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News

Improving gas safety in catering and hospitality

HSE InfoLine : 06 February, 2004  (Company News)
The Health and Safety Executive has published a new information sheet giving the catering and hospitality industries advice on aspects of safety for gas-fired equipment used for cooking.
The Health and Safety Executive has published a new information sheet giving the catering and hospitality industries advice on aspects of safety for gas-fired equipment used for cooking.

This new guidance, Gas Safety in Catering and Hospitality, answers some frequently asked questions and covers installation, use and maintenance of equipment using gas in a range of situations common in catering and hospitality.

The information sheet aims, in particular, to clear up the widespread confusion relating to the interlocking of cooking fume ventilation systems and the gas supply so that if the extraction fails, the gas supply is automatically cut off to prevent danger. It provides practical advice on new installations and any remedial action required on existing equipment.

HSE and local authority inspectors recently took action in respect of newly installed tandoori ovens, where safety features had been disconnected in some cases. The appliances were not CE-marked and in breach of the appropriate safety standards. The guidance states that all new appliances used in commercial catering must be CE-marked.

Percy Smith, HSE principal inspector dealing with the catering and hospitality sector, said: 'Serious problems with gas-fired equipment in kitchens are relatively rare, but the consequences can be very serious. Attempting to manually light old or non-compliant ovens can cause explosions; badly installed equipment can create exposure to toxic fumes.

'This information sheet will help kitchen operators ensure risks are minimised.'
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