Commercial cooking operations can pose a fire-safety risk due to the combination of heat, fuel, electricity and the production of greasy vapors. In order to increase the safety of cooking operations in mobile food vendors, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) recommends that all staff undergo the following training.
Store cooking oils properly: Keep cooking oils in their original containers or puncture-resistant, tightly sealed containers that are labeled. Store containers in well-ventilated areas and away from combustible supplies (paper, plastic, wood), food, food preparation areas and any flame sources.
Practice good housekeeping: Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from heat and cooking appliances. Properly dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes and wooden pallets at least once a day.
Remove grease: Exhaust hoods must be cleaned regularly (at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer), as grease buildup can restrict airflow and can cause or accelerate a fire. Clean all vents and filters, interior walls and work surfaces (ranges, fryers, broilers, grills and ovens).
Discard ashes: Remove ashes from wood-burning or charcoal ovens at least once daily.
Use chemicals properly: Chemicals should be used in a well-ventilated area and mix chemicals only if it’s their intended use
During an Emergency
Learn how to use portable fire extinguishers: All mobile food vendors operating within the City of Loveland are required to install at least one Class ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the cooking area, and cooking operations that produce greasy vapors must have a Class K extinguisher. All employees must be familiar with the location of the fire extinguisher and how to use it. There are many internet websites that offer training, such as www.fireextinguishertraining.com.
Never put water on a grease fire: Water thrown on a grease fire will cause the grease to splatter and likely spread the fire.
Prepare an emergency plan: If a fire breaks out in the food truck, staff must take control of the situation. All employees must exit the vehicle and lead customers to a location a safe distance away.
Shut down: Staff members must be trained in how to shut off propane and electrical power in the event of an emergency.