cleaning restaurant hoods_cleaning products_Seacole_specialty chemical_Minnesota

The Commercial Kitchen Fire Hazard You’re Probably Ignoring (and What to Do About It)

cleaning restaurant hoods_cleaning products_Seacole_specialty chemical_Minnesota

You’ve installed fire extinguishers around your kitchen, keep a clean griddle and oven, and properly train your staff. You’ve got fire prevention under control, right? If you haven’t cleaned your kitchen’s exhaust hood and exhaust system recently, then the answer is no, you don’t. Here’s why.

Restaurant Kitchen Exhaust Systems Harbor Grease and Oil

The savory smells of frying burgers, bacon, and home fries sizzling on your griddle may make your guests hungry. But the smoke coming off your grill also contains fat particles that land in your exhaust system. If you don’t clean your exhaust hood, fans, and ducts regularly, the grease builds up and creates a major fire hazard.

Getting Under the Hood

The only way to eliminate this fire hazard is to prevent it from building up in the first place. Since that won’t likely happen, you’ll want to identify and hire a contractor that specializes in restaurant vent and hood cleaning. In many larger cities, there may be several contractors who are known for these specialized services. You can also consult with restaurant equipment sales & leasing companies for their recommendations.

Many municipalities require restaurants to comply with various standards when cleaning their kitchen exhaust systems. The National Fire Protection Association Standard 96 provides minimum standards and best practices for cleaning restaurant exhaust systems. The International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners Association is a great resource, too. However, always check with your local regulations. For example, the city of Minneapolis requires a restaurant to obtain a permit prior to conducting hood and vent cleaning. Service and required follow-up inspections must be documented. If there were to be a fire, this documentation could prove that the restaurant was compliant in their maintenance program, protecting the restaurant from costly fines or legal action.

The NFPA recommends commercial kitchens clean their exhaust systems quarterly or monthly. Church kitchens, day camps, and senior centers that provide low-volume service may be able to get away with cleaning their exhaust systems just once or twice a year.

Seacole Products for Restaurant Hood Cleaning

Seacole has the following recommendations for commercial kitchen cleaners who secure contracts to keep restaurant hoods grease-free. 744-Hood and Vent Cleaner is ideal for stainless steel hoods, vents, and general equipment. 748-Gel Cleaner is another great product that attacks organic food grease. It’s very effective on heavy food grease, such as caramelized sugars. 748’s thicker formula is made to cling to the vertical surfaces of vent hoods and mushroom vents, and oven/rotisserie walls and ceilings.

Once your vents and hoods are sparkling, your contractor can finish the job with Seacole’s stainless steel polish to make all surfaces gleam like brand new. We also offer PFC2, a concentrated powdered floor cleaner that is the next generation of floor cleaners. This solution to your floor cleaning problems can be used from the kitchen, to restrooms, entryways, and even concrete surfaces of the restaurants’ parking lot or drive-thru lane (not recommended for tar or asphalt).

Don’t let a major fire hazard put your commercial kitchen at risk. Regular degreasing and cleaning can keep grime under control and keep your kitchen safe. For help selecting the right products for your restaurant cleaning challenges, contact Seacole today.

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Gregg Elliott CEO_Seacole_State of Manufacturing_Minnesota

Following Up on the State of Manufacturing in Minnesota

Gregg Elliott CEO_Seacole_State of Manufacturing_Minnesota

Last month, Seacole founder and CEO Gregg Elliott was a panelist for Enterprise® Minnesota State of Manufacturing® event.

Key Findings of the State of Manufacturing® Survey

A state-wide survey of Minnesota’s manufacturers provided the talking points for this year’s event. The number one challenge manufacturers report facing is hiring and retaining high-quality employees. Despite identifying this as a challenge, many manufacturers have not incorporated potential solutions to the labor shortage into their strategic planning. Related to the challenge of hiring workers is the rising cost of health care, another concern of many manufacturers. Finally, respondents were split on whether the 2018 tax reforms will help or harm their bottom lines.

Seacole’s Gregg Elliott on How the Labor Shortage Affected Our Operations

As a panelist, Gregg shared the effects the state’s labor shortage has had on Seacole’s operations. “We’ve had to reach farther afield to find quality candidates,” he noted “We’ve engaged multiple temp agencies and more recruiters to help us find strong employees.”

On How to Solve the Labor Shortage Challenge

Gregg hopes Minnesota’s educational institutions will take a leading role in expanding the manufacturing workforce. He hopes schools will encourage students to pursue STEM-related courses of study. He also hopes local high schools will encourage graduates to pursue 2- and 4-year degrees at tech schools. Hands-on internships at Minnesota manufacturers could expose more students to the various industries and increase interest.

On Other External Factors Affecting Seacole

Lastly, Gregg shared other external factors affecting Seacole. We’ve observed significant increases in freight costs due to a shortage of drivers and stricter regulations for OTR trucking. He also anticipates disruptions to the supply of imported goods due to more aggressive tariffs.

We enjoyed the opportunity to share our experiences with other manufacturers across the state of Minnesota. To learn more about this event or Seacole’s products and services, contact us today.

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