Australian Standards for Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

If you are a commercial kitchen operator (cafe, restaurant or fast food business owner), a building owner or a building manager, you have a duty to keep your kitchen exhaust system safe.

This obligation falls under the Work Health & Safety (WHS) regulations and under the food safety standards for commercial kitchens. In particular, the Australian Standard AS 1851-2012 outlines a series of minimum inspection, maintenance and record-keeping requirements for kitchen exhaust systems.

In the event of a fire, failure to comply with these may be deemed as negligent or failure of duty. It is very possible that your insurance company will classify your fire insurance policy as invalid if you are not compliant.

The repercussions of an invalid fire insurance policy can be catastrophic for both the business owner and the building owner. As a result, both parties should be playing an active role in ensuring compliance.

Manufacturers of kitchen exhaust systems often provide their own inspection and cleaning programs, which may be more stringent or frequent than those in AS 1851.

Alternatively, commercial kitchen cleaning companies like Clean Air Filtration Services have well-drilled processes and systems that take into account AS 1851-2012 standards, manufacturers cleaning recommendations, as well as the unique usage of the cooking facilities which the exhaust system serves.

For example, if you are a popular restaurant with a busy kitchen that handles fatty or greasy product, you could need more attention than a restaurant that is less busy.

Filter Cleaning vs Canopy & Exhaust Cleaning

Grease Filters require more regular attention than kitchen canopies and kitchen exhaust systems. For example, Clean Air Filtration Services have clients that use our filter exchange service:

  • Once every 4 weeks
  • Once a week
  • Twice a week

The frequency is totally dependant on the activities within your kitchen. A heavy use kitchen is considered to be 12-16 hours per day. A moderate use kitchen is considered to be 6-12 hours per day. While a light use kitchen is considered to be 2-6 hours per day. Of course, the food you are cooking is also very relevant.

Alternatively, a canopy and exhaust clean can vary from:

  • Once every 12 months (as outlined in AS 1851-2012 as the minimum)
  • Once every 6 months