There’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong in the restaurant business, but one of the worst possibilities is a major health and safety issue. Something serious can easily bankrupt a successful restaurant, so consider the following areas to ensure you’re complying with the law and taking reasonable steps to keep everyone safe, including staff and customers.
Cleaning up spillages
Spills from food can be breeding grounds for bacteria, which is a major risk to customers eating your food and the future of your business. Spillages of food and liquids can also cause slips easily, especially on smooth kitchen floors. It’s important that someone (or everyone in the kitchen) is responsible for cleaning up immediately to avoid any risk of avoidable accidents occurring.
Regular professional cleaning
Commercial kitchen deep cleaning services, including ductwork and canopy cleaning, are important for restaurant safety and hygiene and you should have professional cleaning carried out regularly in addition to the day-to-day maintenance your staff handle themselves. This kind of cleaning is also vital for fire safety, as extractors and ducts can eventually collect fat deposits which significantly increase the potential risk of a fire breaking out.
Untidy or damaged work area
Aside from keeping your commercial kitchen clean, it needs to be fully organised and maintained to the highest possible standard. This means items that are getting in the way and causing a trip hazard need to be elsewhere, including all unnecessary bags and boxes as well as wires and cables for appliances. Floors, surfaces and appliances should be kept in good condition too, and any repairs dealt with immediately.
Handling sharp blades
An extremely common cause of accidents in restaurant kitchens is having an accident with a knife. Ensure everyone is trained on sharpening and using knives before they start work, and everyone knows which knives are suitable for particular tasks. Knives also need to be used on a suitable surface, washed and stored carefully.
It might be necessary to have staff move heavy items around to keep the kitchen functioning, but you need to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to do this. Improper handling of heavy items can cause injuries as well as long-term health conditions including back problems. A combination of training in the correct techniques and using the right equipment can avoid most of these risks in a restaurant.
It may surprised you to hear that the most common cause of ill health in a restaurant work environment is dermatitis, usually resulting in itching or damaged skin, especially on the hands. The cause is usually harsh cleaning products coming into contact with the skin too often. Using gloves and utensils for washing up can alleviate the problem, as well as using moisturiser products to prevent hands drying out due to frequent washing.