Ever considered using camping equipment in a commercial catering venture? People do it (most commonly when they’re just starting up). Thing is, it’s a massive no-no. If you’ve made this mistake (and you wouldn’t be the first), please read these reasons why you have to change your ways.
1. Camping stoves are DANGEROUS!
Did you know that portable butane gas stoves have been completely banned in Australia? That should give you a bit of a clue about how much of a bad idea it is to use camping stoves for commercial catering.
Every year lots of incidents of explosions caused by these types of burners are reported. If a commercial caterer were to use several in close proximity, they dramatically increase the risk of an explosion as the group of burners heat up significantly.
Sadly, we have come across quite a few caterers who are guilty of having made this mistake in the past, one of whom now has a severely disfigured face. Thankfully no one else was hurt in that particular incident.
2. They aren’t fit for purpose
Camping stoves are for leisure use only. They are by definition designed for camping use for short durations, NOT for commercial catering where they would be in use for lengthy periods.
Because they’re only basic equipment, they also don’t feature flame failure devices. That means that they breach the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and absolutely should not be used for commercial catering. Without an FFD, LPG will continue to come out of the catering equipment when a flame has gone out, causing a dangerous build-up of gas.
Camping stoves are also only designed for small diameter pans. If you use a large commercial pan on a camping stove it will reflect heat back onto the LPG cylinder and cause it to over-pressurise, risking leaks or even splitting the cylinder.
3. Camping stoves don’t get checked and certified
You’re legally required to have all of your LPG equipment checked by a qualified Gas Safe engineer at least once a year. Thing is, Gas Safe engineers aren’t actually able to inspect camping stoves because they have a gas tight seal at the gas cylinder connection.
With one of these items, you wouldn’t be able to get a Gas Safe certificate so you’d have no way of knowing whether the burner is in working condition or not. And if you don’t know if they’re safe, you’re risking lives every time you use them.
4. You could be prosecuted or face civil action
If you’re using camping equipment in a commercial catering set-up, there’s just nothing to work in your defence if an incident occurs. There are plenty of regulations that show that these pieces of equipment aren’t viable (seriously, check out Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998!).
Criminal proceedings could be brought against you due to the gross negligence you’ve shown if you’ve used camping stoves which could result in substantial fines or even a judicial sentence. Victims of any incidents that do occur could also bring civil action against you. It’s just not worth taking the risk.
5. You wouldn’t get an insurance pay-out if anything went wrong
Not only would you be risking lives by using camping equipment to cook high numbers of covers, but you’d also be risking your entire business by negating your insurance policies. It’s likely that your insurance company would refuse to pay for any claims because using camping equipment is a clear breach of legislation. And if you have to fork out for legal costs and fines yourself, you could well be forced to say goodbye to your food business.
Need to find some new equipment?
If you’ve been making this mistake, now’s the time to change. And if you were thinking of going down this line but have changed your mind now that you’ve read the reasons why you need to avoid camping equipment, visit NCASS Equipment.
All of the LPG equipment featured on the NCASS site is CE-marked, with flame failure devices and is fully compatible with legal regulations.
Looking for something really neat?
Then check out the QuickSafe LPG System. With this gas rig you can set up and start cooking in two minutes! Check out the video of visit NCASS Equipment for more information.