* Particulate matter (PM), known as a byproduct of commercial cooking, has been
reported as one invisible factor aggravating the health risk effects of
* Commercial cooking is known as the main source of excessively harmful
particulate matter pollution indoors.
* PM pollution in dining room of open-kitchen restaurant was measured far
beyond WHO standards.
* Open-kitchen restaurant employees and frequent customers may be vulnerable to
adverse health effects including COVID-19.
* Air quality surveillance system should be employed to monitor and keep
restaurants safe and healthy
During the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant sanitation and disinfection have
become more important than ever although customers can hardly check visually.
The most recent research argues that one invisible element leaving people
vulnerable to the health effects of COVID-19 is particulate matter (PM),
micron-sized particles known to cause acute or chronic respiratory illnesses,
including lung cancer. While research shows PM is emitted from cooking, this
study examines indoor PM pollution of an open-kitchen full-service chain
restaurant, where commercial cooking occurs in the dining room, as a case
study. The results of a week-long field test showed offensively harmful levels
of PM10 and PM2.5, far beyond US EPA and WHO standards, while ambient outdoor
PM associated with the sample restaurant was safe. The study reveals that
working or frequently dining in an open-kitchen restaurant where grilling or
frying takes place is likely to cause respiratory health problems and elevate
susceptibility to COVID-19 unless surveillance and preventative measures are
taken. Based on our findings, implications and recommendations for the industry
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics