Why is a kitchen rated commercial?

Any cooking area that has been established with a purpose to sell food is known as commercial kitchen. These kitchens must be designed and inspected; to ensure that the food prepared in them, are safe for public consumption. It’s name can vary from by application as for a restaurant, hotel, school cafeteria, etc; but they all serve the same purpose and fall under this commercial kitchen category. However, the size, the equipment, cooking stations, and other things changes as per the requirement of the operation.

It all depends on your menu,  cooking style and methods used by the head chef. So an effective commercial kitchen is designed keeping in consideration the requirements of the head chef. Because the method selected by chef decides what equipment it will need, and how many working stations are required which further dictates the allocation of space to a particular section. Commercial kitchen equipment is specially designed to stand up to the abuse of the commercial environment and are different from daily life residential equipment. Unlike residential kitchens, commercial kitchens need to follow some rules and regulations in order to get started.

Cooking Area

The easiest way to figure out the size and number of cooking stations that are required, is by going through the menu, item by item. As per the menu, areas are added and removed from the kitchen based on the flow and function of operations. If for example, a restaurant offers cake in their menu, a dedicated area for baking has to be assigned and just like this, so on so forth. This way the cooking areas are developed to fulfill the requirements for the dishes in a menu; plan your work and work your plan. If the restaurant is also providing cooking classes as another example, then a special teaching station needs to be assigned where the chef teaches and observes the work of its students.

Commercial Kitchen Equipment

The commercial kitchen equipment really demonstrates the differences between a commercial kitchen from a residential kitchen, as the equipment is much larger in size and designed for the individual preparation tasks based on the required preparation of the dishes on the menu. The equipment selection basically depends of the recommendation of the chef and consultant, based on how they actually intend to execute their menu. Unlike a residential kitchen equipment, the tag commercial brings the set guidelines of rules and regulations for their use in commercial environments.

Layout Design

The commercial kitchen layout will be designed keeping in mind all local codes to ensure the safety of the workers from accidents and must meet these requirements in order to operate hassle free. So as per these codes, the designer and architects allocate the space for a particular area and arrange them at a safe distances for proper movement of the staff while working in the kitchen, in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of any accidents. There are also the sanitation parameters that needs to be addressed in order to establish the space as an approved commercial kitchen.

Health Code Regulation and Safety Requirements

Health code regulations and OSHA safety requirements are imposed on all commercial kitchens based on their geographical location. Working with a design consultant that has an intimate understanding of these guidelines will not only speed along your design process, but ultimately save money in the long run by preventing permit delays. Safety requirements most often include proper ventilation systems, fire suppression systems, ergonomic working environments, adequate food storage and access to hygiene facilities and in some places, HACCP plans. These HACCP plan guidelines must be met in order to ensure the safety of staff and patrons.

As these kitchens are set to prepare food in bulk and for retail purposes, health code permits are requirement in order to prepare and sell the food to the public. From the approved temperature of dishwasher to paint quality, to the waste disposal handling, everything comes under the health code regulations. Local governments of the area select the health code for commercial kitchens from the federal FDA code and are standardized for all the commercial kitchens of that region.

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