Just yesterday, we celebrated the Worlds Day for Safety and Health at Work and for sure we need constant reminders about this especially in the kitchen. Occupational health and safety is a very important topic and a wide discipline that we could talk about all day but first, let’s shed the years… Do you know that a mask should serve until it asks for retirement? Hahaha… this is debatable I guess.
Kitchen and waiting staff dash back and forth all day long in compact areas and this provides lots of hazards to contend with. These hazards include; hot surfaces, harmful substances, sharp objects, electrical and gas equipment handling and unkempt floors. All these increase the likelihood of an incident and the extent of harm to an individual and the kitchen equipment.
In a commercial kitchen, you must be attentive and cautious all the time and follow the health and safety procedures set as it is a common fact that it is a dangerous place. The most important note to remember is, you are responsible for your own safety and that of others around you.
The Health and Safety points to watch out for include;
Cuts, Falls and Strains
These occur when sharp objects are not handled properly, carelessness while moving about, poor handling of equipment moving parts, wet or greased floors and unrepaired steel parts/sheets lying carelessly around the kitchen. Always use kitchen knives and other sharp objects carefully and be aware of the kitchen environment as you continue about your task. Ensure you adorn the right gears for working within your section of operation. Install stainless steel gulleys and stainless steel floor traps to facilitate drainage within the kitchen.
Burns and Fires
Burns are caused when in contact with hot surfaces such sauce pans, pan lids and even cooking surfaces. Be careful when handling hot objects and check for signs showing the surface is hot. Do not leave saucepan handles sticking out of the cooking range. Ensure you do not use flammable substances close to open fires or the cooking areas. Turn off gas equipment like fryers when not in use and always inspect the gas line for leakages and report immediately. Properly put on your working gears. Avoid loose fitting clothing and parts when operating in hot kitchen, cooking areas. Wipe all greased surfaces like stainless steel tables and ensure to clean the kitchen hood and the extraction system to avoid fires.
Food Contamination and Poisoning
Contamination and poisoning occurs due to poor kitchen hygiene, germs and bacteria from raw food spreading to cooked or preparation surfaces. You can separate the preparation areas into vegetable, red meat and white meat. These areas should have independent stainless steel sinks and stainless steel worktops. Use color coded chopping boards and properly cook food.
Always observe the four Cs of food hygiene; Cleaning, Cooking, Chilling and Cross-contamination.
Service your equipment regularly or work with a trusted supplier that offers quality stainless steel kitchen equipment.