Restaurants: Why clean air is so important.

Air pollution has been declared a national health emergency and as public awareness continues to grow, the restaurant industry is one that can significantly benefit from tackling the issue. This is particularly relevant for high-end restaurants where a visit is more than just a meal; it’s an experience.

Unbeknown to many, indoor air is on average two to five times more polluted than outdoor air and the busy restaurant can be a prime example of such conditions. As a restaurant owner there are a variety of reasons to improve the indoor air quality of your premises.

Restaurant worker, respiratory problems?

Restaurant workers – in particular chefs, experience regular exposure to smoke and fumes produced during cooking that poses a range of health risks. Worryingly, a strong correlation between cooking fumes and lung cancer has been reported in almost all research to date. Various methods of cooking have been shown to release carcinogenic substances such as formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, amines and benzine. All types of frying in particular release harmful levels of particulate matter, most notably deep frying.

In one particular study, restaurant workers were shown to occupy at least twice as many symptoms of chronic respiratory problems than non-restaurant workers. These symptoms ranged from coughs and wheeziness to dyspnea and ‘severe dyspnea’, which itself is a common symptom of lung and heart disease. A range of factors contribute to such symptoms including size of restaurant, location of kitchen, hours of stay in the kitchen, types of cooking oil and number of fry dishes prepared.

Taste of food

Air pollution has been proven to affect how we taste food. A range of pollutants are known to immediately impact our respiratory functions including our sense of smell, which subsequently alters our ability to taste. Cleaning the air in your restaurant will help protect the flavours in your food.

Allergens

With a range of foods being cooked and prepared in the kitchen, customers with severe food allergies can be at risk of exposure to airborne allergens. In addition, approximately 50% of the UK population suffer from allergies such as hay fever and cleaning the air of your restaurant can create a welcome escape from airborne triggers.

Virus & bacteria

The regular flow of customers in any restaurant will provide a high level of threat from exposure to virus and infection. The average UK employee costs their employer an incredible £600 per year in sick pay and efficiently cleaning indoor air is proven to reduce sick days by over 50%.

Traffic pollution

Many restaurants are situated in busy cities and high streets, providing regular exposure to high levels of toxic traffic pollution. Particulate matter (PM2.5) from vehicles are some of the most harmful pollutants and they easily make their way inside and become trapped; a big part of the reason indoor air quality is worse than outdoor.

Cleaning methods

Regular cleaning of tables is inevitably a crucial part of running a restaurant. After all, there’s nothing worse as a customer than sitting at a table covered in remnants of meals gone by. However, air quality monitoring in buildings regularly demonstrates a spike in air pollution after cleaning methods have taken place. Most common cleaning products contain a range of chemicals and constant cleaning of tables can create bioaerosols that can contaminate both food and air.

Join our ‘Airnitiative’

At Airnitiative we are supporters of the We Share Clean Air program and ambassadors for Radic8 technology – the world’s highest certified clean air technology. The technology is the only of its kind that catches and neutralises all known pollutants including cooking fumes, allergens, traffic pollution, virus and bacteria. Oh, and we can also help you master cleaning those tables pollution-free in one simple step.

You can find us at www.airnitiative.co.uk or catch us on 0203 488 1204

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