Odour nuisance risks occur when the amount of odour (OU) produced from various kitchen processes are not adequately or efficiently ventilated through the kitchen exhaust design. Some odours – such as baking bread – can be considered pleasant at higher concentrations, while high grease odours – such as deep-fried food – can be unpleasant in low concentration. One odour unit (OU) is a defined as the level of odour concentration, where 50% of the public can detect there is an odour without necessarily being able to describe it.
The guidelines provided to us from the Queensland EPA states that if they have received an odour complaint about a kitchen that produces 10 OU they will consider prosecuting the owner. In such scenarios, the Queensland EPA will acknowledge there is an odour nuisance and will request the owner to reduce the odour exhausted to <5 OU. For reference, a typical burger kitchen exhaust system can be in the range of >700 OU without treatment. Here at SEED, we use dispersion modelling and a range of on-site measurement techniques (compliant to AS 4323.3:2001) to determine what circumstances an odour complaint may be justified.