With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people have become careful about their eating habits and hygiene. If proper hygiene protocols are not followed, it can lead to the spreading of diseases with contaminated food.
A commercial kitchen can be a dangerous place to work with sharp kitchen equipment, inflatable ingredients and materials, open flames, oils, and acids all coexisting in a fast-paced environment. Lack of kitchen safety in a restaurant can prove disastrous not just for the kitchen staff but also for the customers.
Kitchen safety means keeping your kitchen accident free and safe as you perform regular functions. Kitchen safety requires maintaining high levels of hazard awareness, adhering to safety instructions, and cooperation amongst the staff.
7 Kitchen Safety Tips For Your Restaurant
1. Keep it Ventilated
It is vital to maintain proper ventilation to ensure kitchen safety. Lack of proper ventilation in the kitchen area can create polluted and strenuous working conditions for your kitchen employees. Without adequate ventilation, the kitchen can quickly become hot, smokey, and suffocating. Long working hours without ventilation can put the kitchen staff at-risk of chronic breathing problems or heart-related diseases.
To ensure proper ventilation in your kitchen, you can install a commercial kitchen ventilation system to remove irritants in the air and contribute to temperature control.
2. Avoid Spills and Slips
Kitchen floors quickly become slippery due to frequent spillage of oil, grease, or water. As a result of such spillage, employees are continually at risk of injuring themselves. It is imperative to use non-slip mats to ensure kitchen safety from slipping. Non-slip mats are designed to prevent slips and can prevent life-threatening workplace accidents.
3. Ensure Fire Safety
One of the most effective ways to ensure kitchen safety is to maintain proper precautions from fire. Commercial kitchens are constantly at risk of fire hazards. Fires can start for multiple reasons in a kitchen, ranging from grease fires to electric fires. To prevent such fire hazards, restaurants must take all and every kind of preventive measure.
Restaurants can install suitable fire suppression systems. Such systems can extinguish, control and even prevent fires from spreading or occurring. In a busy kitchen, installing smoke detector alarms alerts the kitchen staff of any potential fire. Once you have your fire suppression system in place, it is necessary to train your employees in using the system to ensure kitchen safety. You can also prepare your staff with general fire safety tactics, treating fire burns, and performing CPR.
4. Train To Operate Equipment & Appliances
Kitchens are full of equipment that can severely injure the kitchen staff if not handled with caution and training. It is crucial to provide proper training to your kitchen staff on using the different types of kitchen equipment.
Employees need to be trained about using and storing knives, working around inflammable items, handling hot dishes with care, and using oven mitts when working with hot equipment, amongst other things. You can also fit equipment guards on your appliances to prevent accidents.
Staff needs to be further trained on using electrical appliances to avoid electrical accidents. Staff should do check-ups of electrical equipment and fix broken or unfit equipment. Make sure it is off before plugging it in and switching it on. Keep all electrical cords and appliances away from any kind of liquid. Before leaving the kitchen area, check all cooking appliances are turned off.
5. Storage Instructions
Storage instructions are another valuable aspect that needs to be communicated to the staff. Improper storage of food can cause food decay and wastage. A colour-coding system can be used for tracking food’s shelf life. To automate the entire inventory and storage process, the inventory, stock, expiry dates, quantity and usage proportion can be simply recorded in the PoS system.
With this feature, the manager, head chef or the owner does not need to manually track the inventory or check the stock availability or the expiry date as all of it is clearly monitored and complied with in a detailed report.
6. Maintain Cleanliness and Hygiene
Lack of hygiene in a kitchen can cause food-borne diseases to customers and your staff. To prevent such a spread and contagion, you can teach your team some techniques for maintaining hygiene.
These techniques include using different chopping boards for raw meat, fruits, and vegetables to prevent salmonella poisoning, and having a colour-coding system for food preparation with different utensils for meat, vegetables, and dairy distinguished by coloured stickers.
Instruct your staff to mop the floor after each shift, empty and sanitize garbage containers frequently, and clean kitchen counters and walls regularly. Further, it is fundamental for employees to wash hands often, clean spills immediately, and use brooms and dustpans to clean broken glass or crockery, instead of hands.
7. Dress in Proper Attire
Kitchen attire is about uniformity and ranking and also about ensuring kitchen safety. Employees should be required to wear clean uniforms each shift. It is necessary to wear closed-toed shoes to prevent lacerations from falling knives, scalds, and burns from hot water and oil. It is also essential to wear clothes covering as much skin as possible and keep their head covered.
Kitchen Safety is essential for a restaurant to function well. Using the above methods will help prevent any potential injury caused to staff and customers.
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