Aged care kitchens are, without doubt, an integral part of any facility. With the current generation of Aging Australians having gone through life with quality food at their fingertips, they naturally have higher expectations around food quality, taste and diversity.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the University of Queensland’s National Menu Survey for Residential Aged Care study found that a major portion of the aged care facilities across Australia adopt the ‘fresh cook’ model.
Food produced on the day it is served means that many facilities have kitchens operating seven days a week. A variation on the cook-fresh theme, certain facilities use a hybrid approach through the likes of cook-chill technology. This allows commercial kitchens to re-thermalise meals over the weekend to reduce their labour costs.
It is for this reason that more and more nursing and aged care homes have adopted the use of combi-steam ovens in their kitchens. They boast functional diversity and can provide fresh food to residents, with a wide menu, from one appliance. Other popular appliances used in today’s commercial aged care kitchens include the pressurised brat pan and of course, the faithful stovetop.
Most of the cooking equipment found in aged care kitchens, therefore, generates water-based steam as opposed to grease steam particles that are usually produced in cafés and restaurants that predominantly grill, fry, and broil. Grease build-up inside of aged care kitchen exhaust systems would, therefore, remain minimal for the longer term, which should translate to a reduction in the frequency of routine filter and duct cleaning.
Yet Shepherd Filters frequently finds that aged care facilities are having filter and duct cleans performed when they are not yet necessary, wasting time and money.
The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has published a technical bulletin, which discusses ‘best-practice inspection and cleaning means it is OK to exceed the AS 1851 minimum requirements’. It covers:
- When system inspections should take place – given aged care facilities are generally classed as light-moderate use, a six to 12-monthly inspection would be appropriate
- With the use of a grease comb depth gauge a clean is:
- Not required for readings of up to 0.05mm depth (regarded as a clean surface)
- Not required for readings of up to 2mm depth (considered acceptable)
- Required for readings over 3mm
The International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA) offers the same recommendation, which all good duct cleaners should be a member of, and abide by.
It is not surprising that Shepherd Filters is now receiving a great deal of interest from the nursing and aged care community, who are looking to:
- Reduce expensive duct cleaning and not be charged by a duct cleaner to clean a system that is not exceeding acceptable grease levels (insurance approved)
- Avoid using water, chemicals, dishwasher breakdown maintenance
- Minimise external duct cleaning contractor visits during the COVID-19 outbreak and ongoing
Taking the current global pandemic into consideration, the risk of unnecessary exposure that comes with filter exchange service personnel visiting dozens of kitchens every day can also be avoided.
For any grease particulates that are generated from cooking, Shepherd Filters can help by:
- Stopping up to 98% of grease from entering the kitchen exhaust system 365 days a year
- Reducing routine maintenance spending on filter cleaning and kitchen exhaust maintenance costs, to clean the kitchen exhaust system by replacing major duct cleans with minor cleans or inspections only for insurance
- Reducing contact between staff and contractors within the kitchen
- Helping to further reduce fire risk
THE SHEPHERD FILTERS SOLUTION
Switching to disposable kitchen grease filters is the best way to mitigate risk and save. Our product offers a cost-effective solution to a long-term problem faced in commercial kitchens everywhere and it does so in an environmentally friendly way.
Thanks to the power of Australian wool (and innovations in cooking equipment), aged care kitchens everywhere can now take advantage of savings in labour and cleaning costs.
Contact us today to learn more!