The food service sector is, by its very nature, at a higher risk than other businesses of being affected by unsafe gas work or appliances. Co-operation between CEDA and CESA has produced an initiative to help the catering industry get the critical issue of gas safety right.
The CEDA Technical Steering Group (TSG) and the CESA Technical Forum have developed an initiative that makes it much easier for operators to comply with best-practice guidelines and to maintain gas appliances to a safe standard. Ultimately, it is hoped that they will significantly raise standards of gas safety within commercial kitchens.
To clarify the issue of gas installations and appliances, the TSG looked into Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines by referring in particular to HSE Catering Information Sheets 11, 12 and 23. Combining the suggestions outlined by these best-practice information sheets, the TSG concluded that in order to meet the regulations, gas equipment should be inspected for safety at least once every 12 months and should be serviced by competent personnel in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
The CEDA/CESA Register of Qualified Catering Equipment Engineers (www.qengineers.co.uk) is the only register of qualified engineers in the industry and should be the first point of call for operators. All engineers have to hold appropriate qualifications to be included on the register and must meet the guideline outlined by the HSE Catering Information Sheet 12 - Maintenance Priorities in Catering which states: "Appliances need to be routinely serviced to ensure their continued safe operation. This must be done by competent personnel that are appropriately qualified service engineers."
By Lisa Jenkins
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