A Ventilation Exemption Letter could be needed after a health inspection of a new restaurant before opening. Typically, the county asks for a ventilation hood for a minor piece of equipment in “the front of the house,” which is not in the design or installation. Alternatively, the County asks for unneeded ventilation for a piece of equipment with built-in scrubbing. This delays the startup of the restaurant. FOOD FACILITY PLAN REQUIREMENTS
Ventilation Exemption Letter – Why?
Ventilation Exemption Letters provided by mechanical engineers ensure ventilation for all cooking equipment used in a commercial restaurant in cases where the code may not be clear. Whether used in the front dining room or the back kitchen, evaluating all appliances is necessary. Many ovens, warmers, panini presses, toasters, or waffle makers may not need an extensive ventilation system. When the cooking equipment operating temperature, grease, and particulate exhaust remain low enough, the existing room can comply with ventilation requirements. (1) (4)
Ventilation Exemption Letter Requirements
Mechanical Engineers require a “Letter of Engagement” signed by both parties as required by code. This heads off misunderstandings about the professional services provided by the engineer.
The restaurant must provide documentation on the list for an application from the Santa Clara County Health Department, as well as, any specification sheets and emissions data to accompany the application, a menu from the restaurant, and appliance operation instructions. In addition, blueprints and pictures of the kitchen because the Mechanical Engineer needs to see the placement of all appliances, sinks, counters, and doors to configure exhaust output. A formulation is made with location pictures of the ceiling, vents in the kitchen, and dining area ventilation. Along with a sketch of the entire restaurant, both the kitchen and dining area, either a designer sketch or a hand sketch is applicable. (2) (5) Usually, blueprints are available with a new restaurant.
With the above factors, the Mechanical Engineer can determine and calculate if there is enough ventilation to support the ventless ovens, panini makers, and waffle makers. In most cases, no extensive repairs or additional vents need to be added to the restaurant. In all cases, cooking equipment installed correctly and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations works for the restaurant. Equally important, installed in well-ventilated areas approved for food preparation and comply with all local building and fire codes. (3)
In addition, cooking equipment must be installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Equally necessary, installed in well-ventilated areas approved for food preparation and must comply with all local building and fire codes.
Glew Engineering has succeeded in assisting restaurants in obtaining their Health Department certificate and opening in a timely manner by writing an Exhaust Ventilation Exemption letter to the County Department of Health. We have successfully helped many restaurants, including Poke House, Milohas Pastries, Ice 3 Creamery, and Pantry Café, all located in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. (6)
In addition, Glew Engineering a successful business for over 20 years, located in Mountain View, CA, and established by Dr. Alexander Glew. Dr. Glew a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in California, in the mechanical engineering branch, license number M26690. He practices both mechanical and material science engineering. To say nothing of, Dr. Glew performs finite element analysis and (FEA) and computation fluid dynamics (CFD ), as well as, an expert wittiness for many well known high tech companies.