The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has warned that hospitality operators that buy cheap, sub-standard gas from rogue traders are trading in “a false economy, which could prove fatal”.
The trade body is concerned that injuries may occur from the purchase of sub-standard gas, which is widely available from unscrupulous sellers. And it is urging the licensed sector to be on their guard against rogue traders who could jeopardise their business and put safety at risk with poor grade gas.
Chief executive, Doug Thornton, said that poor gas can jeopardise safety, hygiene and quality: “We are aware that rogue traders are stealing cylinders and filling them with non-food grade gases. For the sake of safety and reputation, drinks dispense gases should always be purchased from a reputable supplier.
“Good drinks dispense gas is supplied as food grade gas in a cylinder that is correctly labelled, tested and in good condition, and it is essential for serving the product in the way that the drinks supplier intended. However, outlets are being targeted by seemingly attractive offers from non-reputable suppliers.
“These cylinders are cheaper than those supplied by reputable suppliers, but our advice is that they should be avoided at all costs.”
A poster-style guide, which includes reference to the dangers of purchasing gas from non-reputable sources, has recently being produced by the BCGA, with support from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association (BFBi).
The poster ‘Good Gas – Good Business’ is designed to be put on the walls of licensed premises to make people aware of gas issues. It is part of a long-standing partnership between all three organisations to drive safety standards across the industry.
As well as highlighting the problems associated with rogue traders, the poster addresses the use of gas in confined spaces – and the importance of using correctly installed and maintained gas equipment.
Thornton added: “The cylinders are not correctly checked and tested and could explode if they’re corroded inside. Poor quality gas will also spoil the taste of beers, lagers and soft drinks, which will ultimately mean dissatisfied customers.”