The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Kitchen Rules & Regulations

Chef preparing food next to two boiling cooking pans

How Important are Commercial Kitchen Regulations?

When it comes to running a commercial catering kitchen, there are a number of important rules and UK commercial kitchen regulations to follow to ensure your kitchen is safe and sanitary and of course practical. Complying with legislation is very important and guarantees that you won’t wind up with a hefty fine or a potential prison sentence. 

For all foodservice businesses, meeting standards and regulations can seem like a daunting task. In our Ultimate Guide to Commercial Kitchen Rules & Regulations, we’ll be covering all the below essential topics to ensure your kitchen is running as safely and smoothly as possible:

  • Food hygiene
  • Waste disposal
  • Kitchen ventilation
  • Gas safety
  • Fire safety
  • Refrigeration
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Safety hazards – slips & trips
  • Saving energy

Food Hygiene

Food safety and hygiene is a hot topic! It’s essential in order to prevent food poisoning and to keep your staff and consumers healthy and virus-free. We’ve written about these food hygiene rules in detail, but we can summarise this topic by remembering the 4 c’s: 

  • Cleaning – food areas need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Top tip: clean as you go
  • Cooking – cook meat thoroughly to remove the risk of harmful bacteria. Top tip: cook food until it has a core temperature of 70°C
  • Chilling – some foods need to be chilled to prevent bacteria growth. Top tip: Pay attention to any use-by dates
  • Cross-contamination – ensure raw meat doesn’t come into contact with prepared and ready-to-eat foods. Top tip: use different equipment for each type of food

Waste Disposal

Properly disposing of waste can be a huge responsibility. The law states that hazardous waste must be properly disposed of. Toxic waste can seep into the ground and contaminate our water supplies, which could lead to widespread disease.

To avoid any further health pandemics, follow these simple rules:

  • Food waste and rubbish must be removed from areas where food is present as quickly as possible
  • Food waste must go in containers which can be closed 
  • Waste containers must be kept clean at all times
  • You must have suitable facilities for storage and disposal of all waste away from pests
  • All waste must be disposed of in a hygienic and environmentally friendly way 
  • Waste must not be a source of contamination, either by touching food prep areas or attracting pests
  • Fats, oils and grease must be disposed of correctly

N.B. It’s wise to check with your local authority as some of these points may vary depending on the area.

Kitchen Extraction & Ventilation

In a commercial kitchen, it’s essential to have a suitable and effective ventilation system. Cooking surfaces and system cooking produces large amounts of fumes, vapours and heat and must be ventilated by a hooded fan. A ventilator works by dispersing and removing heat and bringing clean, cool air into the kitchen.

Gas Safety Regulations

All gas appliances need to be CE marked to prove that they are safe for use. All commercial kitchens should be fitted with a Natural Gas & Interlock System to abide by British Standards. This safety interlocking system ensures that gas passes safely into your appliances and reduces the risk of accidents, explosions and carbon monoxide leaks. Annual gas safety checks must also be carried out.

Fire Safety Regulations

Where there are cooking appliances involved it’s vital to abide by fire safety regulations. Fire extinguishers and fire suppression features in ventilation systems should be changed annually and tagged and dated accordingly. Ventilation systems that use grease should be professionally cleaned twice a year and all exits must be kept clear at all times. 

Top tip: stainless steel appliances are easy to clean and nonporous, making them a safe choice for environments where preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses is paramount.

Kitchen Layout

Your kitchen should be a practical, efficient and hygienic cooking haven. To ensure all three are met, when designing the layout it’s best to consider the food cycle process:

Ingredients > preparation > cooking > stored > sent out > washed

This cycle can be split into 4 areas of your kitchen:

  • Cooking Area
  • Prep Area
  • Washing Area
  • Storage Area

Take a look at our article which has all the vital ingredients to the best commercial kitchen designs to help operations run efficiently and smoothly. 

Refrigeration & Temperature Control

To stop bacteria multiplying to unsafe levels, fast cooling is necessary. Food health and safety legislation states that food needs to be reduced from 70°C to 3°C in no more than 90 minutes when cooling, or from 70°C to -18°C in no more than 240 minutes when freezing. 

The ‘danger’ zone is between 5°C and 63°C and to ensure food isn’t left at this temperature for too long, blast chillers are used to cool food rapidly and to maintain the flavour and texture of foods. Some blast chillers are even able to cook food, meaning that the whole process, from cooking to chilling, can be done in one unit; space-saving and time efficient! 

Check out our flexible and secure cold storage rooms, suitable for businesses of all sizes. 

Equipment Maintenance 

Regular maintenance of your catering equipment is necessary to ensure each item and unit is fit for purpose and up to the job of a demanding and fast-paced kitchen. Kitchen equipment should be checked regularly and any safety-critical repairs need to be carried out by a qualified service engineer. 

Safety Hazards – Slips & Trips

Health and safety is a huge concern in the hospitality industry and the most common cause of injuries in the workplace are ‘slips and trips’. All potential risks, such as food spillages, must be cleaned up as soon as possible and ensuring your commercial kitchen is fitted with non-slip flooring and using drip trays and mats for extra grip will prevent slippages. Floor signs should also be readily available to use when liquid is spilled for staff to actively avoid those areas until dry. 

Saving Energy

Whether you’re renting a commercial kitchen or have your own space, it’s important to make your kitchen as economical as possible. Using the right power suppliers and commercial-grade systems will help you go green. The time and cost-efficient industrial boiler is a prime example of this; it’s able to prepare large amounts of hot water in a short amount of time, ideal for a busy working kitchen. 

At Dephna, our kitchens meet all British Standards and regulations and offer complete flexibility and 24-hour access with commission-free deliveries. If you’re interested in our commercial kitchen rental, cold storage rooms or catering kitchens, enquire now to book a visit.  

by Dephna

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