Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 4: Nutrition and Food Service

4.8 Kitchen and Equipment

4.8.0 Ventilation Over Cooking Surfaces

In centers using commercial cooking equipment to prepare meals, ventilation should be equipped with an exhaust system in compliance with the applicable building, mechanical, and fire codes. These codes may vary slightly with each locale, and centers are responsible to ensure their facilities meet the requirements of these codes (1-2).

All gas ranges in centers should be mechanically vented and fumes filtered prior to discharge to the outside. All vents and filters should be maintained free of grease build-up and food spatters, and in good repair.

Properly maintained vents and filters control odor, fire hazards, and fumes.

An exhaust system must collect fumes and grease-laden vapors properly at their source.

The center should refer to the owner’s manual of the exhaust system for a description of capture velocity. Commercial cooking equipment refers to the type of equipment that is typically found in restaurants and other food service businesses.

Proper construction of the exhaust system duct-work assures that grease and other build-up can be easily accessed and cleaned.

If the odor of gas is present when the pilot lights are on, turn off gas and immediately call a qualified gas technician, commercial gas provider, or local gas, electric or utility provider. Never use an open flame to locate a gas leak.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start
  1. American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. 2007. ASHRAE handbook: HVAC applications. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
  2. Clark, J. 2003. Commercial kitchen ventilation design: What you need to know.