection and cleaning of grease extraction systems.

There are other repercussions if routine and professional specialist cleaning is not carried out to these systems. The site can experience air quality issues, including the failure to extract air pollutants and bad odours which can taint food, trap allergens, and attract pests. What’s more, an uncleaned grease extractor system will cost more to run as it uses up more energy trying to work efficiently despite the blockages. And this is very much a case where prevention is better than cure. Regularly cleaned systems take less time to clean than dirty ones. Allowing dirt and grease to build up will require more costly and disruptive project cleaning to bring a system back up to required standards.

What's involved with grease extraction cleaning?

Here at REACT, we can carry out grease extraction cleaning, as part of our range of cleaning services for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. Our team will start with a Dynamic Risk Assessment. Usually, access to the grease trap and ducting will be from ground level, but if it’s at a higher level, we can use rope or platform access equipment as required. If the system needs access hatches, we carry these as part of van stock. We’ll carry out a visual inspection of the system to ascertain any build-up, and we’ll take photos to show the state of the system before the clean.

We’ll then carry out the cleaning as required, using suitable equipment and products. We clean all filters in the system on site, and we’ll replace them if maintenance is not reasonably practicable (for instance, if they’re damaged or irretrievably clogged). Once we’ve completed the task, we’ll take pictures for reporting. We’ll clean the area under where we’ve worked, as this can be a messy business. And finally, we’ll supply a report on the works carried out in accordance with BSEHV11 standard, including recommendations for when the next clean should take place.

What sets REACT apart when it comes to grease extractor cleaning?

There are a number of reasons why our service sets us apart from the competition. We clean to BSEHV11 standard, and we follow the NAAD21 guidance. As noted above, this is more rigorous than the TR19 guidance that the majority of ventilation hygiene cleaning businesses follow. We’re prepared for every job, so we have suitably trained rope access teams available for work at higher levels, and we always have access hatches as part of our vehicle stock.

We can plan works in 24/7 365 days a year to work around our clients’ needs, meaning that there is no down-time for our clients. Once we’ve cleaned the system and brought it back up to the required standards, we offer flexible and cost-effective long-term maintenance plans to help sites keep on top of the required cleans moving forward. All cleans can be carried out in line with planned preventive maintenance schedules (PPM). And we provide dynamic reporting, with colour pictures showing before and after shots, for our clients’ record keeping / CAFM systems.

Given this level of service, we currently carry out grease extraction cleaning, along with full HVAC cleaning services, across a wide range or organisations. From schools and universities to healthcare facilities, and from commercial kitchens and canteens to residential housing providers, we aid air hygiene. Whether it’s an ad hoc project clean or as part of pre-planned maintenance, we’re proud of working to the highest standards to protect our clients and their people.

To find out more about REACT Specialist Cleaning and our grease extraction cleaning as part of our HVAC cleaning services, contact one of the team today.

Post by Shaun D. Doak

Shaun is the CEO of REACT Group plc., a business dedicated to specialist cleaning, hygiene and decontamination. He is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our company’s clients receives the highest possible level of service. An expert in HVAC and commercial and industrial cleaning methodologies, Shaun has extensive experience in the facilities management and renewable services sector.


bottom of page