Understanding your legal requirements to adequate ventilation systems for the foodservice industry.


Commercial Kitchen Extraction Regulations

For the Foodservice Industry

Adequate ventilation within commercial kitchens isn’t only crucial for your staff and customers, but it is also a legal requirement. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 ‘require employers to provide effective and suitable ventilation in every enclosed workplace’.

Commercial cooking environments produce significant amounts of fumes, vapours, and heat. Because of this, food establishments require canopy hoods for safe extraction.

This guide aims to help those in the foodservice industry understand the fundamentals of the Commercial Kitchen Extraction Regulations.

Quick topic links

commercial kitchen ventilation requirements

Effective kitchen ventilation systems are designed to:

  • Remove hot air and bring in cool, clean air.
  • Remove cooking fumes at the source.
  • Ensure air movement in the kitchen doesn’t cause discomfort for employees.
  • Provide a comfortable working environment for employees.
  • Be easy to clean and maintain.
  • Prevent the risk of carbon monoxide accumulate.
  • Be quiet and vibration-free.

Your ventilation system needs to take into account:

  • The layout of the kitchen.
  • The number of staff.
  • The need for simple cleaning and maintenance.
  • The amount of cooking equipment.
  • The cooking load.


Canopy hoods need to be effective and ensure the removal of cooking fumes. In addition, the canopy needs to be a suitable size and have effective extraction to do this efficiently. Finally, there should be a canopy hood for every appliance that generates heat and is close to the source.

Airflow into the canopy should be constant. Canopies and ductwork need to be designed from material that discourages dirt, grease and condensation. Furthermore, grease filters must be easy to remove, and the design should allow room for regular cleaning and maintenance.

commercial kitchen extraction systems
gas hob with pan


Replacement Air

Effective ventilation systems replace the extracted air, this can be mechanical or natural, but it should be fresh and clear air from outside. Fine mesh grilles and filters can help restrict the ventilation from unwanted pests.

Cooling Air

A balance of cool incoming air and extracted hot air will prevent the kitchen from becoming too hot. Mechanical systems should direct cool air towards hot workstations. Alternatively, you can use air conditioning or fixed fans if they don’t impact the air extraction system.

What to look for in an extraction system designer

Good designers will have vast experience in designing extraction systems. Always ask for evidence of previous work, and look at their customer feedback and reviews. Good engineers will take into account a wide range of considerations, for example:

  • How you plan to use your kitchen.
  • The presence of gas appliances ensures an adequate supply of air.
  • Information about the equipment used within the kitchen and any cleaning requirements.
  • The building shape and structure to assess any limitations.
  • The requirements of the air cleaning system.
  • Food hygiene requirements.
  • Heat control.

What to look for in an extraction system installer

Professional extraction system installers need to understand the design performance and capacity of your ventilation system to ensure adequate ventilation. Therefore, always seek experienced and respected installers that can evidence their skills.

If you don’t have a previous installation or data isn’t available, the installer will recommission the system and produce a detailed performance report.

If you are installing a gas appliance, you should also ensure the installer is a Gas Safe registered engineer. The gas installer will need to know the specific air inlet requirements obtained from the manufacturer. Your gas installer will then check these requirements are met by your ventilation system while considering any existing appliances.

Additional Reading

Useful links to content about Commercial Kitchen regulations.

Gas safety in catering and hospitality Catering
Information Sheet CAIS23(rev3) HSE 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need extraction in a commercial kitchen?

By law, you are required to have fully operational extraction systems installed in any commercial kitchen setting. As a result, canopy hoods should be installed above any cooking appliance to remove fumes and vapour.

Do I need planning permission to install an extraction system?

You will require planning permission to install, replace or move extraction systems in your commercial kitchen. This is required when any part of the extraction system is fitted to the outside of your property, changing the property’s external appearance.

Do I need a canopy for electric cooking appliances?

Electric and Gas appliances have different extraction requirements. However, both types require an extraction canopy. Therefore, we calculate extraction rates on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the length, width and height of your kitchen as well as your appliance specifications.

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