If you are in charge of a busy commercial kitchen then you will know the importance of food safety and hygiene standards. Not only do you have a moral obligation to keep your customers healthy, you also have a legal obligation to ensure that safety standards are kept as high as they should be. No restaurant or catering shop wants to gain a reputation for poor safety and cleanliness standards, so it’s important to do everything you can to ensure your work environment is as clean and safe as possible. Below are our top tips to ensure you and your staff members create and maintain a safe kitchen in your building.
All new staff members must undergo food safety training before they are allowed to start work. Each should receive refresher training once a year as well as things change and things can also be forgotten. Make sure they understand everything about the cold chain, how to handle food and how to ensure that bacteria etc are not allowed to grow. They must learn how to clean a kitchen effectively so that it is germ-free, and they must also learn about how to minimize trip, slip and fall hazards in the work environment.
Have a clear fire procedure
A kitchen is very much at risk from fire because of all the hot equipment in it, so it’s really important to have a good fire evacuation procedure if something happens. Your customers should be able to read the procedure clearly as well so make sure the assembly point is indicated. You should have a combination of different fire extinguishers for different types of fire, and every member of staff should know what to do in case of fire. This should also be part of their induction training so that they are aware of the risks in your particular business.
Have good equipment
A commercial kitchen should have equipment that is in good condition. The surfaces and shelves must be made of stainless steel as this is the material that is the easiest to disinfect and therefore keeps germs and bacteria away. Your fridges, freezers and ovens should be serviced regularly, and there should be a rigorous cleaning cycle for areas such as the kitchen sink and the floor which are both breeding grounds for germs.
Set and hold the procedure
Your health and safety procedure should be clearly set out in your employee handbooks so they can refer to it whenever they wish. Make it clear that the rules are important and if they are broken then you need to have a disciplinary procedure in place. Keep the bike cleaner on the wall, and be ready for an unexpected health and safety inspection – at any given time they could pop up.
All employees must wash their hands during work
Another important thing to keep in mind while working in a commercial kitchen is that hand washing stations should always be close to the kitchen staff. Washing their hands should be frequent, because you know it’s obvious. If an event requires indoor catering, there should be hand sinks nearby in either the washroom or kitchen. Whereas, for outdoor catering employees should be provided with portable hand sinks or a mobile hand washing station set up. In addition, maintaining cleanliness in commercial kitchens is a legal requirement. So you should make sure that your kitchen crew stays clean and keeps those pesky germs away.
Keeping your commercial kitchen sparkling clean is the most important thing you can do for your business – how can you improve standards in your kitchen?
Today’s writer, Leslie Kramer is a professional chef who frequently blogs online about food and lifestyle. She writes for USA Equipment Direct which deals in a range of stainless work tables for restaurants. Her hobbies include painting and sculpture. Log on usaequipmentdirect.com know more about her work. You can also follow her on twitter @les_kramer.