Orange County certified home & commercial inspector

Office:  949 716-0934    Cell:  949 981-6558    E-mail:


Commercial Kitchens

Orange County certified home & commercial inspector

Orange County certified home & commercial inspector

Commercial kitchen facilities for churches, schools, restaurants, fast food outlets, canteens, day care, hospitals, larger hotels, nursing homes etc. have special requirements above a residential kitchen. 

It should be noted that there is no constant in standards and codes between the jurisdictions of State, County, City and even individual inspectors. 

The major controlling agencies of a commercial kitchens are: 

Health (Environmental Health) Agency permits (TFE).

          O.C. office: 714 433-6000, 

Fire Authority inspections, usually once a year, unannounced

          Orange County (Irvine) 714 573-6150,


Major areas of difference between commercial & residential are: 

Exhaust hood systems:         

Required at or above all commercial-type deep fat dryers, broilers, fry grills, steam-jacketed kettles, hot-top ranges, open ovens, BBQs, rotisseries, dishwashing machines, and similar equipment. 

Type I hoods, must be used over all grease-producing equipment and provide fire protection. 

Type II (non-compliant) hoods, less expensive, lighter weight materials, may not require filters. 

Ductwork, general standards are 16 gage steel or 18 gage stainless steel, liquid tight welded. The same clearance criteria for hoods pertains to duct work. 

          Fans, listed for grease-laden vapors, upblast type. 

Fire Suppression systems, local codes will dictate the type of fixed pipe system, wet or dry chemical agents, or water (fog) into hood and ductwork. May be automatic or manual activated. 

Portable fire extinguishers, within 1 year inspection, gage in “green”.

          Must be within 30 feet of a hazard. 

Air recirculation systems, local standards to remove heat, steam, condensation, odors, smoke or fumes with approved filters. 

CFM, “cubic feet per minute”, a mechanical code measurement. 

UL listed lights, local standards in foot candle ratings, with shatter-proof bulbs. 

Separate sinks, separate sinks are required for food processing, utensil washing, mop sink and hand washing station. Some jurisdictions require floor sinks to be flush with floor. 

Special plumbing items:

          Local codes may be required to commercial equipment.

          Local codes may have hot water temp. & tank requirements. 

Non-permeable flooring, smooth, non-absorbent, easily cleanable and durable. 

Walls & ceilings, light colored, smooth, non-absorbent and easily cleanable.

No exposed framing.

Walls behind sinks should be covered with waterproof materials. 

Grease containment systems, grease interceptors maintenance plan is required along with a maintenance history log. 

Commercial appliances, it is best to have a commercial appliance dealer evaluate and identify commercial ratings (NSF-approved or equal). 

Posted health grade card 

          A          Very good to acceptable levels of sanitation

          B          Acceptable to marginal levels of sanitation

          C          Poor to marginal levels of sanitation 

Certified Food Manager Certification, Health Dept. requirement 

Animals / pets are not allowed in food preparation area.

Exterior openings must be rodent screened, and exterior doors flashed with rodent-proof materials. 

Smoking not permitted while preparing food. 

ADA compliant: Some facilities may require Americans with Disabilities Act


Ingress & Egress, including exterior panic door hardware and fan to repel insects when door is open. 

Panty or dry storage, measured volume standards may be required.

          Can not be stored under exposed or unprotected sewer lines.

          Room temp. can not exceed 70 deg. F. 

Toxic materials, must be stored separately to prevent contamination. 

Garbage and refuse containers, dumpsters and compactor systems located outside must be above ground, made of smooth non-absorbent materials and have tight fitting lids. 

Above are most of the special commercial kitchen requirements, as stated standards and codes vary from place to place.


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