Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Quality: The importance of meeting quality standards

For the uninitiated, building a commercial kitchen often brings many problems related to local regulations as well as practical operational features that don’t quite work. Getting the kitchen infrastructure right first time allows the area to function properly straight away and to last under the demanding working conditions that a busy commercial kitchen faces.

In this post, I'll outline just a few of the design and quality considerations you'll need to make when procuring a commercial kitchen.

Regulatory Compliance

Wherever in the world your kitchen is being built, it must comply with local regulations. Not to do so can bring substantial, unexpected cost and delays to programme. Whilst regulations will vary from the European Union, to the United States, to Russia and the Middle East, there are common areas that they all cover. If you are aware of these areas, then you can ensure that your supply chain is paying the right level of attention to this detail.

  • Electrical Safety: Is the overall design of the kitchen, the individual components and the catering equipment certified to meet any international or local standards?
  • Gas Safety: Has the correct supply quantity been worked out? Are the pipes correctly sized? Are the component parts of the supply properly certified and installed by a competent engineer?
  • Food safety of construction materials: Are walls, floors and surfaces made of foodsafe materials?
  • Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide testing: Around 20 people a year in the UK are killed by being in badly ventilated facilities, which can also cause illness. How will the kitchen be properly ventilated?
  • Montreal Protocol: Is the refrigeration and cooling plant compliant with this international protocol?
  • Lighting Levels: Is the space adequately lit to meet the local standards for a kitchen?
  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points): Does the design of the kitchen allow HACCP management, or is it fundamentally flawed from the outset?
  • CE Marked or GOST Certified: Is the catering equipment compliant with local standards?

Design and Build Quality

Regulations aside, kitchens are put under pressure by the use of water, the frequent use of cleaning chemicals, the heat of cooking processes and sometimes by unskilled or temporary users. Kitchens that are not designed and built to withstand these pressures simply do not last and will require replacement, or at least the cost and severe disruption of refurbishment, far sooner than the user might hope.

The build quality of the structure that the kitchen is housed in is also critical. Key features are adequate load-bearing for floors, correct wind or snow loads, heating and ventilation that are suited to local climatic conditions such as extremes of heat or cold, and dust. Like any specialist space, the internal design of a kitchen has many features that require close attention. These include fire safety, fire suppression, sufficient space between equipment, anti-slip floors, water resistant floor construction, services and sockets designed for easy cleaning and access, and infestation-proof construction of walls and doors to name but a few. Getting these things right makes a huge difference to the financial and operational success of a kitchen building project. 

PKL has 25 years of experience providing temporary and permanent infrastructure around the world. We sell and hire equipment, tented and modular kitchens that will meet local regulations and best practice in design and build quality. We get things right first time and aim to provide cost and programme certainty, giving peace of mind to clients who want to avoid unnecessary problems.

For more information on our international division, PKL Transworld, click here.
To find out more about UK kitchen hires, click here.

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