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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Hospitality - Kitchen tips for a safer workplace

Maralyn Kastel - Friday, June 21, 2013

A restaurant's customers are well educated and are keen to know how their meals are prepared, where the ingredients came from and how fresh the ingredients actually are. Sometimes it is easier to be more concerned with quality of the product and what the customer wants than it is to have a safe workplace.

So look at workplace health and safety as a way you can greatly improve your kitchen, restaurant and at the same time, the customer experience will be better because workers will be more productive and less stressed.

Here are four helpful food and cooking tips to improve safety in your commercial kitchen.

  1. Ventilation - Nearly every piece of heavy cooking equipment within a commercial kitchen needs proper ventilation. Everything from cooking ranges to deep-fat fryers needs to be kept underneath the kitchen hood. The hood is designed to remove not only the heat but also toxic fumes. A clogged ventilation hood will not remove these potentially harmful gasses, so clean the ventilation hood by putting through the dishwasher or thoroughly wiped at the end of every day. 

  2. Conduct risk assessments - Make it a habit to perform self-inspections of your commercial kitchen on a regular basis. By walking through your establishment once a week and documenting any hazards you find, you are taking preventative measures to make sure your kitchen is operating under health standards and are making an effort to identify any and all health safety concerns. Create your own checklist of aspects to cover during your risk assessments, or you can use our Simply Genius™ Health and Safety Management System, which gives you everything you need. 

  3. Slowly turn up the heat - It's important that you and your workers do not turn the burners up to full blast automatically. Turning a burner up to full blast in a single second and then placing the pot on the burner may seem like a quick way to heat up a dish, but this causes flames to emit out outside the pot, which is a potential fire hazard. Not only this, but it's also a waste of energy. 

  4. Keep your own food away from the kitchen - Sure, when it gets hot and hectic inside a bustling kitchen, it only makes sense to allow your head chef to reach over and take a sip of his drink or a bite of food, but this is actually a safety hazard. A cold liquid spilling into a sizzling deep fryer could cause the hot grease to splash on to a worker, causing serious burns. Spilling drink or food on the floor is also a slip and fall hazard. The alternative to eating and drinking in the kitchen is to have a dedicated break area for all workers. 

The key to keeping up to date with food and safety regulations in a commercial kitchen is to have a good eye for detail and regularly conduct risk assessments and safety meetings with your workers, both before and after the kitchen open and closes.

Have any safety tips of your own you'd like to share? Need to know more about how to improve your commercial kitchen, contact us today for more information on our Simply Genius™ Health and Safety Management System

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