The commercial kitchen is a busy and hot place. Producing delicious tasting food for your customers should not come at the expense of the safety of your kitchen staff. The kitchen, however, is a hot bed of accidents waiting to happen and when they do, the effects can be catastrophic for your staff, as well as for your business.
With this in mind, we offer five tips for making sure that health and safety in your commercial kitchen is as the top of its games;
- Food hygiene
From prepping of food, to serving it to storage of it, every stage of this process must be done safely. Bacteria needs certain conditions to grow and yes, you’ve guessed it, the conditions in your commercial kitchen are perfect.
Basic food hygiene is understanding how cross contamination occurs and the steps taken to prevent it. For those working in a commercial kitchen, advanced food hygiene courses and those specific to hospitality sectors also improve health and safety in the kitchen.
- Burns and scalds
Hot ovens, hobs, deep fat fryers, the heated pass, the hot water boilers, the commercial dishwasher and so on, all present the hazards of burns and scalds.
In some ways, being burnt is almost inevitable when dealing with heated liquids and foods but this doesn’t mean that health and safety should not exist. In many cases, kitchen staff wearing the right uniform can make a difference. For example, the three-quarter sleeve chef jacket protects the upper arms from burns, the part of the body mostly likely to be caught on a hot over door or shelf.
The floor in a commercial kitchen can become slippery from food or drink being inadvertently spilt, as well as condensation that can form during a fast, furious and hot service.
Many commercial kitchens have a member of staff who is responsible for cleanliness throughout the shift, actively looking for and wiping up spills etc. When this happens, there should be a ‘caution: slippery surface’ sign used on the floor, and all members made aware of it.
- Sharp knives
Chef knives are unlike domestic knives. A chef prides himself on keeping his or her knives super-sharp. But, to an untrained or lay person, they may use this knife, assuming it is like the knives they have at home.
This leads to cuts, some of which can be deep and unpleasant lacerations needing stitches. As well as warning people, ensuring that you have an adequately trained first aider with a first aid box stacked with the equipment they need is vital too.
- Safe use of equipment
From potato peelers to commercial dishwasher, to meat cutters and more, there are all kinds of pieces of equipment in a commercial kitchen and it is important that staff members are trained on how to use it properly.
Some of these pieces of equipment may be familiar, and this helps in their operation but should not be relied upon as a means of training.
The commercial kitchen should be as safe as it possibly can. Is yours?