Dirty asian kitchen with unwashed noodle bowls

Bar Rescue: Common Environmental Issues Uncovered

You may enjoy watching Bar Rescue, a popular show that attempts to take a struggling bar at the brink of failure back to success. On the show, expert Jon Taffer is called in to save the owner’s failing business, and during the course of the major renovations, he often uncovers some startling environmental issues.

Improper FOG Management

One of the problems often seen on the show is improper management of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) in the kitchen. Jon Taffer is often irate when he sees this issue, as it must be taken seriously. Failing to clean up old lipid residue on the grill or other surfaces, can allow bacteria to grow and fester. If this makes its way into the food being served, customers may become ill. If this happens, they are unlikely to return as repeat patrons, and they may make a formal complaint to the health department or even file a lawsuit.

Yet, cleaning up old FOG residue isn’t the only problem encountered, as properly installed and maintained grease traps must be present as well. Jon Taffer sometimes discovers that these are missing, or that they haven’t been emptied out and cleaned on a regular basis. Having a great deal of FOG present in a kitchen or in the traps can be a major fire hazard.

The grease traps are what keeps grease from building up in the ductwork of your restaurant or bar. If the traps are missing, or are not regularly cleaned, the grease will accumulate in your ductwork and on your roof – creating the perfect conditions for a devastating fire. This not only endangers patrons and employees, but it can also lead to expensive code violations.

Mold Growth

This is an extremely important health concern, especially in establishments which serve food and drinks. There are many types of toxic mold, and these can grow and flourish if water is allowed to sit or undetected water leaks are present.

During Taffer’s inspections of both the kitchen and bar areas, moisture problems are often uncovered. When old bar tops or appliances in the kitchen are removed, mold is sometimes found. If mold is present, he always calls in a qualified mold remediation company to perform testing.

If they determine that the mold is hazardous, they will carry out a full cleanup, following all of the stringent government regulations required. Taffer stresses that this expense is necessary, as failing to take this issue seriously can lead to major health problems or costly fines.

Dirty Exhaust Fans

Proper ventilation in the kitchen is important, yet many of the bars seen on the show, fail to keep this vital system clean. Taffer often sees old deposits of cooking by-product on the exhaust fan over the grill or range, which may consist of both solid and liquid materials.

In some instances, these deposits haven’t been properly cleaned off in many years. This can impede ventilation and the residue is highly flammable, which both raise safety concerns. Also, the organic nature of the buildup can make it a breeding ground for bacteria, which is a health and environmental issue.

Code Violations

Poor FOG management isn’t the only code violation seen on the show, as a host of others are often uncovered as well. These include the following issues:

  • Bars sometimes have an inadequate number of smoke detectors, or these may be improperly placed.
  • Fire suppression systems in the kitchen may be missing, not functioning or too small to provide total fire protection.
  • Ventilation in the kitchen may be inadequate.
  • Fire exits may be missing or blocked.
  • There may not be enough fire extinguishers on site, these may be improperly maintained or of the wrong type to combat the potential fire hazards present.
  • A Total Solution

While your bar or restaurant is unlikely to appear on Bar Rescue any time soon, you may have some of these common environmental issues present. Fortunately, Koorsen Environmental can provide you with a convenient solution.

Grease trap installation, maintenance and cleaning is available, to ensure that your kitchen is managing FOG safely. Comprehensive kitchen exhaust cleaning is also offered, to remove buildup from the exhaust fan itself, the back splash, all accessible ductwork and even the area around the exhaust vent on the roof.

Investing in these services is well-worth the expense, as it can reduce the risk of fire, keep you in compliance with local and national regulations and codes, help you to avoid fines from code violations, extend the life of your valuable equipment and ensure the health and safety of your patrons.

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