Kitchen Extractor System Cleaning

Cleaning out the air extraction system for your commercial kitchen  is one of the most important maintenance tasks in a commercial kitchen. Due to the fact that the areas involved are not easily visible or accessible to kitchen staff, Kitchen Extraction System Cleaning is easily overlooked. Cleaning of these systems requires external assistance to ensure that the cleaning is carried out properly and in compliance with SANS 1850:2012.

Why is Kitchen Extraction System Cleaning so important and how often is it required?

It’s an established fact that there is what is sometimes called a “holy trinity” in order for there to be fire. You need fuel – something for the fire to burn. You need air – a fire needs oxygen or it will go out. And you need a spark – a source of ignition to set it off.

In your kitchen extraction system and ducting you have all three. You have a build up of oil and grease from the canopy all the way through the duct. Then you have the air from the fan. Finally, you have flames from the cookers down in the kitchen.

Due to the fact that you can’t stop cooking and you have to have air extraction, the only thing you can do to help prevent a fire is to clean the Kitchen Extraction System on a regular basis to prevent build up. This involves Canopy Cleaning, Filter Cleaning, Fan Cleaning and Duct Cleaning throughout the building.

Failure to carry out regular Kitchen Extraction System Cleaning presents a significant risk to your business. Firstly, a fire could result in your business having to close for weeks while repairs take place. Secondly, your fire insurance could be invalidated if you cannot demonstrate that Kitchen Extraction System Cleaning was carried out. Should you be unfortunate enough to have a fire the last thing you want is for your insurance company to refuse a payout because they can point to a clause in your policy which says you have to get it cleaned regularly.

Apart from the fire risk, a dirty Kitchen Extraction System poses a significant health risk as well. Deposits of oil and grease can harbour bacterial growth, which pose a contamination risk for food, as well as a general health risk for staff and customers. All your efforts at maintaining scrupulous food hygiene standards are wasted if there is a constant source of airborne bacteria close by.

Finally, your kitchen extract system will be included as part of any general Health and Safety inspections, which can result in closure or other enforcements.

Apart from Kitchen Extraction Cleaning being a physically difficult job, there is one overriding reason for using a professional service – and that is to obtain adequate proof of cleaning which will be accepted by an insurance company. As well as a certificate, insurance companies want to see physical evidence of cleaning which is properly dated and documented. A third party professional cleaning service can provide this evidence in a form which insurance companies will accept – as well as giving you peace of mind that a major source of business risk has been properly dealt with.

Frequency of Kitchen Extract Cleaning

In accordance with SANS 1850: 2012 Clause 12.3.1:

  • 12.3.1 Canopy, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to bare metal at minimum intervals of six months.

Kitchen Extract Certification

Upon completion of the cleaning of the Kitchen Extraction System and in accordance with SANS 185:2012 Clause 12.3.3:

  • 12.3.3 After cleaning has been completed, the cleaning contractor shall:
  • place or display, within the kitchen area, a certificate that indicates the date on which the cleaning was done and the name of the servicing company. It shall also indicate areas that were not cleaned.
  • provide a report containing the following:
    • The system(s) cleaned
    • Pre-clean measurements (as per System Testing)
    • Post-clean measurements
    • Photographic records*
    • Additional works carried out (if any)
    • MSDS for any chemicals used*
    • Recommendations for future cleaning requirements
    • Observations on the condition of the duct-work system
    • A sketch or schematic of the system indicating access panel and testing locations and highlighting any uncleaned areas with a written explanation as to why the area could not be accessed/cleaned*
    • A full and detailed report will be issued as well as a certificate confirming the work carried out as well as the date for the next clean.

* Supplied on request

Kitchen Extraction system cleaning is made up of the following components:

  • Canopy Clean (Interior and exterior)
  • Filter Cleaning and repairs
  • Extraction ducting cleaning
  • Access panels (When required)

Queries? Contact us.

19 Replies to “Kitchen Extractor System Cleaning”

    1. Good day Glen.

      Thank you for your query. Regrettably, we do not work in Gauteng, but only in Eastern Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

      Have a great day.

  1. Good day,

    I am based in GP and would like to start one such business, I would like to know in terms of this certificate that is issued out after cleaning! Where can we go do training for it, how long does it potentially take?


  2. Good day , I would like to find out how do I obtain a kitchen extraction system cleaning certificate for my business.

    1. Hi Lucky .

      I would need to know where you are and what size the Extraction system is, From there I can quote you and clean it. I am then legally allowed to supply a certificate and audit.

      Let me know.


  3. Hi Rudi, is there a current law stating that kitchen extractors need to be cleaned or is this left up to the restaurant owner. I get the fire risk but wanting to know if cleaning is a law or legal requirement.

    1. Good day Trevor.

      The SANS ACT required that as a restaurant owner, your extraction systems has to be serviced twice a year, and that with that service , there needs to be certification given with a number of items from the service provider. You are legally required to Service it and not doing it, in the case of a fire, you will not be covered, and then the health department are legally allowed to close the shop. So I would advise you get it done. Remember cheap is not good, there are expenses in cleaning properly, and a well known company normally does a better job, Know what the Act expects so that when the job is done , you know what needed to be cleaned and how.

      Hope you come right.


  4. hi I would like to know how do I obtain a certificate for extractor fan and canopy from Durban…please i will really appreciate

  5. Hi,

    Please help, how does one qualify to issue the certificate. I’m in a process of starting such a business in the North West so I’m just trying to understand the compliance part. Your assistance would be appreciated.

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